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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Miscellaneous

Another day off, another blog post. Rather than talk about one specific subject, I thought I would just ramble on about a lot of different things that I have been thinking about/grinding my gears.

To begin with,  know what really grinds my gears? This Lindsay Lohan. Lindsay Lohan with all those little outfits, jumping around there on stage, half-naked with your little outfits. Ya know? You’re a… You’re out there jumping around and I’m just sitting here with my beer. So, what am I supposed to do? What you want? You know, are we gonna go out? Is that what you’re trying to – why why are you leaping around there, throwing those things all up in my, over there in my face? What do you want, Lindsay? Tell me what you want? Well, I’ll tell you what you want, you want nothing. You want nothing. All right? Because we all know that no woman anywhere wants to have sex with anyone, and to titillate us with any thoughts otherwise is – is just bogus” Sorry about that, had a Family Guy flashback. Seriously, it does grind my gears when it’s late and we seat half the restaurant and we get nothing from the front of the house. No heads up, no “hey guys, we just sat a bunch of tables.” Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Yes, I realize we are open for another hour or however long. But at least give us a little warning. We’re stuck back in our little hole in the kitchen, in our own little world. We have no idea what is going on in the outside world, let alone the front of the house. Otherwise I’m going to go incredible hulk on my t-shirt and say something I probably shouldn’t. But hey, I have the blog for that right?

Bering the new guy in a kitchen can be very intimidating. New surroundings, new people, a new way of doing things, etc. Plus the way you have done things in the past is not how it’s done here. It’s all about relearning something you already know. You feel like you are annoying everyone trying to locate where everything is. You become accustomed to where all the hiding spots of things are, so when you come to a new kitchen you have to learn it all over again. Most kitchens I have worked in have been very small with their own built in clique. It’s like high school almost. If you don’t fit in with everyone within the kitchen you probably won’t last too long. I know whenever I start a new job I tend to be quiet for a while so I can feel everyone out. Now they can’t get me to ever shut the hell up. I’m sure they wish I would go back to the guy who didn’t talk for the first few weeks.

I was bored the other day so I looked at Yelp reviews for what it seemed like hours. If you ever need a good laugh, just look at bad Yelp reviews. I’m not sure what rock some of these people crawled out from, but they need to go back. Stinkin’ foodies and their social media. I say that as I am getting ready to publish a blog and mention it on Facebook. However, I don’t write about any of my restaurant experiences. I may tell my fellow kitchen employees about a great dinner I had at so and so restaurant, but I’m not going go on Yelp and write a bad review about it. I used to go on OpenTable frequently and look at the bad reviews of where I was working at the time. Always good for a laugh or an eye roll. I did look at some of the reviews of where I currently work, and generally they were all super positive. But there were the occasional bad reviews. The bad ones were pretty terrible, but I think every restaurant is going to have some not so good reviews.  However, most are from those people who either don’t get what we are trying to do, or are just a general pain in the ass to begin with. Can’t make everyone happy, as hard as you try.

Well I hope you have enjoyed my two cents, I’m off to try to get into the Christmas spirit and purchase a tree, hopefully without a live squirrel inside, Griswold style.

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