The phrases “elite Yelp reviewer” and “ravenous horde” do not normally go together, but this e-mail from Yelp to its most insightful and prolific New York City users makes us wonder. In the e-mail, members of the Elite squad are scolded for poor etiquette, auctioning off their event invitations to the highest bidder(!), and swarming on trays of free food like a swarm of highly opinionated locusts, terrifying waitstaff and keeping less ravenous partygoers from tasting the snacks.
An excerpt from the e-mail, which Eater obtained:
However, lately some of these events have degenerated into frenzied affairs in which a small number of guests tend to detract from the overall Elite Event experience of the other attendees. Please believe that it has not, and will not go unnoticed, and you will simply not be allowed into future events if it continues. With that in mind…
In the interest of everyone’s enjoyment, please do not camp out wherever food might be emerging, and fight tooth and nail to snatch multiple samples before the rest of the crowd is able to try even one. These events are not supposed to provide you with dinner; rather, they are designed so that each guest can taste what the restaurant is all about. Much to our chagrin, the staff at several events has commented on the fact that occasionally some members of the Elite Squad at meals can be likened to an Animal Planet feeding frenzy, as certain people descend on appetizers as though they have not eaten in weeks. (We know you’ve eaten lately, as in all likelihood, it was your stellar review of your last dining experience that finally got you into the Elite Squad.)
I know how those restaurant staff felt. When I was 9, my family visited MarineLand in Ontario. We visited the reindeer pen, and my parents bought me a cup of food to give to the deer. The deer saw the food in my hand and rushed toward me. Being 9, I was fairly sure they were going to knock me over and trample me, so I dropped the food and ran away. My parents scolded me for wasting money, but I was too frightened to care. And those creatures just had hooves and antlers, not iPhones and Yelp accounts.
What is the etiquette of free food, anyway? Have you ever attended an event where ravenous partygoers gobble everything in sight as long as it’s free?
Yelp Scolds Elite Yelpers For Degenerate Feeding Frenzies [Eater] (Thanks, Raphael!)