Remember Botto Bistro, the Richmond, CA restaurant that hates Yelp so much they were offering 25% off pizza to any customer who left them a bad Yelp review? They're back, they're offering an even bigger discount, and they are so filled with loathing for the website that I'm a little surprised they haven't tried to burn the corporate HQ down.
First, there's the fact that their promotion has worked so well that they're now offering 50% off to keep encouraging people to leave them one-star reviews (Yelp has removed thousands of them, including all of the ones linked in my original post). Meanwhile, Yelp has left up some actual (and absurd) bad reviews that claim things like that it's run by "fake Italians" (both chefs, Davide Cerritini and Michele Massimo, were born in Italy). The increased discount was intended to protest the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco's ruling that Yelp is totally allowed to extort businesses, and that earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission finished a long investigation into Yelp's business practices and decided everything was just hunky-dory.
The newsletter announcing the 50% discount, meanwhile...I mean, holy crap, I thought I hated Yelpers, but these guys put me to shame. The entire thing seems to be an excuse to loudly proclaim that anyone who uses Yelp should take a long jump off a short pier. Look at this thing:
"We want to apologize to the Yelpers. We did not realize that Yelp was created for humanitarian purposes. To help the less fortunate, the ones left behind. All these people with no real friends and tons of personal issues, living a sad and lonely life, unheard and uncared for...the ones sitting on the bench of the world, the invisible ones and the sometimes unfairly unwanted.
Finally, they have Yelp! They can open the site and see Steve with 500 written reviews, wow, one hundred followers, double wow, complaining to the world that his pasta did not came [sic] with garlic bread and have everyone clapping their hands...wow, you go boy! You tell them about that garlic bread!
Steve has no girlfriend, no job, no real friends, no chance...but hey, he has 500 written reviews and an Elite badge from Yelp, that is priceless to him.
Yelpers can rely on word of mouth with real friends? Nope, I think we are pretty safe on that one – they don't have that many real friends…all this time they were a little confused, they thought their followers on Yelp were their real friends. Oh well! Never too late to start making new ones."
Ouch. That's little much even for me, even if it is good to see a restaurant willing to refuse to cater to the whims of any idiot customer who stumbles through the door.
We need a palate cleanser after that. Fortunately, the newsletter also has more of the dumb customers of the month we all enjoyed so much, so we can end on that:
Q. Is there any meat in your pea soup?
Q. Any meat stock?
Q. Any chicken stock?
A. Nope, not even duck stock or venison stock or raccoon stock. And I'm pretty sure even our famous wild boar broth has not been used for this soup.
Q. I just want to make sure.
A. You could not be any more clear.
Q. Because some places do use meat stock.
A. And some others don't.
Q. So you don't use it?
A. I think we're going to pass on this one.
Q. What do you mean?
A. I lied to you, there is so much meat in that soup that you won't believe it, it's a puree of sausage and lard, with a reduction of duck fat and rib eye juice with liver and tripe, but we also put in a couple of peas.
Q. I'm going somewhere else.
Q. I don't know who the hell is cooking in your kitchen but this chicken tastes weird.
A. It is probably because you ordered the pork sandwich.
And one that should win an award for best restaurant-customer interaction ever:
(Calling at peak time, 7pm on a Friday night)
Q. Can you tell me all the specials that you have tonight?
A. I'm afraid, sir, that you have to look on our website, we are really busy and we have about a dozen specials.
Q. I'm a customer and if I tell you to read me the specials, you read me the specials pronto!
A. Oh well, I apologize, sir, I will read you the specials one by one immediately. For starters we have a wonderful fresh "fuck you" with a side of "you are an idiot," slowly cooked in a delicious "you are a clown" sauce that can be served fresh if you come here in person so we can personally take care of you.
Q. (He hung up, he didn't like the specials)