Gastro

The controversial pizza influencer who can destroy a restaurant with a single review

Its fame is such that if the pizza receives a good rating from it, people will go to that restaurant in droves... and if it is bad, it could be ruined.

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Dave Portnoy is an influencer who has more than 3 million followers on TikTok and more than 136 million likes. The content of it is always the same. He travels by private jet throughout the United States looking for the best pizzerias, buys one, eats it at the door of the establishment, and rates them at the end of the video. His fame is such that if the pizza receives a good rating from him, people will go to that restaurant in droves.

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It is not Portnoy’s only dedication. In 2003 he founded a sports betting newspaper that he distributed throughout Boston, Barstool Sports. Since then it has transformed into a platform with podcasts, videos, and news about culture and sports. And it really has many followers who are fully involved in their content, not only watching or listening to it, but also buying their merchandising or interacting with the videos they upload.

Portnoy sold Barstool for $500 million to the gambling company Penn National. Despite this, he continued to participate in the videos and continued to review pizzas throughout his country. Two months ago, Penn returned the company to Portnoy in exchange for a single dollar.

The small empire that he has built around these videos is called ‘One Bite‘, which comes from his philosophy, according to which you should try a pizza in one bite and rate it with that. He, however, appears in the videos of him trying the pizza, biting into it more than once. In addition, he has an eponymous application in which users can rate pizzerias.

A figure surrounded by controversy

It may seem that the content is innocuous and that it is even positive. But there are traits in Portnoy’s personality, life, and videos that are controversial. For two years, several women accused him of “inappropriate sexual conduct,” but the allegations were ultimately dismissed. In addition, he was accused of making sexist, homophobic, and racist comments in some of his videos.

But the evaluations of his videos have also raised blisters. In one of the videos he uploads to Barstool, he criticized a SoulCycle employee, alleging that he had supposedly had sex with his girlfriend. After that, his followers harassed that company.

Another company that was the target of the wrath of his army of trolls was Dragon Pizza, a Massachusetts location. He went out to the door of the establishment with a pizza to try it, as he always does in his videos, when the owner of the establishment came out to scold him because “he didn’t appreciate what he does, judging the pizza by one bite” and added “move, don’t stay in front of my business”. After that, they began to argue and both even ended up showing each other their middle finger.

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When the video was published, his followers began to upload negative reviews of the establishment, called on the phone making false orders and laughing at the staff. For three days, the situation was that bad that even the owner, Charlie Redd, feared for the safety of his employees.

His latest project

Now, a pizza festival has just launched the One Bite Pizza Festival, which took place at the end of September in New York. More than 35 pizzerias have gathered there, offering a slice of pizza each, with the slogan ” One bite ” presiding over the entire festival. Among other places, there are Angelo’s Pizzeria, Di Fara Pizza, Lucali, Sally’s Apizza and Frank Pepe Pizzeria. The cost of admission was around $150, and not only was their pizza, but there was also music and live performances.