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Following the tweet stream in the Phoenix area over the last two days and you no doubt starting seeing #crazyamy and comments about the Yelp post gone bad. A local food blogger posted his views on Yelp – the owner, not caring so much for the review, fired back in a not-so-nice way. A variety of comments were posted and leave it up to Twitter to keep the conversation going. Our local news station picked up the story as well.

Yes, social media has given everyone a voice, a chance to share opinions, take aim at brands, etc. Smart businesses recognize they can’t control everything that is said about them in the online space. Certainly the business owner had a right to comment back to the Yelp posting. But is a personal attack the way to go? Would a more appropriate response be to invite the Yelper back for another dining experience? Ignore it?

What do you think? I asked my tweet stream if all the chatter will hurt or help the restaurant; got a few comments:

AmyPR says: chatter would help more if managed a better message. The sideshow might pick up some biz but will die and hurt more than helped

Bartbutler says: the word "crazy" always preceding your name is only going to resonate positively with a certain segment of the population

Hharmon says: voting for hurting.

Would love to hear what you have to say.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

7 Comments

  1. JD says:

    I know people who use Yelp a lot in deciding where to go and they also review. Sadly, the restaurant is a good and creative venue and experience, but the response to the review was not appropriate.

    The reviewer commented on the customer service then the owner demonstrated in her response and by saying that those vowing not to patronize the restaurant “will not be missed”, seemed to just prove his point.

    Even if Joel was from a competing restaurant, wouldn’t you step up your game instead of being hostile?

    On a side note; some of the new sites like Groupon, Snag and Save, and the like require you to have a minimum amount of reviews on Yelp before they will promote your service. I personally have been asked by at least three friends to write a review for them.

    I am not one to write a review even for a friend if I don’t believe in their product, however many people do. So in using Yelp you have to know that some reviews are “favors” and some are real experiences. Some are written by “foodies” some your average, wouldn’t know good from great food people.

    Yelp is just a tool for you to decide if you wish to patronize and make your own opinion.

    Food and tastes are subjective however, although it is not easy to please everyone all the time, good customer service should be across the board the same.

  2. Mike Cassidy says:

    If you can’t stand the heat, you should stay in the kitchen.

    Watching this train wreck unfold has been instrumental in strengthening my belief in the opportunity that lies within the realm of social media. Amy scores only 2 points:
    1) knowing Yelp
    2) reading Yelp

    Her reaction is simply amazing, having totally trashed a profound opportunity to engage a customer and win a fan/evangelist. Great case study — slides are already in my presentation files.

  3. Pita Jungle should send her a free meal! If what I read was accurate, Joel had very legitimate grips. I throw a fit when I don’t get another lemon with my second glass of iced tea. (Well, maybe not a fit…)

  4. Jay Baer says:

    This is going to put the “there’s no such thing as bad press” axiom to the test.

  5. Thanks for your comments. I have always enjoyed reading reviews — movies, restaurants, books, etc. But they are just that a review, someone’s opinion. I agree, she missed a great opportunity to engage with Joel (and those that read the reviews). This was his view of one experience in the restaurant, clearly she had the chance to showcase to him and others that it might have just been a bad night.

  6. Thanks Abbie for pointing this out and posting the link to the story.

    And, by the way, Mike would throw a fit about that second lemon, but it would be the funniest fit you have ever witnessed! Just sayin’…

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