The New York Times published an article about the Yelp phenomenon.

I myself am a yelp reader. I admit it. I look everything up on Yelp.
Do I believe what I read? Nope, most of the time I don’t. So why do I read it?
I ask myself the same question.

First of all, most of the people who write on Yelp are under 40, like stated in the article above. Yes, I am 29 years old but I actually seem to think that most of the people are under 30 or mid- twenties from the way they spend. I have seen Yelpers call ‘reasonably priced” restaurants, “over-priced” time and time again.
No I can not afford to eat at restaurants that charge between 12-18 dollars an entree every day but they are by far not over-priced in my book. Sure it’s nice to have a Vietnamese pho dinner for under 10 dollars, but that’s just what it is.

There is no reason to compare an everyday eatery with a restaurant in which a chef has a full menu of different dishes all made from scratch, a higher standard of food and seasonal ingredients. If you are going to review a restaurant, make sure you review it with other restaurants of the same status in mind.

Yelpers have no mercy.
I will use Seattle’s newly opened Poppy as an example. I chose Poppy because I have not tried it yet and have no opinion on the place.

The day after it opened there were so many reviews. Many of them on the ” I am disappointed” side. It was the opening night. Have Mercy. No restaurant reviewer in their right mind would go in to a restaurant on the first night and criticize the wait staff for not knowing their stuff. Everyone knows that a restaurant needs a few days to figure out how things go. If you want to be the first to review a restaurant, that’s fine but take everything into consideration. That’s like calling a writer unskilled while reading their rough draft.

I have to admit there is one thing about Yelp that I love. That is the events page.
Whenever freebies are being given out, the yelper will be happy to yelp it to the world from the top of their whiny little lungs. I appreciate that.

So yes, I will continue to read Yelp but the restaurant reviews, I will continue not to take them too seriously. I might use Yelp as an indication of what to order, if everyone loves the duck maybe it is worth a try. I will use Yelp to find out the address of a place. I won’t use Yelp as a strong opinion. Yelp won’t prevent me from trying a restaurant.
Yelp has taught me one thing.
Every little Pisher can find a place to exercise power.
Any thoughts?
What do you think?

Written by franticfoodie

I am Keren Brown (note: Keren with 2 E's). I love living in Seattle, I think the weather here is fabulous and spend my days writing, organizing and planning food events. Read about Seattle food events, recipes or just immerse in the food obsession. Check out my other blog in the Seattle PI http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/franticfoodie/

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