The Sting Investigations Take on Why Keith Lee had the Power to Effect Restaurant Businesses Like He Did In Atlanta

The Sting Investigations Take on Why Keith Lee had the Power to Effect Restaurant Businesses Like He Did In Atlanta

You’ve probably heard about this by now if you’ve spent any time on the internet lately, but the effect that a TikToker named Keith Lee had on the Atlanta food scene was incredible. He sent them a wake up call:Β  the times, they are again changing. Social media gets the word out faster than that ‘word of mouth’ we counted on in the past.

Keith Lee has been checking out restaurants in the Las Vegas area on TikTok for about a year now and recently started a tour. He usually sends a family member in so that he won’t be recognized as he now has over 14 million followers. They were unable to buy anything to eat at a couple of the restaurants in Atlanta, due to house rules about takeout. Although one place offered to seat them in 5 minutes once they realized who it was, there was an hour long wait for the other patrons and he did not feel it was right to be put ahead of them. He did manage to get a couple of those patrons seated before he left though.

Personally, I have watched Keith Lee since he was sitting on his kid’s Paw Patrol chair, rating food he found on the way home from the gym. He has now changed the food scene in Las Vegas – introducing restaurants that were sitting empty, even though the food and customer service was top notch. He does not get paid to do any reviews and he pays for the food out of his own pocket. Keith Lee has integrity. The man has always called it like he sees it (ask that Gordon Ramsey franchise he stepped into) and he tries hard to make sure that his followers go test out the establishment for themselves and not to show them any hate if they do not do well. Keith Lee is an example of how “influencers” should be. He’s this extremely likeable, humble, honest man – he gives you his opinion on the Customer Service and the Food rated 1-10. He takes your average customer experience – and sends it to 14 million people. This is the kind of thing you should be ready for now. This is the kind of thing I have been doing for Sting Investigations for over 12 years now (you know, minus the 14 million followers).

I chose the stitch below because this content creator (@thewebsitewhisperer) knows what she is talking about. When something like this happens to your business: take accountability for it, apologize and make some changes so that it never happens again.


My message to all #atlantarestaurants RIGHT NOW!!! As a professional #brandingstrategist here is what you NEED to do right now @The Real Milk & Honey ATL 🫢🏽 #therealmilkandhoney #keithleeweffect #keithlee #foodtiktok #foodreview #resturantdrama

♬ original sound – Dr. Cynthia Videau

What some restaurants, bars, really even retail stores need to realize, is that if you do not make it worth the experience – you will be phased out.

Sting has been around for over a decade – we send shoppers into establishments to show an honest, unbiased, 3rd party point of view. We are there to make sure you know what is going on, before some not-so-great version of Keith Lee walks in and posts their experience. Or, if you are super lucky, someone like Keith Lee does come in. Have the confidence to know you and your team are ready to give every patron the experience they deserve, it could make a HUGE difference in the future of your business whether something like this happens or not.

Hospitality businesses have had THE ROUGHEST years since it’s beginnings as of late. The pandemic changed everything. Here in BC, restaurants were either scrambling to build patios for open air seating, giving in to the delivery apps, or both – if they wanted to survive. Technology pretty much won that battle though. Doordash, Instacart, and good old Amazon, among others, continue to make insane amounts of money while giving the public no reason to leave their house, to even “go out”. The goal now should be to make absolutely sure that those patrons that do show up, are treated with the experience you envisioned when you first opened. It’s not only the quality of your food – Customer Service and the complete front of house is just as important – if not more so.

Ask us how we can help with that.





Lori Solley
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