What if you took Kitchen Nightmares and removed Gordon Ramsay? What if, instead of basing your restaurant improvement show around your host’s expertise, can’t-look-away vulgar tirades, and non-stop hustle, you centered everything around fussy Yelp customer reviews? Wonder no more, friends, because Yelp and the Food Network are partnering to put just such a series on your TV screen. It’s called Help My Yelp and premieres April 10th.
The show is hosted by Monti Carlo, herself a skilled chef and top 5 contender from Master Chef season three. “I feel strongly that we’ve made a difference in every restaurant that’s opened its doors to us,” Carlo wrote in a blog post confirming the show. Here’s the big pitch:
Monti will work with chefs and business owners to overhaul their poor practices, given the feedback they receive from members of Yelp’s Elite Squad that have secretly visited their restaurants. The recommendations, critiques, and ideas from those anonymous visitors, plus the behind-the-scenes antics that Monti sees on hidden cameras, will ultimately influence what Monti does to help set up the businesses for success.
So she’ll be visiting restaurants that’ve been panned on Yelp by the app’s most ardent users. She’ll watch hidden camera footage to see what’s causing all those one-star reviews, and then use her own know-how to turn things around before a second group of Yelp’s Elite Squad users return for a final verdict.
Help My Yelp has actually been in the works for over a year and was originally called 12 Hungry Yelpers when the Food Network first announced it last March. I hate to rag on the thing too much, as it’s the culmination of a 17-year dream for host Carlo, but some of those reviews can be Gordon Ramsay levels of mean without the “there’s some semblance of a good person under there” counterbalance. Hopefully the show focuses on the funny, reasonable ones. Will I still stream the first episode either way? Almost definitely.