I'm not going to say that every single Instagram Influencer or person who aspires to be one is a narcissistic psychopath. I've met plenty of people who do that stuff for a living who have legitimate businesses and are wonderful people. But what I am saying is that a platform that is 100 percent about image will attract individuals with some very specific perspective disorders and heightened levels of delusion, like this Yelper who left a bad Yelp review to a restaurant solely because they wouldn't discount their meal.
Free swag is part of the Influencer game, and it makes sense. If you've got a large number of followers who are attracted to your account because of your wonderful posts about muffins, then they're probably going to be interested in all muffin-related content on your page. So I, Mr. Muffin Goods Supplier, would probably want to feature my pans and spatulas and muffin mixes on your page and might try to strike a deal with you.
Then there are the celebrities with millions of followers who get paid the big bucks to advertise swag on their page. Must be nice to make $50K a pop to post a photo and write short blurb about FitTea on your 'gram. Smaller influencers often accept free stuff in exchange for "exposure." But this Yelper wasn't approached by the restaurant they slammed on the review site.
What makes their bad Yelp review truly bizarre is that they started it with mixed messages right out of the gate.
They make a reference to "cheap management" but then immediately start talking about how scrumptious the food is at the restaurant and that they really loved their meal. They got calamari, spaghetti alle vognole, and gnocchi — and "all were very delicious."
I don't know about you, but if a restaurant serves delicious food, I don't really think there's much they can do to lower your review to 1-star.
Even if the management hurled insults at you but served the best brioche and egg sandwich you've ever had, I'd argue the least you can give the place is 3 stars, because, the whole point of a restaurant is to serve delicious food. It's like saying a Porsche 911 is a horrible car because the speedometer is hard to read or the pedals are a too big for your taste.
Shortly after singing the restaurant's praises, the Yelper revealed the reason for their bad review:
This is where condescension comes in: the almighty Influencer was so smitten with the delicious food that they were going to put up a wonderful post singing its praises so all of their 11,000+ Instagram followers would know about the fine establishment. This pleased the manager, according to the Yelp reviewer, who again, enjoyed their meal very, very much.
Apparently, though, they didn't like it enough to want to comp their meal. The Yelper was disappointed to discover none of the items on their ticket were comped or discounted after offering to post about it on Instagram. "There was literally no discount at all," they wrote, in utter disbelief.
They couldn't fathom that they were expected to pay for the drinks (that they ordered) and the calamari (that they loved consuming) all because they promised to gush about the restaurant on social media.
The Yelper capped off their review by saying that, despite the food being some of the best Italian they've ever eaten, they won't go back there because they can't get free food or drinks.
"Influencers" don't solely exist on Instagram — there are some Yelpers who fancy themselves the next Jonathan Gold and believe their positive reviews will make or break a business. Here's the thing about Jonathan Gold though: the American food and music critic wasn't about using his position of power to get free swag or "destroy" businesses. He was all about finding the "little guys" who were doing big things, like Jon Favreau and Chef Roy Choi talked about in the best show on Netflix right now.
Another Redditor who worked at a brewery had their own run-in with an entitled Yelp reviewer who believed they had some "clout" on the platform. They came in with a Groupon, tried the beer, and wanted to buy a few cans to go. When the bartender rang them up, they "coughed" and pulled up their Yelp account and pointed to the fact that they had logged over 1,200 reviews.
Confused, the bartender asked if she no longer wanted the beers, to which she replied, "I can make or break your brewery with my review." Yes, as the cool kids say, "the entitlement is real." Check out the whole exchange below:
The sad part is that the number of people who try to pull the "influencer" card must have had some success with it before — otherwise they wouldn't keep trying to pull it with different businesses. Well, at least some people aren't caving to that pressure and are providing the internet with wonderful tea-sipping moments like these.