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Central Standard

How Does Yelp Affect Restaurants?

Flickr / Creative Commons

Online restaurant reviews on sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon have become an integral part of the restaurant industry today. Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann explores the credibility of these user reviews. Do they change the way chefs and restaurant staff manage their business? 

"When it started out, I took it [reviews] very very personally," says Howard Hanna, chef of The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange. "It hurts to read that something you've poured yourself into and tried really hard to create, in fact work your whole life to create, to hear somebody make fun of it or really hate it or just miss the point of it is hard to read."

Hanna, Cody Garrelts of Bluestem and Rye and Patrick Ryan of Port Fonda read some of their worst Yelp reviews aloud  at  a recent fundraiser. 

"There's definitely a place for it [online reviewing,] and whether we like it or not it's a really important part of our business," says Hanna.


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People don't make cameos in news stories; the human story is the story, with characters affected by news events, not defined by them. As a columnist and podcaster, I want to acknowledge what it feels like to live through this time in Kansas City, one vantage point at a time. Together, these weekly vignettes form a collage of daily life in Kansas City as it changes in some ways, and stubbornly resists change in others. You can follow me on Twitter @GinaKCUR or email me at gina@kcur.org.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.