Greg Sterling at Screenwerk has an interesting post about a local café in his home town of Oakland called Rooz, which has posted signs saying “No Yelpers” — in other words, no customers who plan to bitch about the service or the food on the Yelp.com customer review site. Greg asked about the sign and got this response:

“What I was told, in a nutshell, is that the café staff has encountered a stream of would-be critics “with attitude,” predisposed to take issue with or be critical of the business.”

Greg says the staff argued that some customers were being deliberately snotty in their reviews “for entertainment reasons or to impress the Yelp community,” and weren’t being respectful of the impact their reviews might have on a small business like the café. The response from some of the Yelpers in question (not surprisingly) has been unapologetic:

“How DARE you ban my opinion?? And for this, I shall not return. EVER. Not the best business plan in the world buddy.”

As Greg notes, it seems a bit odd to pick a fight with your customers, even the snotty ones who give your place lacklustre reviews on a site such as Yelp. Maybe this café owner has enough customers, and doesn’t need to attract any more.

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Mathew 2430 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

3 Responses to “Quit reviewing us online, café says”
  1. That’s a genius way to get people talking about them.

    Did you see the reviews on yelp from people who only checked the place out to see what the fuss is about?

  2. Back to all publicity is good or great publicity. But on balance I tend to side with the cafe. It’s only a cafe, not a posh venue & verbal trashing can be as bad as any other sort. How about a notice ‘Submit your comment to my face first’?

  3. Does anyone above 25 really even trust the opinions on Yelp? In San Francisco, for example, Rosamunde Sausage Grill is in the Highest Rated. Granted, it’s a good spot for a cheap bite, but Gary Danko is the only “good” restaurant that makes the list. I think I would’ve loved Yelp back in college, but in my mid-30s I have no confidence in the reviews.

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