If you wait tables for a living, chances are that the website Yelp has affected how you think about and even perform your work. Restaurant managers and owners regularly, sometimes daily, pore over their Yelp reviews and – depending on the content of those reviews – praise, reprimand, and even fire servers who can be identified from customers’ online comments.
In conducting research for my book Consumer Management in the Internet Age, I interviewed dozens of service workers (as well as managers and reviewers), the majority of whom have been confronted about Yelp reviews by their managers and know of at least one server who has been fired due to being criticized on Yelp. As one server noted, “We all read the reviews, good and bad, (as) it was quite easy to figure out who was being talked about. Most of my working associates hated Yelp. I know of two servers that lost their positions because of the reviews.”