Yesterday, quite a few food fanatics shared The New York Times writer Pete Wells’s epic takedown of Guy Fieri’s new Times Square restaurant. Wells wrote the review as a series of scathing rhetorical questions for the chain’s founder. Examples include:
- “Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?”
- “Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?”
- “What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy’s Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy’s, in any meaningful sense?”
He keeps going for two pages; it’s a little intense.
We really like Pete Wells. He’s a true “subject matter expert”, and nearly every major media outlet mentioned his review at some point over the past 48 hours.
Here’s the thing, though: his write-up (and the many other negative reviews sure to follow) probably won’t hurt the restaurant’s business or damage the multimillion dollar Fieri brand. The Guy isn’t known for the quality of his food; he’s known for being a regular Joe who shows up on TV all the time looking like a he just lost a dare involving a vat filled with Axe hair gel and bleach. The whole point of his show is that mediocre food is fun, and he’s very good at marketing and product placement.