Pic source: yukaichou.com
Yelp is one of the most practical social platforms that exists in cyberspace. The everyday consumer is elated at the changes society has brought forth in how business is conducted. Never before have people had so much control over “word-of-mouth” advertising than through bad yelp reviews. The site is not always received well, however. Plagued with rumors of favoritism, and criticized heavily by many top chefs, it’s a hugely debated platform. Unfortunately, for many business owners, it is not going away anytime soon. Here are ten of the worst yelp reviews, and—probably—the funniest yelp reviews, where Yelp restaurants have either gone overboard in response to a simple Yelp post, or the review itself sparks total hilarity.
#1) Boners BBQ, Atlanta, Ga.
In what might be the worst yelp review ever, Owner Andrew Capron was outraged when he read one of his bad yelp reviews from diner Stephanie Stuck who used many unflattering adjectives, like “limp,” to describe his food. Mr. Capron responded by insulting her on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. He even accused her of not leaving a tip.
The owner writes: “NOT WANTED! (Stephanie S.) left waitress 0.00 tip on a $40 tab after she received a Scoutmob discount. If you see this woman in your restaurant tell her to go outside and play hide and go f— yourself! Yelp that b—-…” He later apologized and blamed it on being overworked. Mrs. Stuck maintains she did, indeed, leave a tip.
#2) Mambo Nuevo Latino, Ottawa, Canada
Normally the canadians are the quiet neighbors to the north, but in this particular instance, its quite the opposite. Elayna Katz complained to Yelp that her pasta contained olives, which she had ordered specifically without. The owner, Marisol Simoes reacted by setting up a dating profile in her name and claiming to be a transexual. As if that was not bad enough, she found out where the diner worked, and sent sexually explicit emails to her boss. She was later found guilty of criminal libel. From Simoes reaction, one would think this was the worst yelp review ever.
#3) Longman & Eagle, Chicago, Ill.
Not every response to a bad review has been negative. Some yelp restaurants figure out a way to really turn it around. The Michelin-starred Longman & Eagle in Chicago reacted to a bad review by printing them on postcards and selling them at the restaurant. So far, it has been a popular novelty and a means of sparking conversation. But let’s face it, there are some reviews that are so utterly ridiculous, they would make for great pop art. Like the next review.
#4) The Silver Skillet, Atlanta, GA
Sarah “Pooty” Pie wrote this hilarious review about her experience at the Silver Skillet. Fortunately for her, the owners aren’t violent. “”The last time I went to The Silver Skillet I got:
-1 sticky, filthy menu with hair on it
-1 roach cabaret performing a moving interpretive dance number across the surface of our table and up the side of our napkin dispenser
-1 crusty career waitress with a crackling ‘I’ve smoked for 50 years and I’m ’bout to hack up a lung’ type cough. She hacked into her hands then used her germ coated paws to: grab peoples’ glasses for refills, arrange food on plates as it came out of the kitchen and serve diners who are apparently not as observant or germophobic as I.
Had it been an episode of Fear Factor I might’ve eaten each delicious member of the roach cabaret AND an entire plate of sputum coated breakfast food for $50,000. But it wasn’t, so I had to dash (no dine!)”
That has to be one of the worst Yelp reviews ever written about a restaurant.
#5) Formoli’s Bistro, Sacramento, CA
Yet another one of the Yelp restaurants to make the list is owned by Aimal Formoli who took to Facebook after one diner had complained about everything up to the flavor of the water. This was his response: Your parents should be ashamed you you (sic) were ever born and they have to take you out to dinner!!!!!!!”” He followed with this post “To Chriuh C. from the wonderful site yelp! please pay attention, every review you post involves dinner with mommy and daddy. Apparently, this is the only time you get to dine out, otherwise, you are at Old Spaghetti Factory and leave your palate there. Your parents should be ashamed you you were ever born and they have to take you out to dinner!!!!!!!” Formoli later admitted that he was “taking a break” from Yelp.
#6) Ninja, New York, NY
Some reviews are simply meant to be silly. Often Yelpers play on the name, as is the case for this eatery. As one diner put it ““YOU WANT TO GET SLICED IN THE NECK WITH A FAKE NINJA SWORD…… I would have to say i would NEVER go back to this restaurant. It was very gimmicky and far from impressive. Cannot enjoy your meal because every second there is someone trying to sneak up behind you and scare you.” Clearly the restaurant does not have actual Ninjas, so no one can take this review that seriously.
#7) JoeDoe, New York, NY
Some owners raise the ire of people who have not even visited their establishment, but have projected an impression in some other sense. Take this Yelper’s review, for example. “I actually have never eaten here or anything though from the reviews I see they are considered pretty good. I’m making a comment here because recently I was next door to this place sitting outside and I saw some of the workers of Joe Doe with their friends making a lot of noise after hours. When I turned around to see what the fuss was about I saw a worker beating a baby mouse with a broom. The employee beat the mouse to a flattened pancake in front of the store. After that the workers and their friends were really insensitive about it and laughing. Trust me, I’m not an animal activist or some sort of bleeding heart. I understand the fact that there is a rodent problem and that mice can be a pest, but it was really distasteful the way they did it considering there were people outside at the neighboring restaurant next door. yuck. no class.”
#8) Ten Bells Tavern, Dallas, TX
In this review, it is clear that the diner was out of line when he posted this remark “I live in Oak Cliff and really wanted to like this place. But, frankly, it smells. Maybe if you sit outside you can’t smell the nastiness, but inside is gross. It smells like it has been there for 50 years and never been clean, but it is a newer place. Some of the staff look cracked out. Looks like something you’d find a seedy part of town. I will avoid this place in the future. There are plenty of other places in the area to have a better experience.” The reason being that the owner swiftly replied with what actually occurred “Which part made it smell worse? The part where we didn’t serve you any alcohol or the part where you harassed the female staff by exposing your chest hair in lieu of showing your ID? Next time you want a Miller Lite, please bring the appropriate ID that is required when you go to a bar and we’ll gladly serve you.” The slam, so far, has been picked up by major social media and the restaurant is doing better than ever.
#9) Craft & Commerce, San Diego, CA
This small southern California pub has a very different way of dealing with a bad review. They simply play hilarious audio readings of the reviews throughout the restaurant. Although the concept seems counterproductive, it’s another means of repurposing negativity. Some of the reviews include relatively mild comments like: “It’s a good place. Nice atmosphere. But the chairs ain’t comfy,” or “FRIES — Too chewy and hard. In my opinion, not ideal. If I came back, I’d substitute the fries for something else. You know, like replacing one American puppet dictator with another. You know, to eventually promote democracy or something like that….ATTIRE – To blend in, dress up with hipster tones and flaunt a New York accent,”and “Bone marrow I liked a lot. Man candy could NOT get past the *ahem*… seminal texture and kept trying to eat it. The owner says he was inspired by the melodrama and made great use of the funniest yelp reviews.
#10) Pizzeria Delfina, San Francisco, CA
This bay area pizzeria rounds out the our list due to their twisted marketing. Generally rated four stars, the owner took action over the one starred review: “The pizza was soooo greasy. I am assuming this was in part due to the pig fat. A rather large puddle of grease actually pooled on my friends plate. We tried to get our waitress’s attention but to no avail. I think it is important that you all know this place is rather small so to not get someones attention means they are really trying to ignore you.” The restaurant decided to frame that quote on a shirt they now sell in house, and it has become a popular item.
Overall, people should remember that to many owners, the restaurant is their life. When posting a review, it is best to do it a day later, to let any emotions settle, and write it as fairly as possible. To avoid any crazy situations like someone stalking your work, or posting personal info on their Facebook, maybe it’s best to go by the old motto “if you can’t say anything nice….” You know the rest.
Business Owner Advice: How do you respond to your Yelp reviews? (Jeff D.)
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