Doesn’t Yelp already do this?

Greasy hamburger, yum!
When we tell people about rfave, some of them ask, “Doesn’t Yelp already do this?”.

Kind of.

If you mean “local recommendations,” then yes, Yelp already does this. Yelp has lots and lots of local recommendations.

But are they useful local recommendations? Well, let’s take hamburgers as our example. When I searched Yelp for the best hamburger in Salt Lake City, Iceberg Drive Inn was one of the top results.

For the non-SLC-based crowd, let me tell you about Iceberg. At the Iceberg, you’re going to get a pre-formed patty, shredded iceberg lettuce and a pallid tomato. It’s cheap, tasteless, and if you’re 16, yes, that probably is one of the best hamburgers in Salt Lake.

In my opinion, the best burger in Salt Lake City is at a bar called Fiddler’s Elbow. There, the burger is hand-formed, full of garlic, beefy, juicy and delicious.

Fiddler’s Elbow is #55 on Yelp’s list.

To me, a local, this isn’t a big deal. I already have an idea of what’s good in SLC, so if Yelp’s listings are a little off, it’s no big deal.

But to a newcomer or an out-of-towner, it’s a very big deal. If you’re looking for a good burger and end up with something you could’ve bought at Mickey D’s, that’s a very bad experience.

Of course, if you’re an out-of-towner, you could wade through all the reviews for all the restaurants Yelp lists, try to determine whether you can trust a reviewer named “Steve S.” more than the grumpy “Jasmine B.,” and make your pick from there. I’ve done that. It took me half an hour. And I still wasn’t sure if I’d made the right pick.

So yes, Yelp already does local recommendations. It tells you every single place you could possibly get a hamburger in Salt Lake.

Rfave just gives you the ones you need.

Bonus question: Why is rfave useful to me in my hometown, since I already know my favorite things here?

We’ll answer that question next week.


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