A Cry for Yelp

So South Park decided to shit all over Yelp. It’s like they were channeling The Well Red Chef with their reviews of shitty chains like Applebee’s and Red Lobster. Thanks South Park for making me feel like an important Yelp reviewer, we get each other.

http://www.eater.com/2015/10/15/9538845/south-park-takes-down-yelpers-restaurant-critics

What an amazing day. All the snow has melted, it’s sunny and in the 70’s; a perfect day to sit on my screened in porch and bash the merits of Yelp. I know I have mentioned Yelp in passing before on my blog, but seeing an article on Facebook this morning about a restaurant owner in Boston who pretty much called out some shitty customers by putting their picture on his Instagram page made we want to address my feelings about Yelp. http://kitchenette.jezebel.com/boston-restaurant-publicly-shames-horrible-yelp-threate-1688908910 The picture has since been taken down. We have all seen servers post screenshots of receipts of terrible tippers that has gotten them in hot water. But a restaurant owner publicly posting their picture for the world to see is virgin territory. Thumbs up to him. If a customer is rude and threatening they deserve it. What’s the worst thing they can do; post a bad Yelp review now? He also brings up a valid point later in the article; if Uber can rate customers, why shouldn’t owners of restaurants be able to? If a restaurant owner knows ahead of time that a difficult customer is coming in, don’t you think they would like to know what they are getting into? To able to kill them with kindness rather than enduring the nightmare of having to deal with a difficult patron seems like a better option.  I’m sure a lot of you have read about the restaurant manager in Kansas City who had an amazing response to a bad Yelp review. http://www.eater.com/2014/10/6/6925273/restaurateur-pens-epic-takedown-of-entitled-yelper  A restaurant should never be threatened with a bad review. A well-established restaurant shouldn’t be worried about one review from a lunatic anyway. Obviously the restaurant wasn’t too worried about this review. Sure, some people might read a bad review and be turned off. However, if the restaurant is providing good food and a good experience, people are going to come back. I suppose Yelp does provide a service for people who want reviews of businesses from those who have actually used them. I personally never used Yelp unless it’s to get entertainment from terrible reviews. I’d much rather depend on restaurant and bar advice from those opinions of people I actually trust, fellow service industry people. There is a restaurant in California which actually encourages people to post one star reviews on Yelp. In fact, they get a discount on their pizza. http://www.bottobistro.com/REWARDS.html Brilliant I tell you. The restaurant feels that if Yelp won’t take them off their site, then might as well take advantage of it and drum up some publicity. And it has worked. http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/24/smallbusiness/purposefully-bad-yelp-reviews/ If you can’t beat em, join em right? The restaurant feels that Yelp manipulates their reviews based on lack of advertising. There have even been lawsuits filed against Yelp alleging extortion of advertising through burying of positive reviews; Yelp makes their money through advertising.  All I know is take whatever you read on Yelp with a grain of salt. Use it as tool when deciding on a restaurant/bar/business. Don’t treat it like the Holy Grail. I work in an amazing restaurant and there are plenty of bad Yelp reviews. What does that tell you? Yelp this. Sometimes people get what you are trying to do, sometimes they don’t. If I owned a restaurant I don’t think I would have the stones to publicly call someone out because I would be too afraid it would go viral and backfire. However, as we have seen it can also work in the favor of a business as well. Enough about Yelp, time to fire up the grill enjoy the weather while I can. Cheers Foodies.

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