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My Love/Hate Relationship with Yelp

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I use Yelp on my iPhone quite frequently when traveling around and looking for a good place to eat. Most times I can weed out the reviews from clueless posters and get to something meaningful and useful. When I review, I usually do so to turn others on to a terrific out-of-the-ordinary place (won't review and Applebees) or to warn people about truly horrendous food or service. I also do not review fellow business owners in my immediate vicinity-no need to give my neighboring business a hard time. However, as a user, a reviewer and one whose establishment gets Yelp reviews I must admit that most people who review on Yelp are either clueless, mean or both.

 

We own a unique shop and our signature items are artisan ice pops made with organic and locally grown ingredients. We also offer organic and fairly traded coffee, tea, and chocolate as well as smoothies, fresh juices, chilled soups and our own version of bubble tea. For those of you unfamiliar with bubble tea, it's been popularized in asian markets and is made from super sweet tea mixes made with artificial flavors and colors and served with a scoop of large pearl tapioca. OUR bubble tea is brewed from organic teas, blended with real fruit and lightly sweetened with organic and FT sugar, honey or agave nectar. Of course, we cook premium tapioca each day to add to the tea. 

 

This week we got a lengthly Yelp review from a guy based on the purchase of ONE bubble tea (we usually offer 4-5 flavors.) He complained that it wasn't sweet enough and about how we stored our tapioca (which was wrong anyway). Basically, he just didn't like it. That's fine, dude, bring it back and let me make your experience a pleasant one, but don't trash us on Yelp based on one item alone! Geez. 

 

Hopefully, most users are like me and can tell which are the doofus reviews, but still I hate to see our 5 star rating go down due to one lame brain.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply
post #2 of 4

I agree with you on both counts.  I have found some truly fantastic out-of-the-way restaurants through Yelp.  After using Yelp, I also have found how to sort through the reviews and know which to ignore.

I also enjoy reading the reviews of the restaurant I work at and I think it averages out.  There are always some clueless reviews, but overall the average rating seems fair.  Once you begin to accumulate hundreds of reviews, it is helpful to spot trends -certain dishes are raved about over and over again, some issues (poor service) pop up and need to be addressed.

I have seen some small businesses in town really use Yelp to help them get customers.  Many people I work with in the industry absolutely hate the concept, but you can't avoid it.  And aren't we here for the customers anyways?  Even when they are wrong?

 

post #3 of 4

Yelp is kinda strange, well, the "filtering" system is strange.

 

I've had several enthusiastic guests write some good reviews only to have them taken down days later.  Why?  They weren't regular contributers and the positive reviews were suspect.  Then I've got a (deleted) who has a personal vendetta against my partner and drags her all over the mud and this stays because the contributer  is a regular--none of the negative comments had anything to do with food or service.

 

Whatever......They sure as (deleted) aren't getting any of my advertising money.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 4

I try to stay far away from Yelp as it seems like the soapbox that most people turn to when they have an issue with a place or something.  That being said, whenever I read any "user" reviews online the first thing I usually try and do is discount the top 10% and the bottom 10% and then look at the overall average.  Then I try to compare that to legitimate reviewers (aka "the professionals) and what they have to say.  It's almost become an artform to be able to pull the relevant data from these reviews and leave the vast majority of noise alone.

http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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