Like many people, I often check Yelp reviews before checking out a restaurant I’ve never been to, even though many Yelp reviewers are insufferable dipsh*ts. You just have to learn how to weed those out.
And by having friends who own and manage restaurants — and seeing how much they occasionally stress over online citizen reviews — I’ve for a while had an inkling that there just had to be some a-holes out there using it, or at least trying to use it, as an extortion tool. Apparently this sort of thing has become an thorn in the side of restaurants in Sacramento.
One restaurant goer demanded a $100 gift card in exchange for not writing a review of Red Rabbit Kitchen claiming the restaurant gave him food poisoning. The restaurant refused his demands; it appears he has not written said review.
Another restaurant, Bacon and Butter, says a group of 16 threatened bad reviews when their (gigantic) table was not seated promptly. Oh, and that was on the first day the restaurant was open. And, lo: they followed through, or at least Stephanie B. apparently did, writing, “I am almost 47 years old and this is the worst experience I have ever had with a restaurant. It reminded me of the cable show ‘Ramsey’s [sic] Kitchen Nightmares.’”
I suppose this is another reason for “Fuck You Yelper” to exist, right?