Who We Are
Black Biz Reviews was conceived from the idea that Black communities and neighborhoods deserve to have the best representation of people, places, things and ideas (also called nouns, lol).
We are regular people… just like you. We believe that communities thrive when they have the best, and why shouldn’t we have the best?
Please use our reviews in conjunction with your own experiences to support businesses who treat you well, and put the other ones on notice that they should clean up their act or become part of history.
What We Are
Let’s start with what we aren’t: a simiple directory of black businesses. Those are a dime a dozen, and don’t offer much beyond an address, a phone number, and maybe a website.
We’re different because we go in depth to give you the deets on a business as a regular patron. We are not paid by the businesses, we do not know the owners, they are not our friends, family or colleagues. We tell you our experiences as a regular patron to give you an idea of what to expect when you visit the establishment.
We don’t believe you have to be in a secret group or clique in order to get the best service, and we achieve this by remaining unbiased, using a fair and balanced ratings system, and reporting on both the positive and negative aspects of running a public facing business.
We believe that black businesses should be held to the standard of any business, and not be given concessions simply because of their status of being black-owned or operated.
Where We Stand
We believe that you should ONLY support those businesses — black, white, or other — that treat you with respect and value your business. This site reflects those ideals, but is segmented to showcase those that are either owned or operated by African-American individuals or companies.
African-Americans (and Africans, for that matter) are a vibrant, imaginative, inventive people. We have won Olympic medals, invented life-changing and life-saving devices, climbed to the tops of corporate America, weathered racison and bigotry, pioneered musical genres, and so much more. With all of the accolades that have been achieved over centuries on Earth, why would we accept less than the best in our daily lives, from our friends, neighbors and local communities?
Although we may share the same racial class on a form, we aren’t all intrinsically connected, and we don’t all come from the same family.
When it comes to putting forth a public-facing business, many entrepreneurs forget this, and as a result they either consciously or subconsciously cater to friends and family in their day to day business. This may work for a while, but the true mark of success for any business is how effective you are at attracting complete strangers to your establishment, and how you treat them once they get there.
Why We Aren't a Directory
One reason is because there are so many of them. Why aspire to be another grain of sand?
But the main reason we aren’t a directory is that the inherent problem in black society is blindly supporting businesses JUST because of the hue of the owner or operator. You can’t change the color of your skin (generally), so why must we assume that every other person who shares our ethnicity is automatically a great business owner?
You usually have to choose between a directory, a review site, or other sites that are in cahoots with the owner, with most of their “reviews” being suspiciously positive. Not here. While over time we may become more like a directory due to the number of reviews, we strive to remain unbiased, yet informative.
How We Review
Unbiased – we do not personally know the owners/operators/managers of the business. Often we have never met them, and are as close to them as you may be with President Obama.
Quality – we standardize our reviews so that everyone has a level playing field. We review the things that seem most important to patrons today, and aspects that can elevate a business when executed properly.
Pseudonyms – We use these so that businesses don’t see us coming, and alter their service levels to earn a better rating. We are mystery shoppers for the black business community, and we protect our identities to give you a better idea of what to expect should you decide to patronize the business.
Black Doesn’t Equal Automatic Support – We aren’t beholden to the government just because we all live in America, and we aren’t beholden to every black business owner just because they turn on their “Open” sign. Businesses must operate by the same standards as all other great businesses. Being black isn’t a handicap; as such, we shouldn’t treat black businesses with kid gloves just because. They must earn our patronage just like any other business.
Oh, one final thing: why “biz” and not “business”?” Well for a couple of good reasons:
1) biz is shorter
2) biz was available 🙂
Our Ratings System
We observe the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. Things such as smiles, politeness, and speed of service govern this rating. Also, are the tables and chairs clean? Is there food under the seating areas? Does management seem to care about the appearance of the establishment? What’s the current, original health score? (and not the “updated” re-score that is displayed after a failed inspection)
Do the patrons seem to be enjoying themselves? Does the place have an air of electricity and excitement? Is it clear where you should place orders or request assistance? Does it feel like a place you would want to stay for a while or come back to visit?
The thing that pulls you to the establishment and why you pay the proprietor. Does the product or service deliver on its promises? Is there something great or horrible about it? Was the hype on social media worth it?
Street parking or a private lot? Free or paid parking? Where is parking in relation to the venue, and are there enough spaces? Is the lot maintained? Forced valet? Does the business have free Wi-Fi? Do they accept credit cards or cryptocurrency? What about Tap to Pay, loyalty & reward programs, and their website? These are just some of the criteria evaluated here.
The Four Pillars listed above are all added and averaged to form the overall rating for the business reviewed. More details about those rankings are explained by clicking on the headings below:
10 - Slap Yo Mama
You can do it, but we’re not responsible for what happens if you do. But the experience at an establishment with this rating will make you want to do it!
9 - Bangin'
Don’t sleep on these places, as you’ll find yourself wanting to recommend them to friends and family often. You generally will not regret these places, as they are destinations and not mere impulses.
8 - Dope
No, not the stuff that our 80s icons told us to stay off of. Businesses with this rating are just a great place to be at almost anytime.
7 - Cool
May have a chill vibe, may have some chill peeps, but overall, it’s a spot you don’t mind being spotted in that also has pretty decent service.
6 - Interesting
Kinda like going out on a date where you initially predicted it was going to suck, but you were presently surprised. There’s signs of promise here.
5 - Aight
You went. You saw. It was only OK. Not great, not horrible, just somewhere in the middle. You probably wouldn’t recommend it, but if push came to shove, you’d do it again. I mean… if you had to.
4 - Blah
It’s kinda like eating food that has no taste, but it will still provide nourishment. Or what you feel like on a drizzly Saturday @ 2 PM. Or what Black Panther II would be like if say, half of the cast were replaced. Yes, Including T’Challa.
3 - Lame
A new club opens up, but they don’t have a liquor permit. What’s the point? Yeah… the sentiment is the same with this lame rating.
2 - Janky
This rating is earned when you dine in at a restaurant that gives you plastic utensils for dining-in, the bathroom is out of order, they only accept cash and there’s no ATM nearby, and there is a 30 minute wait despite there being 15 free tables. Get the [email protected]&% outta here!
1 - Wack
Bad service, bad parking, bad food or product, if it were a date, it’d be the date from hell. You hope this place closes reeeeal soon. AND you want your money back!
The Review Crew
Critic extraordinaire, Jordan has roots in mystery shopping, so looking for key metrics to evaluate the multitude of different establishments is second nature to this seasoned veteran.