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Case Study: How One Bad Restaurant Review Made Money



When it comes to marketing and online reviews, sometimes you just have to get creative.

That’s exactly what one Denver bar owner did. After receiving a negative review on Yelp, the staff decided to make the most of it.

The Occidental Bar noticed a review that said, “Good drinks. Atrocious music. Good god, someone help them.”

Staff jokingly suggested that they make T-shirts with the quote from the negative review and so it happened. Taking ownership of the negative review actually had a positive effect – it was a talking point for customers, and many took pictures and shared them on social media – more free advertising and word of mouth marketing.

Another Denver based bar did the same with a negative review, and the establishment not only wore t-shirts bearing the negative review, but ended up selling them. To date, they sold approximately 450 shirts – made some money and increased visibility at the same time.

This is a great example of making lemonade out of lemons, and having a little fun with an otherwise negative review.

Of course negative reviews need to be looked at carefully and resolved when possible. However, sometimes it’s good to have a little fun and take ownership of these reviews – it can pay off in the end.