When it comes to choosing a location for your next steak dinner, online reviews are your best friend. And when you walk out the door after your meal, you get to contribute to that collection of reviews and tell the world about your own experience. But if you really want it to have an impact, think carefully about your steakhouse review before you write it. Here are some tips:

1. Be as honest as possible

A lot of people actually hold back with the write steakhouse reviews – usually because they don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. It’s the same reason AirBnb customers have a hard time criticizing their hosts – they’re aware that people are trying to run a business, and they don’t want to make it more difficult for them. But the reality is that people need an honest assessment of your experience. If a steakhouse isn’t delivering where it counts, or striving to make it right, people need to know there are better options out there. Most people don’t visit the steakhouse all that often. When they go, they want to make it count.

2. Don’t be too emotional

If you want your review to have an impact on those who read it, avoid getting too “sloppy” or emotional. Everybody knows that a person’s mood can have a big impact on their dining experience. Plus, sometimes things just don’t go well, for whatever reason. If your steakhouse reviews is particular unforgiving ­– or particularly over the moon with enthusiasm – people are statistically less likely to take it seriously. That doesn’t mean you should hide your true impressions about the steakhouse, or “dumb down” what you want to say. Instead, try to write honestly about the nature of your experience. If there were pros and cons, describe them as objectively as possible. If the experience was really bad, explain why. And if it was one of your best steakhouse experiences ever, tell the world you’ll be going back.

3. Keep it fairly short

The length of your steakhouse review is a balancing act. You don’t want it to be so short that it looks like you didn’t put any effort into it. On the other hand, you don’t want it to be so long that people feel like they’re reading a novel. Think about your overall impressions of the experience and try to condense them into a one or two concentrated paragraphs. These are the types of reviews that tend of have the most impact.

Saying what you want to say

Online reviews are a wonderful thing for any aficionado steak, because they give you an instant impression as to whether or not a given steakhouse really has the goods. But wading through badly written reviews just makes it more difficult to determine the quality of a steakhouse. Whether you want to say something good or bad about a steakhouse – or a combination of the two – it will have far more impact if you take some time to write a thoughtful review. Remember – you’re adding to the permanent reputation of this steakhouse. Make it count!