The Trouble With Yelp

OK, first go to Yelp and check out the one star review of us near the top. Read it? Great, here goes.

Yelp can be a really good thing. I used it to find places to eat when I moved to Oakland. Some of those places became my favorites, like El Taco Zamorano and Chai Thai. Although some restaurant people resent it, it can be a good tool. For example, if three yelps say the bread pudding is dry, you might want to check the bread pudding.

Every now and then, though, you get one that shows a disturbing level of unwarranted hostility( did you check out the link in the review I’m talking about?). Here are some clues that we are dealing with someone with pre-existing problems and not someone with genuine criticisms:

The imagined discrimination against the “non-hipster.” Does TA (our yelper) really imagine that we try to edit our customers by appearance? What constitutes a hipster, anyway? Certainly not our hostess, who does not list fashion among her passions. We don’t have a preferred demographic- its a place to eat, not a clothing line. Elderly people, kids, even the odd neck tattoo, all seem to feel pretty welcome here.

Point two: Why would you publicly post something threatening, profane, and insulting about any service employee? They are just implementing policies that are part of their jobs. The point of our seating policies are always to enable as many people to eat here as possible. Thats why we have a bar. Again, it seems clear that some pre-existing hostility was triggered.

TA finishes by claiming she “may even know the owners.” She doesn’t, and it wouldn’t make a difference. Our employees work very hard to satisfy a lot of people. That is expected of them every day. They are not expected to be targets for free floating rage. If you wish to advise your friends not to eat here, that is your right. In the meantime, TA, I request that you take down your abusive post, and please think a little harder before you single someone out for this type of attack. If you decide not to, that’s OK too. You are telling people more about yourself than about our restaurant.

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