French Chefs Boycott to Ban Negative Online Reviews

Michelin-starred chefs in France have started a petition to ban harsh and damaging online reviews
French Chefs Boycott to Ban Negative Online Reviews
Jane Bruce

Chefs at high-end restaurants are fed -up with the numerous unfair and slanderous online reviews.

We’ve all witnessed the power of a bad review. You are reading about what sounds like a really great, high-quality restaurant, and are about to call for a reservation, when you take a glance at the numerous 2- and 3-star Yelp reviews, touting your award-winning restaurant option as “eh” or even  “awful.”

Sound familiar? Chefs, especially those at high-end restaurants, are fed up with the slew of harsh, unfair, and even slanderous online reviews that pervade sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor. In response to this, Michelin-starred chef Pascal Favre d’Anne, a well-known chef and restaurant group owner in France, has started a petition to “say no to damaging reviews,” and calls for the “prohibition of judging and of posting defamatory comments and subjective observations on members of staff in our restaurants. We ask reviewing sites to moderate their users and to ask for proof of their visits to our establishments.”

The petition already has 1,500 signatures, and chefs aren’t the only ones who are angry at review websites. You don’t have to have eaten at a restaurant in order to post a review on Trip Advisor, and Yelp is currently being sued for their deluge of fake and paid reviews. In France, the General Directorate of Competition, Consumption and Repression of Frauds has found that nearly 45 percent of all restaurant reviews in France are fake or untrue.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi