Before deciding which new steakhouse to try, many of us read reviews online to see what the general consensus of the restaurant seems to be. Experienced diners will often leave valuable feedback, carefully explaining what they liked and what seemed to be lacking. These reviews are actually a really valuable resource — both for other customers, and for the steakhouse itself.

As you share your steakhouse experience with the hundreds who will soon be reading, here are some great ideas to make your review count.

Start with the facts

Begin by setting the stage. Inform readers of your reasons for eating here, what the occasion was, how many people were in your party, and so on. This allows readers to relate more to your particular experience, and compare it with the kind of dining experience they’re looking for.

Have your purpose in mind

Before you write, take a moment to consider your reasons for doing so. Is it to be helpful to future guests of the restaurant, or to gain the attention of the owner? Many steakhouse reviews are highly informative and make a real impact — others not so much. The difference is often the clarity and purpose with which the review is written.

Mention key aspects

Good steakhouse reviews focus attention on various aspects of the experience, including (of course) food, service, and atmosphere. Be objective in your review. For example, even if your reason for writing is the poor service you received, you may want to mention that the food was good, despite the poor circumstances. This gives your post balance, and readers will see that you noticed positive aspects in addition to the dominating negative one. Steakhouse owners will also benefit greatly by your effort to show all sides of your experience, and will know where they need to improve and where they did well. Was the atmosphere conducive to the dining experience? Did the server gladly cater to your individual needs? Did the steak live up to the standard that you knew from the last time you ate there?

Avoid focusing on expectations

If this was your first time visiting the steakhouse, the experience you had may have been different than the one you were expecting. With this in mind, don’t allow what you expected the restaurant to be like cloud your view of the actual experience.

Post your review in a timely manner

This aspect is especially important to any reviewers who may be about to leave a negative comment about the restaurant. Give yourself at least a day before actually posting the words you wrote in the heat of the moment. Your post will be well-considered and more helpful to readers if you allow the experience to sink in first.

Online steakhouse reviews are something our dining culture today relies on greatly today. As a reviewer, you have a real opportunity to share your experience, help other diners make the best choice, and influence steakhouses to continually raise the bar on what makes a really great steak dinner.