No one can rightly say that journalism is dead when there are still people out there digging for the truth, no matter the cost. But not all these exposés come in reputable newspapers, nor are they always written about the clandestine actions of morally dubious politicians. Sometimes, it comes down to a Yelp review of a restaurant in California.
The Yelp reviewer in question, who goes by the username Tyler H, exposed a restaurant in Long Beach when he discovered that the secret ingredient to some of their dishes was food from another restaurant. The customer was visiting a Sweet Dixie Chicken when he noticed one of the employees carrying in a couple of boxes of Popeyes chicken through the back of the kitchen.
Heading into the restaurant, Tyler decided to order the chicken and waffles to see if he noticed any similarities. He did, but not wanting to make any unfair assumptions, he asked the waiter how they cooked the chicken. The waiter plainly stated it was from Popeyes. But that’s not even the end of the twists in store for this patron.
Offended by the fact that they were essentially taking fried chicken from a fast food chain and re-selling it in a $12 meal, Tyler took to Yelp to vent his frustration at this betrayal. His review read:
“I thought the chicken tasted suspiciously like Popeyes and was also rather stale. I kindly asked our waiter how they cooked their fried chicken. After checking he admitted that they do in fact use Popeyes. The Waffles were also hard as rocks. The manager compensated us for the entire meal. Three out of the five [of] us either thought their food was okay or enjoyed it. If you’re considering having any chicken dish here then just go to Popeyes.”
After Tyler posted his review, he was surprised to get a reply from the restaurant itself, which remained defensive – even as it owned up to selling Popeye’s chicken. The owner of Sweet Dixie Kitchen, Kimberly Sanchez, responded to say:
“Hi Tyler – We PROUDLY SERVE Popeyes spicy tenders- the best friend chicken anywhere and from New Orleans. So whatever to you and your little review like it was some great exposure- and whatever to you dude. We do what we do and bring Long Beach the best food – mostly made here but we always get by with a little help from our friends- and we don’t want it any other way.”
This response confused Tyler, who was expecting no reply, an apology or just a stern response denying his ‘claims’. “I challenge you to be honest with your customers,” he replied to Kimberly, “put it on your menu that you ‘proudly’ serve Popeyes chicken. You do this for coffee… why not for Popeyes chicken?”
His review was liked by over 500 others, but it may not be only Tyler that’s noticed an issue with the establishment. In her business owner bio on the site, Sanchez wrote that “there are naysayers and true a**holes- who want to prove a point.” She continued: “please use Yelp with a grain of salt.”
Selling another restaurant’s food under the guise of it being your own is one thing, but openly admitting it online and claiming your critics are vindictive is another thing entirely. Talk about false advertising.