Do you use Yelp? If so, you probably let it decide which restaurant you’re going to visit when traveling. You don’t want to eat at a potentially bad place and Yelp helps decide what’s good in a community based upon what others have said. Losing good reviews could seriously hurt a small business, yet one restaurant claims that Yelp themselves are manipulating their reviews.
A small restaurant named Verace in Shelton, Connecticut told local news WFSB that Yelp has been taking down their positive reviews. They claim that it’s all because they refused to buy advertising. Since then, positive reviews have been removed from the site.
The restaurant’s owner, Kelly Calandro, says that she thought she did something wrong, but soon found that other small businesses claim the same thing. It’s true that Yelp has been sued in the past for their business practices, but nobody has ever won against them.
For their part, a Yelp spokesperson told WFSB that they would never manipulate reviews over money. They also reiterated the fact that court cases brought against them by small businesses have never been successful.
As of now, the restaurant has only three reviews on Yelp with the best being a three out of five. The restaurant has only been open for less than a year, however, so the small number of reviews could be within normal operations. Calandro offered no proof that reviews were deleted so you’ll just have to take her story at face value.