Monday, April 10, 2017

Food Network's 'Help My Yelp' Premieres Tonight

Photo - Food Network
Tonight at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network (in between many episodes of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives) is the series premiere episode of Help My Yelp.   Help My Yelp is hosted by Monti Carlo who will work with restaurant owners to improve their reputation with the help of "Yelp Elite Squad" members.

Here is the series description from Food Network:
If you’ve ever found yourself scouring the web for the latest reviews of a new restaurant in town — and deciding to either book or cancel a reservation because of what you found — then you know firsthand the importance of positive reputations online. On sites like Yelp, restaurant guests can post their thoughts about service, ambiance and, of course, food, leaving potential customers able to make future dining decisions based on what they’ve read. So it’s no wonder that it’s in an eatery’s best interest to do what they can to boost their favorability online. And for some struggling businesses, Monti Carlo is just what’s needed to bring them back into good standing. 
On the all-new series Help My Yelp, premiering Monday, April 10 at 10|9c, Monti will work with chefs and business owners to overhaul their poor practices, given the feedback they receive from members of Yelp’s Elite Squad that have secretly visited their restaurants. The recommendations, critiques and ideas from those anonymous visitors, plus the behind-the-scenes antics that Monti sees on hidden cameras, will ultimately influence what Monti does to help set up the businesses for success. As a chef and restaurant consultant, she knows the inner workings of the industry, so she’ll be able to troubleshoot problems, ease tensions and offer concrete solutions on the spot — which will be crucial to do before a fresh batch of Yelp Elite Squad members stops by, ready to evaluate the business.

Here are things that I will look out for:

  • Will the hidden camera aspect be real or will it be staged such as shows like Mystery Diners?
  • Serious Yelpers have a reputation of being snobby.  Will this prove to be accurate?
  • Do the Yelp reviews improve after the show and are the new reviews legitimate?
  • Businesses have complained that Yelp has filtered positive reviews for businesses that refuse to pay for advertising.  Yelp has denied these claims.  For the restaurants on the show, will they filter the negative reviews to help?

The first episode is at Barbeque Street in Kennesaw, Georgia.  Here is the link to the Yelp reviews for Barbeque Street, which are not too great and have a 3-star average.  It doesn't appear that the more recent ones (after the show filmed) are more positive.  It is kind of interesting that Barbeque Street has so many filtered reviews (60), when there are only 66 reviews Yelp considers valid.  While you would expect many of the filtered reviews to be negative, a lot are actually positive.

I may do some more updates on the restaurants that appear on Help My Yelp if there is any interesting information on the upcoming episodes.

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