Anthony Bourdain is a man who isn't scared to provide an unvarnished opinion. You can probably guess how the celebrity chef and TV personality feels about the user review site Yelp, but he used a recent interview to hone in on why he has little patience for many Yelpers.
In an interview with Business Insider to promote his new food waste documentary Wasted: The Story of Food Waste, Bourdain and Mission Chinese's Danny Bowien talk about why Instagram and Twitter are a "democratic bathroom wall" from which people can suss out what's meaningful. (It's not the first time he's used that phrase before to describe social media.) However, he wasn't as kind to Yelp.
"There's really no worse or lower human being than an elite Yelper," Bourdain says. "They're universally loathed by chefs everywhere. They are the very picture of entitled, negative energy. They're bad for chefs. They're bad for restaurants."
That would have gotten the point across, but Bourdain wanted to provide the experience of being Yelped from the chef's side. "You know you open a restaurant, you struggle for a year to put together the money, you work your heart out, and then 10 minutes after opening, some miserable bastard is tweeting or Yelping, 'Worst. Dinner. Ever.' It's like, dude, that ain't right. No sympathy there. I think you'd have a very hard time finding a chef who has anything nice to say about elite Yelpers. It's a contradiction of terms. It's like jumbo shrimp."
Darnell Holloway, Yelp's Director of Business Outreach, responded, noting that Yelp's goal is to help businesses succeeded. "It's also worth noting that most reviews on Yelp are not negative. Overwhelmingly, most people come to Yelp to share neutral to positive experiences," he said in a statement to BI. "At the end of the day, Yelp provides a two-way platform for consumers to discover restaurants and share their experiences while chefs/restaurant owners can respond to their customers and use the platform to be more successful."
Bowien went on to talk about the power and allure of Instagram, noting it was hard when he was coming up to find out what chefs were up to in other parts of the country. The duo has been making the rounds to talk about Wasted, including a recent TimesTalk where they spoke at length about how food is wasted in America. They point out that shoppers need to stop trying to buy the most beautiful produce because it's part of a cycle of waste.
Wasted will be released in theaters on October 13. You can watch Bourdain's full comments here.
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