Andrew Zimmern, the popular host of Travel’s Channel show “Bizarre Foods,” isn’t a fan of Yelp, and he let everyone know about it on his podcast Go Fork Yourself.
He annihilated the review site in an epic rant. Zimmern disagrees with the very premise of Yelp: regular people spewing their opinions about restaurants and other services.
He thinks that it should be left to the experts.
Here’s what he had to say (helpfully transcribed by the folks at Eater):
“Here’s something that really pisses me off: Yelp. I was against Yelp for a long time. I don’t like the idea of Yelp. The problem for me is that crowd sourcing is very beneficial except when it comes to things like restaurant criticism and restaurant reviews and restaurant recommenders. Just the same way I don’t ask my five year old to tell me whether or not I should go see the movie This Is 40 or Sessions or The French Lieutenant’s Woman, I don’t ask my son which John Updike book is his favourite — because he’ll just point at any old random one.
And while he might get lucky, and certainly most John Updike books are really good,Yelp essentially gives a tremendous forum for a bunch of uninformed morons to take down restaurants. That’s a lot different than Pete Wells taking down Guy Fieri’s restaurant.”
Is that it? Nope. Tell us how you really feel, Andrew:
“Now, while some people may see that as being a fairly mild thing to talk about, some people may think there’s Zimmern, another tempest in a teapot. No. What this is, is it’s just further proof that after I softened my position on Yelp a year ago in an editorial in Minneapolis St Paul Magazine where I said look, some of that stuff seems to be fairly well managed.
I have now decided after another six eight months have gone by that the number of stories that I hear like this from people who I trust, who I know aren’t BSing me (and Doug and Bryan are friends of mine) that 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. Yelp to me is something that just doesn’t work.
It’s official now: Yelp is on my **** list.”
Well, Yelp is quite a polarising website. Some users won’t even patronize a place without checking the site first, while those like Zimmern avoid it like the plague.
Yelp hasn’t said anything about Zimmern’s rant yet, but we’d love to hear what they have to say.
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