DonRocks

Yelp Best Restaurants

241 posts in this topic

I'm sitting here, sipping a Willett, and wondering why Yelp is kicking my ass (I think it's the same reason why musicians criticize Lady Gaga, but that's not my point).

I Googled "Yelp Top Rated DC" (no quotes) and got the following page with the following list:

#1 Pi Truck DC

#2 Manouch Hot Dog Stand

#3 Minibar

#4 Hana Japanese Market

#5 Obelisk

#6 Basil Thyme

To all the restauranteurs I've supported over the years who have a Yelp sticker in their front window, and no mention of this website anywhere: Go dig up your dead grandmother and fuck her eye socket.

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As part of this demographic, I feel I can say this... Yelp is for 20-something wannabe hipsters on a budget. There is a bias towards perceived character, and divey vs. fine dining. Most Yelpers will rate something higher if they feel they've "discovered" it. If it's popular, they will probably try to take it down a peg or two. Hence, the outcomes you see on Yelp. I actually think it would be nice to aggregate the ratings from Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Opentable (which I usually go by since there's anonymoty and no real axes to grind) into a composite score of sorts. Of course, DR too, but since there aren't "numeric" grades as it were it would be more difficult.

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Imma put a big homemade sticker on my door that says "mentioned on occasion on DonRockwell dot com" :-)

For better or for worse, Yelp has an established brand and visual identity. While DR is a significantly better product, aside from including a shout-out in narratives, such as websites and possibly press interviews, restaurants probably don't know how to promote or recognize the site officially. Ever considered printing up some stickers with your logo and "Best Restaurant" or something on it? Or, since cost is an issue, a PDF that could be distributed and then laminated for their walls? In order to build a reputation and the recognition as a consistent, trustworthy source of information and advice, you need to establish a standard brand identity that can then be promoted in a way that benefits both the site and the restaurant/bar/distributor.

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By the way, brand recognition goes far beyond trust; it stimulates use. Being named a Yelp Best Restaurant means nothing to me personally, but seeing the visual identity at a restaurant reminds me, if self-consciously, that I value the site as a glorified address book (21st century Zagat), that their mapping app is excellent--and that I need to remember to use both.

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Have you have you given any thought to giving out best of or some other kind of award? It could be members only voting, and you could hand out a silly sticker or award that would serve as promotion for the site. Restaurants will usually do the rest and at least mention it on their website.

I'd be interested in seeing who the winners would be and could promote good discussion.

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The LTH Forum in Chicago has a guide called GNR - Great Neighborhood Restaurants. The restaurants are typically the lesser known, "hole in the wall" ones. Each year they put out the guide and give the restaurants a certificate and sticker to put on the window. Every year the GNR guide changes, but it is wildly successful in Chicago and the restaurants really look at it as an honor.

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I love this idea. Members could vote once a year, or once every six months, and either the top X% or the top # in each area, or something, could get "DR Member approved" stickers! I know I would love to see that at an unfamiliar restaurant entrance. Personally, I shudder a bit when I see the "Yelp" sticker. I don't find Yelp reliable, and after reading lots of Yelp reviews in both cities where I live, I conclude that I am just not in the Yelp target market. Which is fine.

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I kinda like this idea. Since we divide up by "neighborhoods", perhaps it could be the top x number of places in any given "neighborhood" (I am using this as a loose term as the dining guide isn't EXACTLY by neighborhood, but does have geographical dimensions to it), as voted on by members. That could also be a draw to becoming a member, can't vote until your an active member (more than one post).

I do agree the app and mapping aspect (address, telephone number, hours) is generally all I use Yelp for, but that part is often helpful when I am in a different city and need hours or telephone numbers.

Perhaps this is the modern version of the DR handshake or the DR membership cards. Just something to make the members feel kinda special and the restaurants too.

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To all the restauranteurs I've supported over the years who have a Yelp sticker in their front window, and no mention of this website anywhere: Go dig up your dead grandmother and fuck her eye socket.

F*ck those B*tches !!

IzKhy.jpg

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I kinda like this idea. Since we divide up by "neighborhoods", perhaps it could be the top x number of places in any given "neighborhood" (I am using this as a loose term as the dining guide isn't EXACTLY by neighborhood, but does have geographical dimensions to it), as voted on by members. That could also be a draw to becoming a member, can't vote until your an active member (more than one post).

I do agree the app and mapping aspect (address, telephone number, hours) is generally all I use Yelp for, but that part is often helpful when I am in a different city and need hours or telephone numbers.

Perhaps this is the modern version of the DR handshake or the DR membership cards. Just something to make the members feel kinda special and the restaurants too.

I wonder how many people think I was hammered when I wrote the first post above; I wasn't - I was on my first, and only, drink of the evening.

A recent thought I had is based on the time-honored concept of tagging.

Business cards (eta - or, ZOMG, the picture above), furtively attached to conspicuous places in the bathrooms.

I was at Pearl Dive the other night, and thought it would be just perfect to stick one right on the guy's crotch on the bathroom wallpaper, or maybe the mirror above the sink, or even a bocce ball.

Obviously, I couldn't officially support such a thing, but if anyone here, on their own volition, figured out how to design and make them available, well, there wouldn't be much I could do to stop people, now, would there. :ph34r:

Not once have I ever marketed this website, but if I did, it would be something funny, creative, and harmless - like this.

The dr.com Tagging Network - coming soon to a restroom near you!

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That is the sticker right there, of course if you had to edit out the language it could just be, "Eat this."

If I had photoshop I would make it souless and monochrome to get the true DR.com feel.

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If I had photoshop I would make it souless and monochrome to get the true DR.com feel.

"Soulless?" I assume you are speaking of the look, and not the people. I've been kicking around the internets since 1995 or so, and have participated in many, many message boards, food listservs, etc. This website has the most passionate, knowledgable, and creative collection of cooks and diners that I've ever had the privilidge of hanging out with, both in the cyber and the literal sense of that term. And some of the best food writing on the web. Not everything here is 100% wonderful, but the depth of knowledge and sincerity of the posters here have kept me around since April 16, 2005, and will probably keep me reading for another 7 years. I would pay to keep this site going if Don would let me. And I BY FAR trust the opinions here over the random bullshit I see posted on Yelp.

So, yeah, soulless.

Love, Member #25

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I got nothing against you, Ms. or Mr. Bacon. Please consider my rant as anti-Yelp.

I should be yelling at those damn kids to get off my lawn before too long.

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Go dig up your dead grandmother and fuck her eye socket.

Meant to say the above quote from DR is not a very nice thing to say. Sorry you're so angry.

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Go dig up your dead grandmother and fuck her eye socket.

Meant to say the above quote from DR is not a very nice thing to say. Sorry you're so angry.

Wow, cranky aren't we! I'm trying to keep this on a sincere track, with a little humor thrown in for good measure. Isn't this an open forum?

"Not a very nice thing to say." That's rich.

In fact, it was a phrase I coined about 25 years ago when a couple of us were sitting around trying to think of the worst possible thing you could say to someone (that wasn't personal).

Anger? You bet. With a little humor thrown in for good measure. You should hear me tell The Aristocrats sometime.

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