Botto Bistro. Yelp. And Negative Reviews.

Have you heard of Botto Bistro? It’s an Italian restaurant in Richmond, California that has been asking its customers to hate them on Yelp in protest for the online review sites’ unfair practices.


Pressuring businesses to buy advertising, otherwise, the business would get negative reviews from Yelp.

Ridiculous, huh? Obviously, some manipulation going on out there.

This is why owners Davide Cerretini and Michele Massimo has been rewarding its own customers who would hate them at Yelp. And they wouldn’t mind if they get booted out of the online review site at that.

Think this was the right move?

Well, for one, it’s gotten our attention – so, it must be a good move. But what else can you do to counter the said review manipulation? Oh, the very least would be…

Bolt Out. This would at least relieve you the stress of being in that site. However, of all options, bolting out would have the least impact on the site unless you have made a mark in it.

But for Botto Bistro, they did make their point. And so for others to follow suit would be even more damaging to Yelp.


Blog. Unless an entity really had a bad experience, blogging something disparaging could backfire – so be ready with your testimonies.

Comment on write ups. If the article is from a good blogger then commenting on the write up could gain more traction.

But again, this is similar to blogging. You should have really experienced the bad to be able to testify well. Not to mention, you got to choose your words – so as not to sound vindictive but truthful and impactful.

At some point, this hate campaign would mature and fade, so if positive changes haven’t come to fore yet – it’d be good to be prepared with your follow up tactics.

What’s your take?