Charleston app developer to launch review site for restaurant work

Wade Spees/Staff

Local restaurants already struggling to secure staff may soon have one more incentive to enhance working conditions: A Charleston-based digital developer this month is launching an employer rating app for food-and-beverage professionals.

Serve Your City is an anonymous online platform, much like Yelp or Rate My Professors. When it debuts at a Bay Street Biergarten party on June 29, it will include about 100 Charleston area restaurants for review. In addition to being allocated 250 words for a summary blurb, users will be prompted to rate the restaurant’s atmosphere, flexibility, advancement opportunities, management style and benefits on a five-star scale.

“Serve Your City will be launching in Charleston only, and will expand to cities throughout the Southeast as the year progresses,” says Will Willis of That Level, which developed the app for Will Price’s company. “We’d love to launch in San Francisco for a west coast presence before the end of the year, as well.”

Currently, one of the leading online job satisfaction sites is Glassdoor, which has collected more than 8 million reviews for 400,000 companies. But the only local outfits with entries on the site are major corporations, such as Blackbaud, Benefitfocus and MUSC (all of which boast ratings slightly higher than the national average.) Scuttlebutt about restaurant work is still mostly confined to word-of-mouth.

“We’ll have reps at the party to walk attendees through the simple review process and help them understand the benefits for the entire food-and-beverage community,” Willis says.

According to Willis, That Level will use an automated filter and manual moderation to weed out “unhelpful” reviews. “Our legal team is crafting terms of service and copywriting that shields Serve Your City from legal action,” he adds, referring to potentially libelous posts.

The launch party, featuring happy hour specials including $3 off cocktails and $4 fried pickles, runs from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Admission is free.