Yelp is Broken and Social Flashmobs Apparently Rule

I was just reading about the social media meltdown of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, if you’re not familiar with it, the restaurant was featured on Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares production that airs on the FOX Network. To give you a quick recap, things did not go well for the owners of the restaurant and for the second time since Ramsay has been doing the show, he walked away and essentially refused to help the restauranteurs out.  This act in and of itself says a lot since in his own right, Ramsay can be pretty irascible. So for something to essentially send him packing, when we know what he’s capable of, it had to be pretty bad. Suffice it to say, the owners of this restaurant, took it to another level via these  Kitchen Nightmare Youtube videos.

Watching the videos of the show you can see why. But, not surprisingly, I found out about the particular show via social media. Why? Because the buzz of the show, the videos and of what the owners did  started to play itself out on Facebook.  When that happens, things can move quicker than an Arizona brushfire in July.  So quickly that the brush fires moved over from Facebook to Yelp and Reddit as well.

The gist or the fuel? Apparently the owners decided to respond to the trolls that were commenting about how bad they came off on the show.  This doesn’t absolve the restaurant owners but it does highlight the typical flash mob actions that occur on social networks.  Give them anything and they will run with it. More importantly however, it highlighted something else.

Here comes my point and it’s about Yelp.

Yelp may not be the go-to source for restaurant reviews.

Why? Well, The ABC restaurant has 1131 reviews, some of which might be good, but most are not. 99.9% are snarky, mean, negative “reviews. ” The point?  How many of those 1131 reviewers actually ate at the restaurant and how many just piled on for some good old flash mob social media bashing? 99.9%

What can Yelp do about that? Doesn’t that mean you can go and bash any restaurant, anywhere? Seems like it to me.  Unless I’m missing something.

Help me to understand.

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4 Responses to “Yelp is Broken and Social Flashmobs Apparently Rule”


  1. 1 Phil Wolff May 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I’d think giving much more weight to reviews connected with a mobile check-in should help.

  2. 2 jmfrey22 May 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Reblogged this on The Feed and commented:
    The number of problems this restaurant has is terrible. I give Chef Ramsay bonus points for recognizing how helpless these owners are. Hopefully someone can make them realize how many mistakes they have made in the store and on the Internet.

  3. 3 MarketingGal May 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Most people who go into a restaurant, have a wonderful meal and leave do NOT hop on a Yelp and tell people about it. They simply come back again for another great experience. However, if they have a nightmare of a dinner, they will blab it to all that will listen. We seem to have a mush more severe reaction to a bad experience than we do to a good, so when it happens, we want to share it because we are so outraged.


  1. 1 Amy’s Baking Company Nightmare: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all? | Intentious Trackback on May 18, 2013 at 4:53 am
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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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