Let us come together and celebrate the amateur critic, laying waste to food establishments across the globe. Previously the sole domain of pompous, and mostly anonymous, professional food critics. This divine power to make or break a small business has been democratised by the internet. With the casual click of a mouse, anyone can twinkle a single star in front of a slack restaurant. A simple touch screen, enraged by a luke-warm beverage, can fling flaming misspelt rage into the ether.
Now friends, this is not to belittle the greasy fingers furiously jamming away at that smart phone. Please don’t misconstrue my prose as contempt. That dry bun may or may not have “had me choking and gagging for water”. The décor may have been “tired and desperately in need of an update”. This is of little interest to me. I am far more interested in the unsung art of the amateur review. It’s high time that reviews took their rightful place next to the works of Poe and stamped past the worn-out drivel of Shakespeare. So, in the interest of furthering this nascent artform, let us explore the ingredients of successful indignant café reviews.
- Rage – Like a musician, your review must be emotional and able to move your audience to tears. Tears of RAGE!! And nothing says rage online quite like the mighty caps lock. Sprinkle it liberally throughout the review. Second only to the caps lock is the hastily misspelt word of scorn! Grind it into your sentences like the pepper they forgot to season your dish with. Remember, you will not be graded on grammar, rather the salivating online hordes drink the sweet blood of insolvency direct from the jugular. “I will NEVER go back to that place. The cake was STALE!! And the manager ayte it when ia demanded MYMONEYBACKK!! “
- Jaded apathy – The artistry of turning searing rage into icy apathy requires the delicacy of a fluttering butterfly wing combined with the cold clammy hand of an undertaker. Apathy takes your reader on a journey from the highs of hate to lows of disgust! “and besides I don’t know what the fuss is about, starchucks has better coffee”
- Snark – Irony’s Bitter Cousin – Lay it on thick. Sneer at the screen whilst you type. Imagine yourself as the cool kid at school who could never remember your name until it came to cribbing your homework. “Thanks for showing me some snotty farmer’s bio, I really wanted to know whose dirty fingers picked my coffee. NOT”
- Hyperbole – If rage and apathy are the heart and soul of your review, then Hyperbole is its body. Flex your literary muscles by stacking your review with layers upon layers of hyperbole. No one wants to read about how “The coffee wasn’t anything special” when they could gorge upon “I nearly choked to death on the most disgusting stale croissant! Someone should shut these fascists down before they murder everyone”
- Authority – Own it! Write with resolve. Facebook, Yelp, Google and all the tech giants have entrusted you with the power of review. They know what they are doing. Look, they even won an American election. You don’t need to be a champion barista to critique the coffee, you just have to sound like one online. The guys who make tyres could do it, then so can you. “You do know that chai tea means tea tea, don’t you!?! Do some research before making stupid labels!” Facts are of no concern and should not impede your artistry. Whomever has the loudest voice is right. “Italians grow the best coffee in the world. Far better than your expensive crap!” “Robusta is the best coffee, far better than your Ethiopian beans.”
- Anonymity – The internet is kind of like your car. You can scream and threaten to crush the life out of other drivers from behind the comfort of your windshield, safe in the knowledge that there is little they can do to touch you. For added security choose a smart, witty pseudonym. This will help ensure that no angry chefs can find you and wring your neck like the hapless chicken in the salad you “almost threw up all over the floor because it was so DISGUSTING- signed @catch-sup-ontherye”. Intuitively you already know this, but I think it’s important to emphasise this for the sake of creativity and vitriol. Don’t worry about waiters spitting in your food or offending the 6 foot slab of steroid fuelled flesh blocking your path to the toilet. You’re online baby!! No one’s coming to get you, (clear your cache regularly just in case). Loosen up, let the creative juices pour through you and don’t hold back on the cuss words either.
The following are some exemplary reviews scoured from the web, that will hopefully inspire you to poison pen hights.
One sentence “haiku” review – “What are you dumb or stupid “– source @arse_hat1 Doubleshotsa Instagram.
“The chefs end up looking like demons stoking the fires of hell. The food makes you think you’ve arrived there.” nytimes.com dining
“Hi I recently visited this *** and was so disrespected by this asshole named victor, he had a bad attitude and was very unhelpful when I asked him for recommendations. My food was made very sloppy and burnt and it pisses me off, I didn’t waste my time staring at those shitty display bags to receive poorly made food. All I gotta say is DO BETTER!” yelp
DO NOT EAT HERE. This place is awful. Ordered from a company named “breakfast burrito snob” on Uber eats and was given garbage from this trash establishment. They are deceiving customers into purchasing their sorry excuse for a breakfast burrito. DO NOT SUPPORT THEM.” Yelp
“The worst ***** location that ever existed on planet earth. I hope upper management come in and fix them.
Came here on a Friday morning, the cafe was completely understaffed. The man taking the orders was rude AND slow. How is that even possible? I told him I had ordered a sandwich through the *** app and he just gave me a cold stare and then barked over my head to the next customer for his order. The man behind me was a little shocked, as was I” Yelp