Philadelphia Will Do  

Elitists Whine About Lack Of Free Stuff


The other night, Yelp — a trendy Web. 2.0 review site — held an event at the Mexican Post near Love Park for its “Elite” users, a group no doubt infinitely cooler than me and my regular user status.

This was a dumb move, because Mexican Post sucks. And, as such, Mexican Post has now received a ton of angry reviews on Yelp from people at the event.

Their complaints, though, weren’t limited to the regular shittiness of Mexican Post. No, the main complaints from users were that Yelp users weren’t given enough free stuff. Oh, man, how dare they! The comments range from “What a way to fuck yourself in the ass MP” to “we were expecting to be lavished as most *ahem* ALL host-places do” to “I got two chicken wings. That’s it.” Most of the posts were at roughly the same level of seriousness you’d use for a doctoral dissertation.

Of course, people love to complain with a ridiculous amount of seriousness (especially on the Internet). And there’s nothing wrong with complaining about shitty free food and drinks. But this Yelp user sort of sums up the whole idea of a review site holding events at bars (naturally, it’s in the form of an Internet meme, itself from a cartoon to begin with):

the deal is simple:

Step 1: Mexican Post, you give us lots and lots of your food and alcohol for one night.

Step 2: If the food, drink, and atmosphere are amazing, we will return the favor with lots and lots of equally amazing reviews.

Step 3: Profit and / or world domination for you. Hangover for us.

You blew it, Mexican Post, you blew it.

If you give Yelp free drinks and promotion, you get great reviews on the site. While Mexican Post is certainly stupid for giving bad service to people who were going to go on the Internet afterwards and complain about it, it’s … oh, hell, I’m dangerously close to making a direct point here, and it’s as stupid and obvious as “don’t trust people on the Internet, especially ones who get free shit to write positive reviews.” I’ll stop. Sorry.

Side note: The Yelp post has a Chrissmari sighting!

Semi-related note: If you enjoy awful blogs, hilarious commenters on the Internet and more of the dead seriousness you can only get from people online, be sure to check out this comment thread on BoingBoing. There is so much hilarity involved in it I feel bad having to pick just one awesome comment: “This is a really interesting situation. It reminds me of the Judith Miller portion of the Plame Affair.”

Mexican Post [Yelp]

  1. chrissmari Says: Jul 1 11:30 PM

    Oh where’s the ChrissMari tag??

  2. murph Says: Jul 2 1:18 AM

    Let me help you out, here, DMac. Writing a pissy review on a lame internet review site because you didn’t get treated like a local celebrity at some sham event is more than sour grapes; it reeks of an urgent need to get over oneself. However, looping back to the beginning of your point, holding a sham event for super duper lame internet reviewers is pretty much asking for it. And even more broadly, having lame internet review site parties so as to generate more lame internet reviews really does undermine the entire purpose of the lame internet review site in the first place. You know who really got the bad review here, dude? Yelp did.

  3. Dave Says: Jul 2 10:08 AM

    More than a few reviewers may have reflexed-reviewed Mexican Post negatively - if anything, the event does highlight how fickle people can be, Yelp users or otherwise!

  4. eric Says: Jul 2 10:26 AM

    i’m a yelper and i totally agree. the reaction to the mexican post event is embarassing and makes yelp look amatuerish.

  5. chrissmari Says: Jul 2 11:44 AM

    eric yelp is amatuerish tho non?

  6. Aaron Says: Jul 2 12:25 PM

    I actually wrote two rather long letters to the Philly Yelp manager about this several days ago and another to Yelp’s remove review “thing”. I honestly think these people, and yelp, are lucky that they haven’t been sued.

    It doesn’t matter how seriously the reviewers take the internet, what is relevant is that people who want real advice are going to use reviews that weren’t actually based on the Mexican Post’s normal experience.

    The Yelp events reek of tit for tat bribery and I think it undermines the entire site’s value to do this. These particular reviews seemed almost like extortion. You didn’t give us the free stuff we wanted, so we collectively trash you. There needs to be a policy in place such that no review can be written within 30 days after an event.

    Yelp’s slogan is “Real People, Real Reviews”. Do real people go into places and expect free food in return for favorable press?

  7. Greg Says: Jul 2 2:11 PM

    I just discovered Yelp a few days before this, so major props for synchronicity.

    This whole Yelp thing seems a lot like a good idea gone wrong. First off, the use of the word “elite” alone makes me wonder about the motives of the website. Second, the fact that the biggest whining was that Mexican post failed to make a scene where, and I quote ‘Emily P’ of the Elite Yelpers, “the YE crew gets to feel like royalty.”

    I’m picturing this scene based only on hearing the Yelpers side of the argument: The YE community arrived and wanted to strut its stuff. A bunch of servers, who aren’t getting paid enough to care about any silly event occurring at their location, get a heavy dose of condescension. Meanwhile, the YE Elites are getting tired of not being treated like the rest of the world is below them. Servers react accordingly and bring Yelpers back to earth. Yelpers yelp yelpingly.

    Honestly, if I was a server that night, and I heard a bunch of nobodys talking shit on my place, I’d have dropped a plate on the loudest mouth I heard on my walk up, too. Shit, when I’ve had people come into my store and talk smack, they’ve left empty handed… thanks for coming out.

    Here’s a tip, yelpers, be kind to people and they repay the favor. If you want free stuff, be good to these places first, then come around again. What you’re doing is lording “position” and “title” over businesses to gain special favors. You can earn those same special favors by tipping big and chatting up the servers/bartenders at your favorite places. In the end, you’re just acting like a bunch of douches who deserve what they got.

  8. chrissmari Says: Jul 2 3:41 PM


    you’re a dickhead.



  9. Horace Steenblatter Says: Jul 2 5:28 PM

    Sometimes I take a shit and it stinks.

  10. megan k Says: Jul 2 7:23 PM

    Hey. I was at the event. I am in the service industry.I do tip really well. The deal is, Mexican post had horrible reviews and they wanted to change it. I didn’t get any food,nor did I care. I don’t drink Tequilla. So, I planned on paying for my drinks anyway. They were supposed to showcase their food and signature drinks. But not many got to try anything. Altho, my bartender was nice, they had a separate drink special going on inside that was not made aware to anyone. They invited us. I had never been to MP before.Or a yelp event for that matter. There was a breakdown in the service and if it wasn’t for Yelp being there, it would have been completely empty. If you read the reviews, I’m sure you saw that people were treated rudely. Not everyone cares about free stuff. But when youre invited somewhere, at the very least, customer service should have been on point. We got next to nothing for attending. Why else would we go there? Any happy hour at any other establishment would have offered more. Let’s face it.MP does suck.
    Yelp has proven very helpful to me when deciding where to go. And it’s not like there are free yelp elite parties often. Mp promised certain things and then took advantage of having a large crowd there. something I think they are not used to. I think most of the YE would agree, that we have no prob paying for anything. Reviews are written by people actually going to and paying for their experiences. But when invited to a place for the pure fact of changing the perception of it, priority should have been to provide a great experience.I dont care if the staff wasnt interested.I have been in the biz for 15 years. I dont always feel like being helpful and nice with a smile on my face. But I do it. Because, like it or not, It’s my job.

  11. Sean Says: Jul 7 7:23 AM

    Wasn’t at the yelp event, nor have I ever used yelp before, nor have I been to MP, but I think the yelpers’ frustration is warranted. Events like this happen in the restaurant business in one form or another. You invite people in, give them good, free food & drink, that demonstrate the capabilities of the restaurant with the goal to make a good impression on them so they will tell others to come as well. They were invited to an event that was meant to promote the restaurant, and got poor service and insufficient, low caliber food & drink.

    You don’t need to load them up with food and get the visitors drunk off their asses, but you should supply a decent amount. The point of their frustration seems to be more that they weren’t given anything nearly adequate. If the restaurant gives such crappy service to the people it invited to review it, just imagine how shitty it is for the a normal customer.

    Imagine having your boss over for dinner (do people even do that anymore?) and serving him/her a tiny little glass of wine and bowl of Campbell’s soup, all done with a grimace. You don’t think your boss would think poorly of you? It’s not really expected to have a 4-star dinner, but you are at least expected to make an effort. It seems that MP didn’t even put forth any effort on what should have been an important event and that’s a VERY poor reflection of a restaurant.

  12. sikkkkkk Says: Jul 7 1:56 PM

    blow me yelp!

  13. sikkkkkk Says: Jul 7 1:57 PM

    blow me yelp!

  14. sikkkkkk Says: Jul 7 1:57 PM

    blow me yelp!

  15. Aaron Says: Jul 7 4:42 PM

    Megan - you are the first person who made a good point in defending Yelp. When i argued with a friend about this, he said “Well restaurants should expect people to talk to their friends about bad experiences. The only difference is effrectively one of scale.”

    The reason that I disagree is that by calling itself a site for reviews, the scale makes all the difference. Also…there were positive reviews of Mexican Post from the same people who later trashed it. If you want to be taken seriously as a reviewer, you can’t act as a promotion tool for the business. If Yelp wants to be in the promotions business, fine, but that’s not how it advertises itself.

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