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Why I dine local,don't use Yelp and can't find decent Ethiopian food or black coffee in paris!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by pastafarian, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie
    Thread Starter

    Well, at least one of the reasons...

    I've taken on the philosophy to avoid chain restaurants whenever possible (I do have young kids, so some visits are inevitable) and dine at local owned establishments. This underlines why I do it.-

    We recently traveled from Tampa airport. When we arrived for our flight we found a Chili's Too adjacent to our gate. The kids were hungry, they served breakfast and were ultra convenient. We were seated, given menu's and promptly ignored. After 15 min, a couple was seated next to us and immediately served. We got up to leave and told the manager of our (mis) treatment. Instead of an apology or any attempt to keep us there, he blamed the server and started to berate him. We left and while on (the long) line at the Starbucks down the terminal, I used the Chili's web site to lodge a complaint....Which since I never received any "you're important to us, we'll respond immediately" response, was also ignored. Waited a week and sent a complaint about the lack of response to my previous complaint and after 3 days , apparently was ignored again? And yes, I checked my spam folder.

    Thank you Chili's for strengthening my resolve to resist my kids requests to eat at some heavily marketed cafeteria quality food serving restaurant and instead take chances on the unknown local places.
     


    Granite1, 9to5cynic, olbriar and 4 others like this.

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  2. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    Feel very similarly.
    My only problem is, if I'm in an unfamiliar place, do I chance it at a local spot or go to the chain that is generally reliable? You can get burned by food or bad service anywhere. That's why I live on Yelp. :)
     
  3. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie
    Thread Starter

    You're theoretically trading "unknown" service and food for consistency when you choose a chain. I'd rather face the unknown and considering how inconsistent my Chili's experience was, there's not so much risk either.

    As for Yelp? I used to be a big proponent and frequent reviewer (several years). Then, after giving a local establishment who pays for Yelp advertising a less than glowing review (it wasn't totally negative mind you) I found all my reviews became "un published". My comprehensive and detailed review wasn't readily readable by the general public (nor any of the nearly 100 reviews I had written), but a review by someone with 2 total that said "it's great, we eat there all the time" (and that was it!) was. I deleted my reviews and haven't used Yelp since. Yelp is gamed by Yelp! Pay for their advertising and the bad reviews quietly go away. Most reviewers won't even notice they've been un published, the only reason I noticed was that the comments stopped. I've also read that if you're approached by them to advertise and decline, the good reviews tend to go away too.
     
    ardchoille likes this.
  4. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert

    I've always found that food from a locally owned and operated restaurant tastes better.
     
    pastafarian likes this.
  5. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Android Expert

    Never used Yelp. Now I never will.
     
    pastafarian likes this.
  6. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    The tried and true method is to stop and ask a local. Airports are tough because nobody but the staff are locals, but when travelling, I've found some of the best spots, like the lobster dinner, fresh off the boat in Mystic CT, the outstanding and authentic Mexican place in San Diego and, of course, the Argentinian Steak house in Amsterdam. All locally owned, off the beaten path, devoid of tourists (except for us) reasonably priced and most importantly, personal and friendly.
     
    pastafarian likes this.
  7. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert

    Those are the kinds of places you want to go, the atmosphere is just more relaxed and conducive to my idea of "fine dining".
     
    lunatic59 likes this.
  8. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...
    Moderator

    If I'm away from home I just check the parking lot of the local restaurants. If its full of cars with in state plates, its good enough for me.
     
    9to5cynic, pastafarian and ardchoille like this.
  9. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    Crash a lot of wedding receptions? :vroam:
     
    pastafarian likes this.
  10. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert

    Excellent idea! I'll have to start doing that.
     
    pastafarian likes this.
  11. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    Yep, I know about the filtered reviews.
    I've only posted one on Yelp and it was immediately filtered. Pretty big bashing, but very descriptive. Had such a bad experience, it actually drove me to place a review. :mad:
    Problem is, it's a very arbitrary system (my review is now not filtered :thinking:).
    The catering company my wife works for only has a handful of reviews, all of them very positive. But, a couple glowing reviews are filtered, and definitely legit as they know of the client.

    Edit: Wow, Yelp is still putting it at the top of their "Yelp Sort"!
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-coupe-washington
     
  12. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...
    Moderator

    Only twice, and I just dropp a Triple A map in the card bucket and mix in. You have to deal with a limited menu though:rofl:
     
  13. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie
    Thread Starter

    The problem was I was never "filtered" till I wrote a negative review of the "wrong" restaurant, which also happened to be the only "yelp approved" restaurant I ever reviewed. They don't tell you that you've been un published either and the system is designed so that there's virtually no way to tell as long as you're signed in to the site. To the un published reviewer, everything looks fine and your reviews are right where they should be. As I stated, the only way I realized something was amiss was when the comments stopped coming, because no one else could see my reviews any longer. I don't think that's coincidence!
     
  14. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie
    Thread Starter

    Wow! Now they even make you do a captcha to read the filtered reviews? Really making sure that while they're there, it's really inconvenient to read them. So, it's alright for "non humans" to read published reviews, but the un published ones are for "humans" only?
     
  15. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    Ya know, I think you're right. Since I visit Yelp frequently (we're looking at places in Charleston to visit on our upcoming trip). I'm always there AND signed in. So, I guess they think I'm a "real" person. ;)

    Trying to get over our 3.5 star rating (which all 3 restaurants have), this review helps and makes me smile. :)
     
  16. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie
    Thread Starter

    BTW, was deciding between making Chicken Enchalads Suiza or Chicken Tikka Masala for diner. Your avatar made the decision, Tikka Masala it is!
     
    breadnatty08 likes this.
  17. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy

    Ever since establishments have been able to sue customers who leave a bad review on Yelp and get away with it, I've avoided Yelp like the plague. It was a useful tool before the businesses were able to pay to remove bad reviews. Businesses should not be permitted to do that, but be able to respond and try to correct the errors. I would rather go to a restaurant that makes mistakes, but attempts to fix them, then go to a restaurant that is 'flawless' on Yelp. I certainly distrust any location that doesn't have at least one bad review. No restaurant is perfect.
     
    lunatic59 and pastafarian like this.
  18. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    I haven't felt compelled to leave another review on Yelp since. If I do, it'll likely be something positive. But, if you look at area restaurants in DC, they all have TONS, so what's the point. :rolleyes:
     
    pastafarian likes this.
  19. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie
    Thread Starter

    Changed the title to make (most) of the posts on topic! :D
     
  20. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    I can't say I've ever paid much attention to Yelp myself. But then I rarely, if ever, eat out. If it doesn't have a drive thru, I'm not interested.

    On the bizarre occasions where I did eat out I've eaten at chains that gave excellent service and local restaurants that seemed to resent the fact that I ruined their day by walking in off the street asking for food. I can't say that I've had, in general, worse service at chains over local places.
     
  21. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert

    I've been suspicious of Yelp for a while, the yelp-related posts in this thread have given me enough to close my Yelp account. I left a closure message:

    "Manipulating unsatisfactory reviews to benefit establishments is bad business. I will neither visit nor recommend Yelp in the future. Please close my account."

    Establishments paying to remove bad reviews, suing reviewers for posting bad reviews.. that's not the way it's supposed to work.
     
  22. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    I feel like Yelp, like all online reviewing sites, is filled with only polarizing folks. Those who either love or hate the establishment. You get so few reviews that are like "eh, this place was good and maybe I'll go back in a pinch", vs. those that are like "this is the best place since sliced bread" or "this place is the lowest pit of hell".
    Working in one that has a lot of Yelp reviews is difficult to swallow the really low reviews and not over blow them. It can help in terms of staff training if there's a legit problem, but don't worry about the little stuff. Folks on the internet are plenty anonymous and can say whatever they want.
    Saying that, I believe none of our owners read our Yelp reviews. :)
     
  23. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    So I guess the one where I suggested they raise your salary got missed? ;)
     
  24. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    I push for it frequently. ;)
    We have a sorta web site designer/marketer keep an eye out on these reviews and let us know of any that really need addressing. We love each community we serve and want to ensure every guest gets the best experience possible. :)
     
  25. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    Spoken like a true company stooge devoted employee. ;)
     
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