Bad Yelp Review? Don’t Get Mad, Get Creative

No restaurant wants to wake up one day and find a negative review on their Yelp page. A negative review can put your restaurant in a bad light, can deter diners from visiting your establishment, and can even make you feel anger and frustration.

But what your company needs to realize is that a negative Yelp review is not the end of the world as long as you take the right steps. You already know that you should respond to the review as soon as possible and be sincere in your response, but some restaurant owners have taken their bad reviews to a whole new level. While some have gone completely insane, others have turned their negative reviews into art.

What happens when you get mad?

If you allow the bad review to upset you, you could end up doing something completely embarrassing and extremely damaging to your company. Take Boners BBQ for example. Frustrated at a patron who didn’t leave a tip and wrote a bad review, Boners BBQ turned to Facebook and Twitter and publicly berated the woman. The owner finally apologized for his actions, but the post had already gone viral, and Boners BBQ was under attack from other patrons who did not condone their behavior.

Some business owners take their frustration a bit further. When the owner of Mambo Nuevo Latino read a negative review by a woman named Elena Katz, he created a fake dating profile for her, stating that she was a transsexual who had a love for group sexual encounters. But he didn’t stop there. He even sent raunchy emails to Katz’s boss posing as her. He was eventually caught and was recently found guilty of criminal libel.

How can you get creative?

After you have apologized and responded to the unhappy customer, feel free to use the negative reviews in creative way. Being creative will allow you to vent your frustration in a healthier way while keeping your company’s image intact.

For example, Craft & Commerce, a pub in California, records their employees reading the negative reviews and plays them for their patrons to hear in their bathroom. While some people may wonder why they would allow other people to hear the negative reviews, the fact that they’re being played in the bathroom shows exactly how Craft & Commerce feel about the reviews.

A restaurant in Chicago has also started to get creative with their negative reviews and turns them into oversized postcards, which are then hung throughout the establishment.

Why should I be creative?

There’s no rule that says you need to do something creative with a negative Yelp review, but it can help you deal with the frustration without harming your company like Boners BBQ or Mambo Nuevo Latino. As long as you’re being professional about your negative reviews, your company should be able to easily deal with any of the negativity and turn it into something positive.

Joshua Reynolds is a reputation management expert.  He spends most of his time tracking reviews and always uses Yelp’s review filter to filter out the fake reviews.

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