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Yelp Wanted: Logic Not Needed For Pre-Opening Reviews

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When it comes to the Yelp empire, the San Francisco site is undoubtedly its crown jewel. There's no disputing that Yelp has plenty of positives; in fact, there's nothing else really like it. Regardless, a lot of people have some issues with Yelp. We're among the ranks that believe there's more than meets the eye with the Yelp world. Hence, Yelp Wanted. Enjoy the show as we pull back the curtain in this on-going Eater investigation. As always, feel free to share your thoughts.

2006_04_helpwanted.jpgBy now, it's just about common knowledge that one of the biggest shortcomings of Yelp is the nonsensical proliferation of pre-opening reviews. While it's somewhat helpful to have upcoming restaurants bookmarked in the system for informational purposes and the like, there's no debating that a respected review site shouldn't allow reviews and ratings until, you know, said restaurant actually opens.

With that in mind, allow us to turn to the adventure in insensibility that is the Yelp page for La Trappe. Even though La Trappe won't debut until this Saturday night, it seems some overzealous Yelpers left some five-star reviews/semi-shills for the place, which is nothing new for Yelp. Unfortunately for everyone involved, someone shared the glowing reviews on the Yelp Conversation boards, which is the rallying cry for vigilant Yelpers everywhere (as we can personally attest). The results: a flurry of one-star reviews meant to "punish" La Trappe.

For example, take the following one-star review and its "reasons":

I would be totally for this place if it was good, especially considering that it's in my hood.

The one star is for trying to give this place false reviews before it's even opened to the public, I just can't respect that.

More reviews that condemn while forgetting that they are in fact, doing the same pre-reviewing:
Piling on with the SHAME ON YOU for pre-reviewing a restaurant that is not open. I, too, will be happy to come in AFTER you are open and see how the general public is treated and fed instead of the shill reviews that exist.
Only in Yelpville do two wrongs make a right. As of now, La Trappe's ten reviews are evenly—and somewhat comically—split between shiny five-star reviews and wrathful one-star reviews, basically eliminating any modicum of reason. Mind you, none of the five-star reviews appear to be from the La Trappe people themselves.

Seriously Jeremy, how about a little tweak in the system that forbids reviews before the restaurant opens? Until then, unopened restaurants will continue to receive completely illogical ratings (even more so than already-opened ones). And that's not good for anyone, right?
· La Trappe [Yelp]
· Yelp Wanted: On the Issue of Pre-Opening Reviews [~ESF~]
· Yelp Wanted: Jeremy S. Loves His Sponsors [~ESF~]
· Yelp Wanted: Oakland Cafe Bans Yelpers [~ESF~]

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