Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Waiting for My Reviewer Card

When going to a restaurant I’m going to review, my hope is that I will get exactly the service I deserve. The restaurant by its very existence is saying, “hey we’re doing some good things here, come in and see!” They have in theory put systems and practices in place designed to make the diners experience an enjoyable one. If they haven’t done this then shame on them, and via my review they will get what they have coming to them.

I don’t tell my server that I’m a reviewer/blogger anymore than Pete Wells tells a restaurant he’s from The New York Times. The difference between Pete Wells and me is that his reviews are seen by something akin to every man woman and child living in the entire country of Germany every month, and I’m lucky to get mine seen by the entire population of Paris…Maine. 

From a review standpoint however I think it puts me in a better situation to get the true experience of what the restaurant is offering. Pete Wells is getting his butt kissed from the time he walks in until the time he leaves with no detail being overlooked. I’m getting less attention, but what I am getting is a genuine experience and the people who read my reviews won’t be shocked when there is nobody in the bathroom to personally wipe their butt for them.

So along comes Brad Newman founder of a company called ReviewerCard. Basically the dream scenario is this: show the card to the server when seated. Server reads the line “I write reviews” written on the card. Waiter then immediately offers you free everything and an ego massage besides. In reality here’s what happens: You present the card to your server. Server reads the line “I write reviews.” Server goes out to the kitchen and alerts the chef that there’s a self important asshat sitting at the four top and then immediately makes no space in his wallet for the awful tip said asshat isn’t about to leave.

I saw the article in the LA Times talking to Mr Newman and he “…thinks that people who post lots of reviews on websites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor don't get enough respect from the businesses they write about. I think there are two reasons for this, let me see if I can flesh them out. 1) The people who oftentimes write lots of reviews are self-important asshats and 2) Sites like Yelp (aside from being in my humble opinion, extortionists) are run by self-important asshats.

So I went to the Reviewer Card website thinking perhaps I was misinformed. I looked around to find out the rewards such a membership might get me. Hmmm, looks like I’d have the honor of being suckered out of the one hundred dollar lifetime membership fee and a guarantee of being thought of poorly by the chef and wait staff for life! That’s a lot of bang for the buck. 

It sounded too good to be true so I immediately signed up for the card. Although only one hundred sucke…uh…members have been accepted thus far due to their very high standards of separating idiots from their money. I suspect there will be more idiots to come. Me, I’d take a hundred bucks from anyone who could, well anybody who would give me a hundred bucks... but it's not my company.

Turns out the other benefit is that I’ll be eligible to network (read: hang out with) with all the other cardholders (read: asshats) at frequent events held throughout the year. Gosh I’d love to be one of the staff at the restaurant holding one of these networking events. "Oh welcome Mr I Write Reviews, yes sir I have you down for eating al fresco this evening right between the dumpster and the grease recycling barrel." Sounds like an opportunity to test out an electromagnetic pulse bomb and destroy all these douche nozzle’s smart phones. It would instantly make the Twitterverse and Blogosphere better places to be, if only slightly.

Oh, and I’ll find out in Twenty-four hours whether or not I’m worthy of coughing up one hundred dollars for the privilege of being a smarmy ass. I realize I haven’t needed the card in the past to help me achieve this but at least if I get the card, it’ll be official… 


  1. Yeah, the very tought of that is asshattery. I don't want anyone to know I'm a blogger when I'm in a restaurant, and try to keep my picture-taking and note-writing as unobtrusive as possible. My Mom and one co-worker ALWAYS want to out me in the hopes of getting better service, and I have a terrible time making them understand that if we get special treatment, then my blog post and review won't be real. DERR. This undermines the whole point of such a system.

    1. Spot on Shelby! Thanks for the comments and for reading.