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A cry for help: Food Network, Yelp team up to help struggling restaurants

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Andrew Warren / TV Media
Monti Carlo hosts “Help My Yelp”

Monti Carlo hosts “Help My Yelp”

Whether it's Google reviews, feedback on Zomato or opinions on OpenTable, it's easy to find other diners' thoughts about pretty much any restaurant you're eyeing for breakfast, lunch, dinner or an in-between meal. From the restaurant's perspective, a couple of good reviews can be a boon to business -- but on the flip side, even one bad one can spell doom.

Food Network's newest host is on the job to help out eateries that have been receiving unflattering feedback online. Monti Carlo's new show "Help My Yelp," which, as you may have guessed from its title, teams up with Internet review site Yelp, premieres Monday, April 10.

Sharp-eyed foodies may remember Carlo as one of the competitors from the third season of Fox's "MasterChef." She may not have won the competition, but that hasn't put the brakes on her culinary career -- far from it. Now a successful restaurant consultant, in "Help My Yelp," she puts that experience to work helping chefs and business owners turn around their less-than-stellar online reputations.

Before she visits a restaurant, though, Carlo secretly sends in members of Yelp's Elite Squad (a group of experienced and well-regarded reviewers) to scout out the situation and report back. Once she's armed with their unbiased reviews, along with footage from hidden cameras set up in the kitchen, Carlo heads into the business with a plan to turn all of those one-star reviews into four- or five-star ones.

She's got the cooking skills to liven up the kitchen's offerings and the restaurant experience to troubleshoot problems that she identifies. She has to work quickly, though, as a fresh batch of Yelp Elite Squad members is on its way soon, and the feedback really could make or break a struggling business.

The restaurant consultant genre is a popular one, even if it is currently lacking a big-ticket show. Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares" wrapped up its seven-year run on Fox in 2014, and Food Network's own "Restaurant: Impossible" with Robert Irvine ended last year.

The genre is Monti Carlo's for the taking, it seems. "Help My Yelp" premieres Monday, April 10, on Food Network.