Yelp Smack Down: Is There a Wrong Way To Respond to Online Reviews?

respond to online reviews

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The Internet is gleefully enjoying a smack down a New York bar owner gave an unimpressed customer on Yelp.

The owner of The Iron Horse NYC, located in the city’s Financial District, has struck back at Megan B. — the user who took to Yelp to vent her frustrations, leaving a one-star review after having an unfavorable experience at the dive bar.

“Wouldn’t recommend this to eat or for a quiet drink,” Megan wrote. “I met some friends here at 3 p.m. in the afternoon and the music was so loud we couldn’t hear each other. The service was terrible just to get a drink at the bar. The food was also terrible.”

Megan B Yelp Review (1)

Bad service aside, who goes to a casual bar for a great dining experience and peace and quiet?

While the original Yelp review and response appear to have been removed, the owners’ (Zbigniew S.) polite, yet withering response is still available on its Facebook page.

Zbigniew seems to understand that a negative review can hurt any business. So, he quickly responded to Megan’s negative review saying: “I read other reviews you posted on Yelp for places you have also visited. It seems you like quiet coffee shops and fancy food, none of which we have ever advertised to provide. Please note our description on Yelp even says: ambiance – divey; noise level – loud.”

The Iron Horse Response

To be fair, the Yelper complained about bad food and poor service too. But again, casual bars aren’t exactly well known for their upscale dining experience or their service. Rather, they are known for being affordable and rowdy. A bar with a “divey ambiance” is the kind place where you can spill a drink and no one will look twice.

Zbigniew tells Megan that she needs to ‘realign her expectations’ and sums up his views saying: “I give you 1 star as you are terrible at finding bars and restaurants that suit your tastes. I’ll give you more stars if you come back and have a drink with me.”

You’ve got to admire how the management slipped drink and food prices into their rant.

“Where else in the area can you get a a beer for $2,” the owner asks. “Where else can you get a nearly half-pound freshly made burger including a draft beer for only $10?”

But one has to wonder, is this really the best way to respond to online reviews that are negative?

Speaking of negative reviews, here are a few great ideas on how you can keep bad reviews from hurting your business.

Smack Down Image via Shutterstock 2 Comments ▼

Antony Maina Antony Maina is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. His beat includes social media, general business reporting and exploring how people relate to technology. With a background in freelance writing, he is a contributor to other tech websites and can be found at Word4Bloggers.

2 Reactions
  1. I’m not so sure. Some people may like it that they stood up for themselves but I don’t know if it will be good for them in general. At best, it can discourage people from making similar reviews in the future.

  2. If as you seem to indicate “your service is lousy and your food mediocre (but cheap) you aren’t going to win any friends by putting the lady down for simply stating the truth! You have a clientele and (evidently serve them what they like and want – Let the few that don’t fit alone – they will find other places that suit their likes.