Florida Roadtrip 2014 Pt 3 – Using YELP
When my wife and I were planning this road trip, we decided to use a few non-conventional methods to plan where we would eat. Now, this wouldn’t occur for every meal, primarily just supper (breakfast and lunch come out of the cooler!). We made a plan that supper would occur based on the closest establishment that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives from the Food Network. We quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be the best option, as many of the restaurants were 30-45 minutes away from where we were staying, so we turned to the next best decision maker: crowd sourcing.
What is crowd sourcing you ask? It’s pretty simple, and it is everywhere in our society. Crowd sourcing is used heavily for project funding (Kickstarter ring a bell?), as well as business reviewing (Yelp). I’m not looking for any money right now, but am heavily reliant on other folks reviews of the restaurants in the area as we are first timers to Cape Canaveral.
When I pull up Yelp on my iPhone, I’m given a number of search options, such as searching by my current location (requires GPS enabled device) or a user entered location, or searching by restaurant type, or just searching whatever is around me. Searching by my current location, and just choosing restaurants brings up a list of the restaurants closest to me. I could further break down my search parameters, but typically just go off this list. When I click on a restaurant, I can browse the menu items, assess menu cost, call the restaurant right from the app, and read other reviews of previous patrons. I typically ignore the best and worst reviews and work from the middle.
Here in Cape Canaveral, we’ve used this app a number of times already to list places we want to try to get to, and places we want to stay away from!
Yelp has saved us a lot of guesswork, and as an added bonus, when you “Check In” to a restaurant, there is typically a freebie attached with that check in. At Seafood Atlantic, it was a free piece of key lime pie, and at Rusty’s Oyster Bar, a free glass of wine for my wife! Yelp is earning our award of the day for the best travel tip.
Now we’re off to Cocoa Beach to catch some waves and rays, I’ll be back later to tell you about how you can use your iPhone to avoid the “Dude, wheres my car” scenario!