Yelp, a four letter word indeed. Scares me like the smoke monster from Lost. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. It’s the gospel and total bullshit. People will write reviews of car washes and pay toilets. Personally, I have used it only once when I had food poisoning from an Indian restaurant down the coast where I live. It seemed warranted to note that, “I almost died from the curry in this joint.” Looking back on the incident, it is possible that maybe I was sick before I had the lunch special, and maybe one star was unfair??
I realize the service that yelp provides, giving us clueless people a heads up so we don’t step on glass when we try a business. As a business owner, feedback is important, I want to know if I “suck at processing film.” I want to know if an employee has treated you poorly, or that you feel ripped off. I get that it is your civic duty to monitor local businesses, give reviews, commentary, love and hate. And, I clearly understand that the savvy yelper takes reviews in context, and that it is clear when the reviewer is a nut job, or just a vindictive asshole. Having said all of this……………I still hate a bad review, even if the comments are just. I am an onsite owner who you can talk to and complain to my face. Whatever happened to, “can I speak with the owner.? Can’t we resolve our differences the old fashioned way? I’d rather “take it outside” then have you go home and blindside me with your keyboard. Wake up Dave, it’s the internet!
Hey I have 4 stars, so what’s my problem? I guess I take everything personally, and it hurts when someone gives you one star, and honestly the few bad reviews I have are pretty off base, not all but some are just plain wrong. I look at this as a loss of income, food off my kid’s table. Should I take the “input” and make the necessary changes? Sure, but has the damage been done? I wish I was as cool as the God Head Produce Market in The Mission, but I’m not that kind of business. We provide many different services to many different types of customers, which does open the door for scrutiny. All I am asking is that if you are going to be negative, ask yourself this question: “Is it possible I had a stomach ache before I ordered?” And please remember that small businesses are run by small people with small families, and that what you say really matters. This is coming from a guy who mouths off at everything, but at least I try and fire my shots at the Chevron’s of the world.
In closing, let me say that this is a bit of a pathetic blog post on my part, borderline sensitive…I’ll go back to sarcasm next time.
FOOTNOTE HERE: I just did a Yelp Deal Of The Day, basically giving away money. I’m hoping for new business, but also hoping to offer something nice to the loyal regulars. So, I’m in bed with yelp now, playing both sides of the fence.