Italian Restaurant Offers Discount if You Give Them a Bad Review (PHOTO)

What's the first thing you do when you want to experience a new restaurant but have no idea where to go? If you answered "Yelp it," you're not alone -- the site, with its customer ratings and reviews, is so ridicuously popular that it can make or break a restaurant.

One awesome Italian eatery in California is very well aware of that fact, thank you, and they couldn't give a flip. After Botto Bistro co-owner Davide Cerretini suspected Yelp was purposely giving him one-star reviews because he stopped advertising with them, he did something extraordinarily rare for a business owner: he offered customers 25 percent off their bill if they agreed to trash the place on Yelp.

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Cerretini says that, at one time, he spent $270 to advertise with Yelp for six months. When he pulled his money from the site, he claims negative reviews began popping up out of the blue and a positive review suddenly disappeared -- which isn't common since one of the problems (in my opinion) with the site is that reviews can't be altered or taken down.

Instead of aspiring to be a Yelp star, Cerretini told SF Gate he has other plans:

“I don’t have anything against Yelp. The idea is fantastic, but the blackmailing thing is ferocious,” says Cerretini. “I think I should be the one deciding if I’m on the site or not. At least I can be there on my terms. The only power they have is they make you reliable to them. So, I’m going to be one of the most unreliable restaurants.”

“I want to be the worst restaurant there is in the Bay Area,” he says. “I think this is the best business move I have made in years.”

I can't help but agree with him. How many of us living outside of San Fran could say before this morning that they had heard of Botto Bistro? And now I'm DYING to check it out based solely on this awesome sign that hangs in their establishment:

So far, their campaign has worked. Tons of hilarious comments have been posted on Yelp, proving folks will do anything to shave a few dollars off their bill (hey, I get it). There's this one:

"We don't have ice"
"We don't have butter"

 You know what else they failed to add to that list? Walked in today only to find that they don't carry the iPhone 6 Plus. WTF.

And my personal favorite:

"I've been locked in their basement for a month making gnocchi out of drywall and wallpaper paste. All of this because I asked for a refill on water WITH lemon"

Is their food really any good? Not a clue. But these guys know how to stand out in a sea of Italian restaurants -- and they aren't afraid to challenge the gods of restaurant reviews -- kudos to them!

Would you try this restaurant based on their offer to discount your bill if your post a bad review on Yelp?

 

Image via Roberto Zingales/Flickr

 

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