“I just… ugh… Yelp drives me crazy.” ...Said every person ever about the popular aggregator website that crowdsources its reviews and photos, and ranks various business from restaurants to hair salon. Well, Andrew Zimmern said it too. Indeed, the host of The Travel Channel’s runaway hit “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” recently revealed exactly how he felt about the company in a video interview with Business Insider.
“I think Yelp is neither good nor bad for the food industry. I find it useless,” he begins. “If you're aggregating a lack of expertise, then when I plug in ‘best sushi bar in Los Angeles,’ Yelp doesn't help me at all. So, if you are a huge food geek like me that really believes in quality — not expensive food, just quality. Above all other things — quality. If you're into quality, Yelp is not for you.”
Now that the first part of his rant is concluded, he shares some valuable intel on how regular old folks can find an outstanding restaurant when they’re visiting a place for the first time.
“What I do when I'm going to a new city is I look up who the four or five better food writers are in that town and the four or five better chefs in that town. And then I go on to their Instagram and Twitter or Facebook timelines, and I just go back a couple weeks and I write down all the places that these people have been eating or taking pictures of. And I put a little check by it, and the places that have the most checks are the ones that I go to first,” he says.
Wow, why didn’t we think of that? Thanks, Andrew Zimmern!
Don’t worry though, he gets right back to his thoughts on Yelp: “Yelp’s not even good for looking up the restaurant’s phone number because you know on the site, they just want you to read their reviews and look at their ads….Yelp drives me crazy. But it drives me crazy. I'll let you decide if it drives you crazy.”
Now, can someone explain to us why our best friend still insists on using it every time we’re standing outside a new restaurant, mouths watering over a happy hour Riesling or margarita? Sigh.