Creative Restaurant Turns the Tables on Yelp Haters

Regular readers will know that we have very mixed feelings about the business review site Yelp—and user generated reviews in general. Of course, a good number of restaurant owners (and the firms that rep them) rightly see Yelp reviews as the bane of their existence.

For these and other reasons, we were amused by one San Diego restaurant’s innovative PR response to the Yelp challenge.

Some managers respond to individual critics, apologizing for bad experiences and even offering discounts, while others turn the worst reviews into business cards. San Diego “gastropub” Craft & Commerce decided to take another, even more creative route: The restaurant recorded employees reading negative reviews in comic voices and now plays these tracks over the restroom PA system. Click through for a couple of especially dramatic samples:

This is unquestionably a risky strategy that will alienate some diners, and we feel like it exudes a bit of a “trying too hard” vibe. Eater also notes that the restaurant in question doesn’t need much in the way of good publicity—its chef is highly regarded and its Yelp metascore is 4 out of 5 stars.

Still, it makes for an interesting case study in unique PR moves, doesn’t it? What do we think?

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: December 7, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT