Botto Bistro, an Italian restaurant in San Francisco, is trying to be the worst rated restaurant on Yelp in the Bay Area. That’s a pretty strange strategy if you are trying to stay in business, so anyone in his or her right minds should wonder, why would you want to be the most hated business on Yelp?
David Cerrentini, owner of Botto Bistro, claims Yelp called him 20 times a week asking him to advertise. Cerrentini claims that he did for six months, but soon after he stopped, his reviews turned negative and one of his best reviews even vanished. According to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, this is something Yelp is legally entitled to do.
In rebuke, Cerretini hatched his “1-star plan”. He posted a sassy sign explaining how much they charge for extra marinara sauce ($3 for a side, a cup, a splash etc.) and next to it a list of his restaurant’s other various “offenses” and asks customers to give the restaurant a 1-star review on Yelp in return for 25 percent off any pizza.
Not only has the publicity from these shenanigans helped Cerrentini’s business, but this stunt has generated some of the most amusing reviews on Yelp. Yelp has sent Botto Bistro a threatening letter accusing them of buying reviews, but Cerretini refuses to back down because, well, they are — they are buying bad reviews.
Botto Bistro currently has 1,130 reviews, 1,044 of which are 1-star reviews. Do you agree with Cerrentini’s revenge? Do you think more businesses will join this 1-star plan? Do you think this will make Yelp rethink their alleged blackmail-esque tactics? We’d love to hear your opinion.