Growing up here in Philly it’s easy to take certain things for granted. When I was younger I’d see tourists and think why are they so happy to be here? It wasn’t until recently that I’ve taken notice that we have quite the dining scene in Philly.  After expanding my horizons a bit, I’ve come to appreciate the sheer variety of restaurants. I had a friend who would call me up and tell me what he wanted to eat and then he would ask me if I knew a good place to order it. Now I do the same thing with Yelp!

Does that make me a hypocrite? Not at all. Word of mouth can make all the difference if you really trust your opinion leader. Yelp provides an alternative with strength in numbers. I personally believe that everyone can be wrong about something (theoretically), but it’s less likely the more people involved. Yelp! is a form of social media advertising where people are free to review and comment on any business they so choose. I found it because I was just trying to get to a Vietnamese restaurant a couple of years ago. I didn’t actually start “yelping” until recently.

It’s really an invaluable tool. From international foodies to the most frugal of shoppers, everyone can have their say. I’ve found many restaurants I didn’t know about in my own neighborhood. The social aspect allows users to friend other reviewers, give compliments, and RSVP for events (all divided up by region). I wonder what a business would do if I were to give it a bad rating and they found out about it. Would they try to prove me wrong? Or would I get even worse service? I can see how an owner or manager could develop paranoia.