The Accusation That Had TikTok Spamming A Restaurant With Bad Reviews

Bad reviews can absolutely destroy restaurants. After all, no one wants to eat at an establishment that's described as dirty or unsanitary. No matter how great the food might be, bad reviews can absolutely kill a restaurant's reputation and scare away customers who know that if they leave a negative review, it'll just be another bad review piling up on top of hundreds of others. The impact of this on restaurants is staggering — one negative review may mean up to 30 fewer customers and three negative reviews could mean 59% of potential customers will not eat at that restaurant (via Wowapps).

People leave bad reviews for all sorts of reasons. Maybe they had a bad service experience, or perhaps the food was not that great, or there was something unexpected in their food. Whatever the reason, bad reviews can be really damaging to a restaurant's reputation. Sometimes the process to deal with terrible reviews takes a lot of effort, especially for new business owners who may not know how to respond in a calm, helpful manner.

What happens though, when you're suddenly bombarded with bad reviews? That's what happened when one woman took to TikTok to air her grievances regarding her friend's place of employment.

A TikTok invited review bombing

One restaurant received an unexpected influx of very odd, yet bad, reviews recently because of an announcement on TikTok that an employee hadn't been paid. While this might have been the unfortunate case, there's no way to verify that what the TikTok user Emily Milner said was actually a fact. None of the reviewers stopped to verify the information with the restaurant and it seems they very much enjoyed themselves in the process.

One Google review by user univerts msp, said "They threw a waffle at my nana and she passed out x the food was cold." Another reviewer, rosinafrancesx, said "informed the staff my daughter had a nut allergy they then proceeded to through Nutella at her claiming that she was a 'bad nut' then a fake Willy Wonka they had hired came in and kidnapped her ... absolutely disgusted." These are just a couple from the hundreds who joined in this restaurant review bombing.

"It's this kind of s*** that gives me a little hope for humanity," said Twitter user youngsunaa in response to the abundance of crazy critiques. While the reviews were obviously over-the-top and silly, the amount of one stars this particular restaurant received could be very damaging — especially if the report of non-payment isn't true.

Google gives restaurant owners the opportunity to respond

Of course, owners can choose to respond to the reviews and clarify any misunderstandings. Google also gives the opportunity to remove any obviously fake reviews (via Hupspot). Take for example the scathing way one restaurant responded to a one-star review by calling out a customer's bad behavior. The truth is bad behavior can go both ways, and while customers may have a bad experience, the chances are the restaurant staff are also going to experience bad customers or employers at some point and therefore, it's a good thing that Google reviews aren't one-sided. 

The old adage "the customer is always right" will possibly be a thing of the past — especially as many employees aren't returning to the hospitality industry due to stress and some difficult customers they may have to put up with. When a restaurant owner takes that risky step to call out a troublesome customer, they're putting their business reputation on the line by standing up for their own rights and the rights of their staff. This could be all that is needed to help a staff member feel heard and stay onboard. Even though there might be a correct way to respond to bad restaurant reviews sometimes, they really need to be called out.