Andrew Zimmern says, "Yelp is on my $@%# list"

Andrew Zimmern NYCFF (500x458).jpg
Food personality Andrew Zimmern speaks out against Yelp
Local food celebrity Andrew Zimmern has come out recently in, we'll just say firm opposition to the crowd-sourced restaurant review site Yelp. In his weekly podcast Go Fork Yourself, Zimmern lashed out against the website, saying, "Yelp is on my shit list!"

Yelp is the online/mobile app where users register and leave both reviews and restaurant ratings. No food writing or rating experience is required. Though users flock to the highly rated website, restaurateurs have often had less than glowing things to say about it because of the often untrained writers and what restaurant owners see as unfair and exaggerated criticisms. Here's why Zimmern is ticked off.

Yelp; a site for wannabe foodie terrorists or legitimate public opinion?
In his post, Zimmern cites an incident with his friends at Big Gay Ice Cream, which sells high-end ice cream in New York City, who Zimmern says were the subject of Yelp extortion, in which an "elite" Yelper tried to gain special treatment and free product in exchange for favorable reviews.

In that incident, Zimmern says, the Yelper had written to the food truck's owners asking them not only to open early but to provide a host of specialty flavors for a cadre of "elite" Yelpers. According to Zimmern, the national website Eater.com quoted the Yelper as saying, after making his requests, "Think of all the good reviews you'll get."

Similar instances have allegedly been going on for quite some time. Yelp does offer a filtration system that tries to protect against fake reviews by giving longstanding users preferential treatment, putting their write-ups highest on a restaurant's profile page. The idea is that longstanding users tend to be more trustworthy. If you're interested, Yelp has video that tries to explain the process.

Zimmern goes on to compare the use of Yelp to allowing his young son to make recommendations on adult-themed films or literature. Zimmern, who in his podcast admitted that he at one time had softened his stance on the crowd-sourced food site, now refers to it as a "tremendous forum for a bunch of uninformed morons," and says, "Yelp has become dangerously unstable, because clearly they have people abusing the system, who are using the Yelp name to go out and graymail and blackmail restaurants."



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24 comments
ppoon
ppoon

This fat idiot is just trying to protect his overpaid food critic buddies so that they'll still have jobs in the future.   It's exactly what's happening now in the paper newspapers vs. internet news battle.   The old guard is circling the wagons for their version of Custer's Last Stand.   We all know who won that battle.

lhsmrekar
lhsmrekar

this is nonsense: Zimmern wants to protect amateurs, with less refined tastes than his, from taking attention away from his food ramblings. To demonize a crowd source site because a small number of people use it incorrectly is absurd- take down the internet and really make people stop sharing their thoughts on restaurants.

FoodStoned
FoodStoned

@youngchef2 @13wildhare I think knowing someone is objective comes with trust earned through continual readership. Something Yelp lacks.

FoodStoned
FoodStoned

@13wildhare I think that's a very wise way to look at it!

myjah
myjah

TOTALLY agree. Yelp reviews are almost worthless these days.

gratifihouston
gratifihouston

@EatingOurWords @hotdishblog Exactly why Y*lp is broken. Bad business model.

Paige Benda
Paige Benda

wow....I wish that I had problems like this......lol

solace
solace

@bbroxey Twitter for me ;)

Dana Froehlig
Dana Froehlig

eric you are a p.o.s. hater. grow up and grow a pair yourself... easy to talk smack on fb when you wouldn't say that to zimm in person.

Dee Finkelson
Dee Finkelson

gotta agree with Zimm. Comments on yelp is garbage. If u notice, try to track at least 1 person's comments on each resto that he/she visited. They complaint on all resto they visited. OMG!! Y on earth u just cook n eat at ur own house if u just go out n complain to every single resto that u visited ??!!!. All u can do is complain n complain ???!!! Try to run a business then complain if u r already at Gordon Ramsey's food/cooking level !!!!

solace
solace

@mjpuczko I don't rely on those either, but Yelp is worse. It's all armchair chefs and wannabe food critics. It skews 75% negative usually .

solace
solace

@mjpuczko not exactly... Yelp's only real way of disputing and removing suspect reviews is to pay them... it's extortion

Keith Morioka
Keith Morioka

Having personally known a person who was extorted by the Twin Cities Yelp person, I know for sure that Yelp is not trustworthy at all...

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

Yelp goes both way though. Any fat, bald, pretentious pseudo celeb can go to a restaurant, eat food and articulate their thoughts. You don't constantly need a camera in your face, a chef's wang and a pair of lamb testicles in your mouth to be qualified.

solace
solace

@thanland Haha. I noticed that too :/

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