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Stop Dragging Waiters and Waitresses on Yelp!

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The online review platform known as Yelp first slithered onto the Internet all the way back in 2004. Britney Spears and Paris Hilton were the reigning queens of pop culture at the time and people were still poking each other and throwing sheep on Facebook. There are almost 200 million reviews posted on Yelp, most of them probably whining about inconsequential minor inconveniences.

Over the years, many people have discovered courage at their keyboard realizing it’s much easier to complain about about something online than it is to use actual words and speak to another human being. Online restaurant reviews can definitely be helpful when you’re trying to decide between a couple of places, but if you’re going to leave a bad review for a restaurant can you please not point out a specific person by name? It’s not helpful or necessary.

Lots of restaurant managers use online reviews as incentive for their servers. Like, a 5-star review might be rewarded with a free lunch or a shift drink. However, those same managers can also use a bad review against a waiter or waitress. Plenty of servers have experienced having their shifts or hours cut after being called out in a bad review even though there is literally no way to know if the reviewer is being truthful or not.

Besides that, there are so many variables when dining out that can contribute to a negative experience and it’s not always ONLY the server’s fault. It’s just that usually, that’s the one name customers know. It’s not like the line cook ever approaches a table and says, “Hello, my name is Tony and I’ll be cooking your hamburger tonight.”

If your experience at the restaurant was so horrible and it was in fact due to a particular person, grow a pair and ask to speak to a manager about it. That way, the manager can hear both sides of the story. Waiting until you get home to type out some angry words about your waitress on Yelp is not helpful. There are some restaurants that will flat out fire someone if they get a bad online review. If you had a bad day at your office and some random person posted a thirty-word review about your poor attitude, would you think it’s fair if you were immediately fired for it?

Besides that, some people go to great pains to keep themselves off the Internet. They don’t have Facebook or Instagram and there is no online presence if they are Google searched. But all it takes is one disgruntled customer who had a piece of brown lettuce in their Caesar salad and suddenly it’s “My waitress was Jane Smith with dark hair and too many tattoos and she totally ruined my dinner last week!!”

Look, feel free to squeeze out as many Yelp reviews as you want. That’s what it’s there for, but consider these things before you do it:

Be fair: If you’re going to login to your account to leave bad reviews make sure to do it for good ones too.

Don’t use anyone’s name: If you want to praise or condemn a certain person, speak to a manager about it. That will affect actual change.

Don’t threaten a restaurant with it: Nobody cares that you are a Yelp Elite. Your food won’t come out faster because you warn that you might write a bad review if you’re unhappy.

Be specific: Don’t just say the service sucked. Explain what would have made it better. That way, you sound helpful instead of just whiny.

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Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.