Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why Do I Choose to Yelp?

Yes, my name is Gerry and I am a Yelper! I said that with the most declarative tone and highest pride any food lovers can exude, putting my name in the same caliber with any other food experts yelping and reviewing various kinds of restaurants or food establishments.

I wonder why do I join this Yelp bandwagon pretty late compared to all my other friends. Although at least one shot of espresso and crumbs of chocolate pistachio cake run in my blood, and despite the fact Yelp has been one of my most visited website, at home or unashamedly I admit at my work laptop, I have been reluctant to complicate my life with reviewing stranger's restaurant as if they will remember me and send me a thank you card later. 

But, certain angelic revelation came unto me one day and I was convinced to join the bandwagon and added "yelper" to my part time occupation, only mine is not about raving or bitching over the overly cooked fillet mignon or the not-so tender carrot. No, I refuse to do that, mine is, as I have alluded, contain an 'angelic' aspect,

And this is the reason. I've seen too many great small restaurants and talented chef destined to pack their cookware only because they don't get enough exposure in this super cluttered food business world. Places like Mike's place and Ippudo are reaching to a point of exploding because of glowing review from tons of Yelper, joining the hype at the moment, and at the same time, attracting multitude of crowds. Life is not fair I know, there is a gap distancing the famous and infamous, but I'm gonna try to do my part to make it a little bit fair-er.

And thus is the decision. Those restaurants worthy of five or at least four stars, will get what they deserve. From this day onward, you are going to see me cruising more on Yelp, writing my piece of mind for small restaurants that possess the potential to be the next Ippudo. It might sound petty for some people, but 'do unto others what you want them to do to you' right? With scanty marketing budget and unfamiliar brand name, a simple review from one customer or a rating boost from 4 to 4.5 star could be just what the fledgling entrepreneur needs to put his head at rest and face another day with confidence.

So in short, and yes, this post could have ended 30 minutes ago, but kudos for you who manage to stay until this point. For me, Yelp is not only a platform to evangelize your favorite bar or to express your resentment towards that fail-to-melt molten chocolate cake, but also a platform where people put all of their chips - aspiration determination and hope - into one single business, letting its fate to be determined by some strangers, freely to be crushed or to be actualized. What's your choice? As for me, I rather choose the later. 

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