Skip to main content

Apparently This Matters: ReviewerCard

The founder of ReviewerCard says,
The founder of ReviewerCard says, "It's not a threat. It's a way to get the service you deserve."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New ReviewerCard says "I review restaurants," which you can flash to restaurant staff
  • ReviewerCard founder: "It's not a threat. It's a way to get the service you deserve"
  • Bellini: ReviewerCard owner found clever way to get stupid people to give him money

Editor's note: Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN's Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the interwebs.

(CNN) -- I have absolutely no business reviewing restaurants. Consider the facts: I like Ramen noodles. I burn my meat. And I'm pretty sure a Klondike Bar is the pinnacle of modern cuisine.

I've also heard good things about Applebee's.

But when it comes to restaurant feedback, someone like me can just go online and write literally anything. And people might actually read it.

\
"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

"Let's avoid that new Italian place, Diane. It says here the meatballs are made from baby seals."

Nevertheless, amateur reviews on sites like Yelp do play an important role in the restaurant industry, and there are plenty of well-intentioned people who actually provide decent feedback.

"The meatballs are amazing! Definitely not made from baby seals."

Still, just being a prolific amateur reviewer doesn't qualify someone for special treatment when he or she goes out to eat.

Or does it?

Because now there's something called the ReviewerCard. Essentially, it's a plastic membership ID that looks like a high-end AmEx. In the middle it states: I WRITE REVIEWS.

The idea is that you flash it before a meal -- thus, informing the staff of your keen ability to use the Internet -- at which point the manager will suddenly break into a cold sweat and start nervously heaping you with extraordinary service.

"Well, hello! I see you write reviews. Allow me to seat you in our special 'Gonorrhea-Free' section."

The card actually started trending this week after several online publications picked up on the company's lofty idea of passive-aggressive extortion, and most took it to task. However, Brad Newman, founder of ReviewerCard, told the Los Angeles Times, "It's not a threat. It's a way to get the service you deserve."

As for the rest of you proletariat filth, enjoy your chicken fingers in Clap Town!

Of course, deserving good service means the ReviewerCard isn't for everyone, and the website explicitly states that they screen applicants for past online activity: "If you are a casual reviewer and only post once in a while, this card is not appropriate for you."

Unless, you happen to have a hundred bucks. In which case, I'm guessing they'll quietly overlook the fact that your one and only entry on Yelp was about Taco Bell, and you described it as "Epic."

Which it is.

The point: ReviewerCard isn't free. In fact, it's downright pricey. And that's why you have to laugh.

Bottom line, Brad Newman is an opportunist who seems to have found a mildly clever way to get stupid people to give him money. Which is completely fair. If you really want to shell out a hundred dollars for a smug piece of plastic that will likely get you dirty looks and a fresh bowl of snot soup long before a complimentary slice of pecan pie, I say go for it. Operators are standing by.

Well, Brad is, anyway.

Not everyone has been quite as forgiving of this whole ridiculous concept. The ReviewerCard definitely is taking some heat.

But much of what's been said online about Newman's idea seems like nothing more than feigned outrage. Because, let's face it, people love to be offended, and nobody with a shred of intelligence actually thinks this is serious.

Fortunately, I might just have that shred of intelligence. But only a small shred. And I mostly use it for remembering my own name.

So, I'm fine with the ReviewerCard. There's plenty of other things in the world to worry about. Besides, Newman has only sold a little more than 100 ReviewerCards -- likely to the same 100 people who, at this very moment, are constructing another strongly-worded online review from their mom's basement.

"Worst. Meatballs. Ever."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Apparently This Matters...
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 2214 GMT (0614 HKT)
I vaguely recall Pizza Hut's Book It elementary school reading incentive program. Though, to be fair, I vaguely remember what I had for breakfast.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 2337 GMT (0737 HKT)
It took a lot of effort for Leo Bonten to turn his amputated leg into a fully functional lamp. For starters, he had to break the damn thing in a freak kiddie pool accident.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 0022 GMT (0822 HKT)
If you asked me -- and God knows nobody has -- I would have to guess that never in the history of humankind has anyone ever actually slipped on a banana peel.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 2223 GMT (0623 HKT)
I'm a napper.
September 8, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
Since the beginning of time, man has looked up into the cosmos at those shiny, twinkling stars and thought, "I wonder if lizards would do each other up there?"
August 23, 2014 -- Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)
We all have weird, irrational concerns.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 0225 GMT (1025 HKT)
"What does this thing do?"
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Despite all the political tension in Crimea, it's nice to know things are still safe enough at the zoo for a zebra to get it on with a donkey.
August 2, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
Justin Sylvester's wife is pregnant. With a baby.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 0010 GMT (0810 HKT)
There's a famous scene in the movie "Titanic" where Rose turns to Jack and says, "I want you to draw me like one of your French girls."
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)
For several months in 2003, I did the whole European backpacker thing. Which is to say I've seen nearly every cathedral within 1,000 square miles of the Danube.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1917 GMT (0317 HKT)
The other day I saw a death metal band hanging out by their tour van in the parking lot behind a club. They were all dressed in black, and may or may not have been working on lyrics to a new song about fire and lamb meat.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
There are two good reasons to own a giant trampoline.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 2251 GMT (0651 HKT)
I would love to say my dog is intellectually qualified to be a service animal. But he's not. There's barely enough brainpower there to be a lamp.
June 8, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
I've never really needed an extra ear.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 2032 GMT (0432 HKT)
I never actually caught a glimpse of the Tooth Fairy when I was young, but she was definitely real and in cahoots with my mom. This, due to the fact that I never woke up to find a Nintendo.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 1957 GMT (0357 HKT)
Have you ever seen a man running in a marathon, bleeding from his nipples?
May 16, 2014 -- Updated 1952 GMT (0352 HKT)
Brace yourselves, because this week's story is about sperm and poop.
ADVERTISEMENT