Restaurants and Yelp have an on-again off-again kind of relationship that can change at the spur of the moment based upon a strong number of reviews. For restaurants that have received glowing reviews on Yelp, they will proudly display their ratings publicly for customers to receive may even pay Yelp for a premium account to curate their ratings. However many other restaurants become furious at the negative, often grossly exaggerated reviews they receive on Yelp. One San Diego restaurant decided to make light of these bad reviews and turn them into something positive.
Craft & Commerce in San Diego is restaurant and bar that got fed up by reading negative Yelp reviews. Owner Arsalum Tafazoli debated how to react to these reviews, when he noticed that many critically acclaimed restaurants also suffered from occasional bad reviews on Yelp. He decided to find the humor in these reviews instead, asking his friends to read out loud the most negative ones so he could record them. Tafazoli then started playing these recorded reviews over the loudspeakers in the restaurant bathroom, creating a unique marketing strategy.
The strategy employed by Craft & Commerce worked particularly well for this restaurant because of its youthful vibe and alterative customers. Repeatedly described as ‘hipster’ by Yelp, Craft & Commerce follows its own set of rules by keeping items like ketchup and vodka out of the restaurant simply because the management isn’t particularly fond of them. More traditional restaurants might not be able to mock their Yelp reviews so easily, but for now Craft & Commerce has a genuine hit on its hands, providing an entertaining bathroom experience by turning negative reviews into something positive.
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