Like most retail establishments, our community's kosher restaurants are suffering these days. One great way to help them is to expose them to the small but growing review site yelp.com. Many people use Yelp to help them determine whether to visit and patronize a particular restaurant. Our kosher restaurants have a surprisingly low number of reviews. The first review for Slice of Life is surprisingly negative and was posted by a woman clearly irritated at driving from Buffalo Grove to Skokie because her husband insists on keeping kosher. The site is so bereft of reviews of kosher restaurants that I posted the first review for Hy Life Bistro today! Several of the reviews of Taboun mention the restaurant's appearance on "Check Please," a local restaurant review tv show. It's just as likely positive reviews on Yelp will encourage non-Jewish and non-kosher restaurant patrons to give our community restaurants a try. More money from outside the community will make it easier for our restaurants to ride out this difficult economic period.
Joining http://www.yelp.com is easy. You can find a complete list of my reviews by clicking "Member search" at the top and keying in "Kenneth Salkover." Once you join, writing reviews is easy. You can disclose as little or as much information about yourself as you like. There is a "profile" area, but you can leave that blank, and of course the site does not disclose your email address to anyone reading your reviews.
I think this would be a huge mitzvah. It doesn't cost much and just takes a few minutes for each review. I'm sorry I hadn't thought of this before. The establishments cannot post reviews on their own, but they can certainly encourage their customers to do so, and I think they should.