Foursquare: Should a Company Owner Be the Mayor of His Own Venue?

Foursquare Check In

This post may be irrelevant to non-users of Foursquare, but I wanted to relay an interesting debate I had with my friend the other day: should the owner (or employees) of a company be the mayor of their own venue on Foursquare?

If you’re not familiar with Foursquare, the idea is that you “check in” to venues that you visit in the real world, and you in turn earn badges, points, mayorships and other rewards based on your check-in activity.

Many venues use Foursquare to reward customers who frequent their establishments. So if you are the mayor of your favorite Italian restaurant, for example, you might get special treatment such as your own exclusive table or a free glass of wine if the venue chooses to reward the Foursquare mayor. But here arises the dilemma:

Foursquare Etiquette & Ethics

If you are the mayor or employee of your own venue — that is, you own a restaurant and you check in every time you go to work — then you lose the opportunity to reward your best customers who are competing for the mayorship at your venue.

Personally, if I was the owner of a brick-and-mortar business, I would not check in to my own venue. Lots of people are using Foursquare nowadays, and I would want to find out who my best customers were and reward them.

The owner of a bar I frequent is the Foursquare mayor of his bar, and my friend upheld an opinion opposite my own, arguing that if you own a business — i.e. you are “king of the castle,” so to speak — then you are entitled to be the mayor of your own restaurant.

I have a friend who works at a restaurant and only checks in if he purchases something from the restaurant before or after work.

What’s Your Opinion?

If you use Foursquare, do you think that owners and employees of businesses should check in to their own establishments? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Foursquare: Should a Company Owner Be the Mayor of His Own Venue?”

  1. Reader Michael replied by email: “Being Mayor of his own restaurant is not going to increase business for the restaurant, so what is the benefit to his customers and why would he even join a business like Foursquare?”

  2. I don’t know anything about foursquare but after reading this post I would guess that is would not be fair for an owner or its employees of a company be able to vote on its own business. This is why when an establishment offers a contest to the public it disallows anyone who is employed or involved in the issuing company.


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