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It’s probably not news to you, but shill happens everywhere, and today I’m specifically talking about the shill reviews on Urbanspoon. I know restaurant owners will rate reviews that are in favor to them positively, and vice versa. They will also get their friends and families to create accounts just to boost their ratings. While that cannot be prevented, some are done in a way that is almost too obvious. I’m bringing this up because I’ve noticed very recently that one of my favorite restaurants is being attacked. I’m seeing reviews and vote downs that have no basis to them and since I spend a lot of time on Urbanspoon, and that I do extensively read a lot of reviews, I have pretty much nailed which competitor of theirs is the culprit.
I have zero tolerance for this shady behavior. If your restaurant is not attracting enough customers but others are, it’s your fault, not theirs. Bringing their ratings down does not change the fact that people are not going to your restaurant. Instead of doing something so childish, why not focus on ways to improve your own restaurant? I can only conclude that you are not confident in running your business and that you are jealous of others who are more successful, and you think creating false reviews will make you feel better. Constructive criticism is a positive thing, but don’t say you welcome any type of feedback when you start freaking out the moment something bad is said about your business.
Do not assume your customers are idiots – it’s very easy to put two and two together when you make it that obvious!