Thummit: when everyone really is a critic

While researching restaurant reviews for the Sunday Times – and by researching I mean spilling gravy down my shirt – a manager would often stop by and ask how everything was. “Fine” I would say. “Read about it on Sunday,” I would think. “Thanks,” I would say.

If it had been awful – if maggots had been playing in the venison stew – I would be itching to pull the trigger, to tell the world while I was still pulling on my coat. But sadly there was no way to actually publish a restaurant review directly from the table.

Well, now there is.

(US only just now as far as I can see – and still very much in beta) will let you text a restaurant review to your friends while the rancid sauce au poivre is still congealing round your pork. No more waiting to get home to boot up the pc and write a review. Now, if you get a gruff word from the waiter, you can deliver a thumbs down while he is still sashaying back to his station.

Oh the power.

As a consumer, I love the idea but it is a potential nightmare for restaurants. Staff used to be told to look out for reviewers, sad diners with dandruff making copious notes about the chicken supreme. Now they need to watch out for every customer with a potential grudge and predictive text. And that could be most of them.

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