Botto Bistro in Richmond, California is fighting Yelp in an unusual way. We spoke with chef & owner Davide Cerretini earlier this year, and he explained exactly why and how. We read about Botto Bistro on several news sites and contacted them for an interview. We were curious how their unique approach to fighting reviewers was working out for them since it goes against our own advice and best practices we recommend to our clients.
“In Italy, if you don’t like a restaurant, you simply don’t go back. Here in America, people now Yelp about it. Yelp tried to get us to advertise with them and when we refused, we saw our positive reviews go away and negative ones pop up like mushrooms. I call that harassment. Now we have won. We are following our own rules.”
So Davide and Botto Bistro have been offering 50% off pizzas if people leave a one-star review.
While we don’t recommend that most businesses do this, it seems to be working for Botto Bistro. Business is up and they’ve gained national exposure.
Jay Skowron is the Founder & Principal at Hospitality Defender LLC, dedicated to helping restaurants, hotels, and other businesses in the hospitality industry improve and maintain their online review ratings.