Bennett's Fish & Chips

Sir, I’m part of a Facebook discussion group for owners of fish and chip shops. It’s part of research I’m doing into the challenges faced by UK chippies.

A subject that has come up many times is how to deal with negative and often fraudulent online reviews. It’s an issue that concerns many businesses including brands and retailers.

The reality is that the ratings culture is growing thick and fast. You can get star ratings for everything now - from cab drivers, takeaways and hotels to hospitals and even prisons!

In the near future, we may all have a unique star rating. The data on our iPhones, Fitbits and social media will merge to rate us on employability, credit, health and how good we are as friends and partners.

Where will you score on loyalty and trustworthiness? How about bedtime habits?

It’s almost impossible to stop negative reviews but avoiding the online space altogether is not the answer.

If you have fantastic products and people, embrace the review culture. You might be pleasantly surprised with the result.

Elit Rowland, director of New ERA PR, head of comms at JJ Food Service and founder of Women in Wholesale