A restaurant in Richmond, Calif. is encouraging its customers to leave poor reviews on its Yelp page. While other restaurants are in a tizzy over Yelp possibly hiding positive reviews and highlighting negative ones, Botto Bistro is actually rewarding customers for writing one-star reviews by offering a discount of 25 percent off and chance to win a cooking class. The Richmond Standard points out that the restaurant's Yelp page is filled with "confusing one-star reviews, making it quite difficult for potential patrons to know whether any negative review is honest."
According to Inside Scoop SF, Botto Bistro is on a "mission to be the worst-rated restaurant in the Bay Area." The restaurant's website explains that the owners are doing this to prove that a "low score and bad reviews don't impact us and any other successful restaurant." In an FAQ section on the site, the owners note that they are not worried that bad reviews on Yelp will impact their business: "The day that we think that reviews on Yelp are the key for our successful business, is the day we should change business." Chef and co-owner Davide Cerrentini tells ISSF that "that business has increased since he began waging this campaign against Yelp."
While Botto Bistro may be the first restaurant encouraging negative Yelp reviews, it is far from the first to fight back against the influence of the review site. A bar near Boston recently poked fun at a one-star review left on the site by quoting it at the the bottom of its receipts. In New Mexico, a food truck fired back at a poor review with a clever song featuring the ukelele. See some of hilarious one-star Yelp reviews for Botto Bistro below:
· Richmond Restaurant Encourages Bad Yelp Reviews [ISSF]
· Italian Restaurant Waging War [Richmond Standard]
· Botto Bistro [Official Site]
·All Yelp Coverage on Eater [-E-]