October 16

5 Ways To Deal with Bad Yelp Reviews


Let’s face it: restaurateurs have a contentious relationship with Yelp

While it solves a problem for consumers (how to decide where to eat) it creates a lot of problems for restaurant owners (bad online reviews.) Since yelp – or at least online reviews – are here to stay, we took a look at some of the best ways to respond to bad yelp reviews.

Option 1 – Own it:


Laughing Planet Café, a chain based in Portland, Ore took one of their favorite bad yelp reviews and made it into a T-shirt. Instead of being shamed (as the reviewer felt they should be) Laughing Planet celebrated the review for all to see. You can even purchase this little gem on their website (just in time for Christmas.)

Option 2 – F*** Stars


The Chef/Owners of Botto Italian Bistro in Richmond, CA had enough of Yelp, and decided the best way to fight back was to give in – give in to bad reviews that is. Instead of trying to encourage good reviews they went the opposite direction and gave out discounts to customers who posted bad ones. This resulted in a lot of hilarious 1 star reviews, a pearl-clutching email from Yelp, and an increase in business for the bistro. Everybody wins!

Option 3 – Feed the Trolls

The internet has exactly 34 rules, but one of the most important is ‘Don’t Feed the Trolls.’ People love to use the internet as their personal soapbox, spewing recreational outrage at anyone they see. One restaurant actually chose to respond to a negative review, and this high-risk/high-reward strategy paid out in spades.

Option 4 – Get Dramatic

It’s fair to say that some Yelpers’ reviews are tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing…

Option 5 – I’m tired of having 5 item listicles so I’m only listing four.

If you have a problem with that, take it to Yelp.


About the author

Jack Hott

Some say Jack Hott was born in a restaurant. Others say he wasn’t born at all but discovered behind a Hobart stand mixer. Wherever he comes from, he’s made a career out of only being a good enough employee to skate by in the restaurant industry since the mid-90s. Jack Hott, if that’s even his real name, has gotten lost in walk-ins, stared into the abyss of pizza ovens, spilled red wine on white linen tablecloths, and shaken cocktails he was supposed to stir. If you can find him on social media, for your own safety, please do not follow him.


Advice, Effin' Yelp

You may also like

Hire Faster, Hire Better.