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.
When introducing Eater SF to restaurateurs and industry people, some of the most common reactions from the wary ones are a bitter "oh, you're not from Yelp, are you?" or "it's not like Yelp, is it?" In other words, the majority of restaurant folk have many a bone to pick with Yelp, but outside of banning Yelpers, there's not much they can do about it.
Fortunately for restaurateurs everywhere (or at least in Yelp-designated towns), the creative Southern Hemisphere kids down at SoMa's South Food + Wine Bar have found a way to circumvent the necessary evil that is Yelp: turn it into your own, personal editorial space. It's quite genius and worthy of applause:
Step One: Purchase Yelp sponsorship.
Step Two: Take full advantage of your new Yelp sponsorship by adding pretty photos and share regular updates with the announcement feature in the info box. This week's announcement: "Call or email us to reserve for lunch or dinner. The communal table seats up to 20 people or you can book a larger party in the restaurant."
Step Three: Here's where it gets good: leave yourself a long, 881-word review—not a shill, mind you: just a post explaining everything about the restaurant, acknowledging your role in the operations—and then, choose said review as your sponsored "selected review," thereby making all other Yelp reviews, way down the page, moot.
Step Four: Enjoy the ultra-editorialized version of your entry.
Step Five: Profit, with the knowledge that you quelled the power of Yelp. Bravo.
· South Food + Wine Bar [Yelp]
· Yelp Wanted: Logic Not Needed For Pre-Opening Reviews [~ESF~]
· Yelp Wanted: Jeremy S. Loves His Sponsors [~ESF~]
· Yelp Wanted: Oakland Cafe Bans Yelpers [~ESF~]
Have issues with Yelp? Make your issues our issues.