Yesterday Eater felt the need to single out Empanada Joe’s with their own “Adventures in Shilling” post, pointing out many positive comments that could have only been posted by people with a financial interest in the new chain succeeding. We just got our own Empanada Joe’s location (the second in the chain) on 8th Ave. btw. 43+44th, and I believe they have been doing a little shilling on Midtown Lunch as well. Take this comment for example:
Critically panned? Not by all the happy customers I saw when I tried it out. Personally, I’d rather pay three-something for an item from a nice clean restaurant than two-something from a street vendor whose cart has been God only knows where. Liked all the empanadas I tried: the Argentine beef, the Dolce sausage and peppers and the pina colada. It’s definitely a nice change of pace. See you in line.
I can’t be entirely sure that this comment was a shill, but there are some hints. “All the happy customers” is not something a normal person would necessarily notice, and “See you in line” is not something you would usually say to a bunch of strangers on a website. But the biggest proof may be in the food itself. I tried Empanada Joe’s the other day… and while I will stop short of saying it’s terrible- it’s not exactly going to engender an army of enthusiastic commenters. Read more »