One of the main reasons why some business owners, company execs, and marketers fear online reviews – particularly the negative ones – is because the content of these reviews can potentially damage their business reputation. And it is true: in the age of Yelp and TripAdvisor, reviews significantly influence purchase decisions, and what customers say online can make or break you.
Some organizations apply best practice tips for responding to reviews, which enable them to protect their reputation in cases where it’s most vulnerable. Some, however, attempt to stifle or censor the criticism – filing lawsuits against customers, hiring reputation firms to delete bad reviews, and resorting to astroturfing and rating their own businesses with five stars. (Related: “9 Ways Faking Online Reviews Will Destroy Your Business”)
Everyone has their own strategies. Take, for example, these three chefs from southern California, who decided to use their sense of humor to protect and enhance their online reputation. In the same manner as celebrities reading mean tweets about them on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Scott Nghiem, Daniel Shemtob, and Jason Quinn –restaurant owners with near impeccable reviews and ratings on Yelp – read the nastiest, meanest comments about their venues, as posted on the online review site.
Chefs read negative Yelp reviews
“The food sucks as much as the chef’s personality.”
“Everything about this restaurant was amazing…except for the food.”
“Waste of money, and I didn’t even pay.”
“This place sucks ass.”
Ouch. Those reviews hurt. Mind you: this isn’t the first time that a chef has taken to YouTube to address a negative Yelp review. (Check out what Seastar Seafood Restaurant’s Chef John Howie did here.) And while it’s not an approach that we here at ReviewTrackers would recommend to all kinds of business owners across a wide range of industries, the review-reading strategy is certainly much better than taking legal action, or imposing fines on those who write bad reviews, or hiring black-hat marketers to write fake reviews.
The reason is simple: it’s a light-hearted approach that demonstrates these restaurateurs are not afraid of negative reviews… and that they’re not about to have a meltdown over what diners say online.
If you have any questions about or need help with managing your restaurant reviews on Yelp and all other major review sites, send a message to the ReviewTrackers team. We’d love to share the knowledge and insights we’ve gained from working hand in hand with restaurant industry executives to develop today’s leading review and reputation management software platform. And don’t forget to request a demo of ReviewTrackers today!
(Image and video credit: Food Beast TV)