On a Clear Day, You Can Yelp Forever

We live in a world that is connected by a series of social media applications that were originally intended to bring us closer together but what they have actually done is give people a false sense of relationship. Just because you know that your best friend from high school “had three bananas today! OMG!” does not necessarily mean that you are still friends. So many of us, myself definitely included, depend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, etc. to alert the world to our personal goings on and opinions. Maybe it makes us feel like we are surrounded by people who care or it gives us a sense of importance to know that (insert number of Facebook friends here) people may be reading about our thoughts on the Olympics. (“Cried happy tears for the women’s gymnastics. I love that emotion of working your butt off and having it pay off!” said Amy S.) The one social media application that probably most affects our lives as restaurant folk (we’re sorta like carney folk, except we smell like honey mustard and fajitas instead of cotton candy and the stench of “what the fuck life choice did I make that made be a carney folk.”) is Yelp.

Yelp started out as a great idea. “Hey, let’s start a website where people can rate their favorite restaurants” turned into “Hey, I had one bad experience at a restaurant so I am going to go online and trash the hell out of them.” Countless times, I have walked up to tables who are snapping cell phone pictures of their food and sending it off to Yelp before they have even had their second bite. Yelp lets every Tom, Dick and Asshole become the restaurant critic they always wanted to be without all the, you know, qualifications.

Regularly, I go to to Yelp to read the reviews of my restaurant to see if anyone is complaining about me. The last time I was mentioned specifically, they had this to say: “Special shout-out to my waiter ‘The Bitchy Waiter,’ who was very attentive and offered wonderful food suggestions in the neighborhood.” Hmm, they liked me; must have been an off night for me. However, so many reviews are filled with the most idiotic comments that you wonder how the writer even figured out how to turn on their fancy computer machine to write it in the first place.

Case in point: a review I read for Dog and Duck, a local neighborhood restaurant. A person named Sen-Pei wrote, “When I came here once with a friend, mosquitoes bit up my legs and thighs. I have to say that this does happen a lot in general (my legs and thighs are some tender sweet things ;-P), but this was unbearable. Do something about that.”

Why would anyone give a negative review to a restaurant  based on something that the restaurant has no control over? Do people just look for something to bitch about? (“Bitchy Waiter, you’re the biggest bitch I know,” said everyone who is reading this.) Okay, Sen-Pei, I am going to “do something about that.” Mosquitoes are so annoying and even though I don’t work at Dog and Duck, I do have the direct line to Mother nature and I am going to give her a call just for you. And yes, I recorded my conversation with her so you can hear it:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEGYXRM6TRA?rel=0]
The next time you go to Yelp to review something, please remember to give critique and opinion and not just complain.If you have a complaint that was specific to you, make sure it will benefit others if they read it. “The baby at the booth next to me was so freaking loud” or “it rained on me while i tried to eat on the patio” is not going to help anyone decide whether or not they want to eat there. “The lights are too dim” or “it seemed like the air conditioning was broken” is better. “The Bitchy Waiter was wonderful” is the best.

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21 thoughts on “On a Clear Day, You Can Yelp Forever

  1. LadyJ3000

    Yelp attracts all kinds of weirdos. One gentlemen negatively reviewed the entire island where I grew up. His reason for doing so was because there were too many private roads and it made him feel unwelcome.

  2. Anonymous

    I like Yelp because you really get to know a place and how they serve people. If more than a good majority complain about a place, obviously something is not right. Servers who complain about being yelped a lot might want to think about why and change how they are. Yes, some are malicious on yelp, but most just tell it how it is.So point blank, if your business or you are getting constant bad reviews, obviously it is not the customers, its you and your business.So don't hide behind Yelp and diss the site because you gave crap service, admit your faults and fix them or continue to have no tips and be Yelped.

  3. Anonymous

    Could't agree more about Yelp. One of my favorite things to do is read the other reviews that a "reviewer" has written. My restaurant (which I'd love to name but won't because I love my job more) got a not so nice 2 star from some fucktard. Looking at the other reviews, they gave Rosa Mexicana 5 stars. Always consider the source.

  4. Confessions from the Hairdresser

    I fucking hate yelp so much. It just reinforces the belief that every stupid asshole has that their opinion is important or welcomed, or that they're within their rights to so whatever the fuck they want. The worst yelpers are the dumb bitches that think they're Carrie fucking Bradshaw, and are like "my pasta Primavera was awesome, not as good as Bread Tribeca's but I was on the Uppper East side, after all! LOL! Don't tell anyone, I was only there because THE BOYFRIEND wanted to try it out, LOL!" I especially hate the way that, as a business owner, if you dispute a review that there is something OBVIOUSLY WRONG WITH they won't take it down.

  5. Becky

    I try to avoid Yelp at all costs. The website will call up random restaurants and say "hey, do you want to pay us money to have your establishment highlighted on our website? No? Oh, well, then, we'll be writing negative reviews of your restaurant even though we've never been there. Also, we will push all the other negative reviews to the top of the page until you advertise with us." With a business model like that, their site is rendered relatively useless because you never know if a review is legit or if the restaurant didn't want to give Yelp money.

  6. Anonymous

    You all give the industry a bad name. You complain about your jobs, your customers, and your tips. Why in the world you in the industry??!!!Stop being trashy and stop whinning about your jobs. Be happy you even have one. Some people in the nation don't and would love your job. Get a life.

  7. teverton

    Anonymous, you're the reason why most intelligent individuals within the industry hate Yelp. It's fucktard cowards like yourself who hide behind a shroud of anonymity to spew mostly uneducated shrapnel against people attempting to make a living. You are the type of individual who would no more have the balls to confront me on a level playing field or in your place of employment, but you're more than willing to hide behind the cloak of "anonymous" and berate me behind my back. So fuck you and fuck your Yelp.

  8. sdr

    haha complaints about being outside when choosing to sit outside are my favorite. oh, can we move this table into the shade? HEY, do you know where there is all kinds of shade? INSIDE

  9. Shannon

    The audio of you talking to Mother Nature is absolutely hilarious!I manage yelp as well as other social media sites for a restaurant. I respond to (almost) every yelp review in a positive and professional manner. Even when they say bad things about their experience. Since I have been doing that, we get much less stupid reviews and also less negative reviews in general.I don't respond to the ridiculous reviews because I figure that most people can read and determine for themselves. If they can't, I'm not too bummed about missing out on their business.

  10. HowdyHeidi

    Last week a woman slammed us. One star, capital-letter word style slammed. She had been visiting our town from Nebraska. Nebraska, in case you didn't know, is the epicenter of culture, sophistication, and avant guard cheffery. She didn't like the bar food, the drunk people, the pool tables, the loud music…Fired up, I checked our friendly rival establishment's Yelp account. Alas, same cow, same astute observations.Bar food, drunks, noise… Not appropriate for her family.I went on to snoop around some other local spots where I found that she had basically gone on a slander rampage regarding our town.I also found that she had been taking her disgusting, corn-fed, ignorant (seemingly gigantic) family from bar to bar to eat whilst on vacation.I do think that Yelp can be helpful for consumers and businesses alike, but sometimes we need to look at the big picture before forming an opinion based on someone else's poorly written opinion. Our bar is awesome. Our rival bar is (sadly) awesome. Don't opt out of a good time somewhere because some cheap ho took her kids out to lunch at BARS and didn't have a good time.

  11. Mandy

    For a more accurate reflection of a how a restaurant is doing, I check open table, not yelp… there's actually some accountability with those reviews. I've always thought about doing a "yelp the yelpers" site, where i troll around looking for the most ridiculous yelpers out there. Problem is i just lose patience with all the idiotic crap i read.

  12. Noelle

    Open Table is a more reliable you at least have to make a reservation and eat there before your allowed to write a review. There are a couple of bad reviews of my restaurant on TripAdvisor and the guest never ate there.

  13. Kate

    I saw a similar review of the restaurant I'm switching over to soon. Something about eating on the outdoor patio next a plant where the guy kept getting bitten on his feet by whatever bugs inhabited the plant and gave the joint two stars because of it. If Yelp was a person, I'd punch them in the taint.

  14. DaChickenLady

    Love your conversation with Mother Nature. I can understand a guest complaining about mosquito bites if she sat inside but on the patio? Come on.I guess a restaurant COULD put harnesses and leashes on 100 frogs, place tether rings strategically on the patio, and attach the leashes to the rings.Just imagine the lovely serenade from the frog chorus.

  15. Linda

    Yeah, so I'm going to be reading every fucking entry on your blog because you sir, are slaying me.I hope you get a book deal unless you are actually David Sedaris posing as a Bitchy Waiter and your next book titled Shut Your Pie Hole, And Would You Like My Saliva With That Entree? is in the works.Much love from Montreal.

  16. Lauraurora

    I got mentioned by name in a bad Yelp review a couple of years ago. The girl who wrote it had a valid point,but in my defense, she didn’t give me a chance to fix what was the kitchen’s mistake. (It was a to go order, I was on bar,and the bartender was responsible for all carry outs.) It was very embarrassing, and I had to contain my tears when the kitchen guys read it out loud to me off their phones one day. The attitude of management was pretty much “on my side”, but it still hurt. I tend not to let anyone ever see my negative emotions, but that shit is humiliating. It was for a really small, inconsequential thing,and there was no need to call me out like she did. Thoughts of some sort of retaliation in kind did cross my mind, but ain’t nobody got time for that.


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