SAN DIEGO (NewsNation Now) — Since the pandemic started, it’s been challenging for restaurants like Sisters Pizza in Hillcrest to bring in the dough — and thanks to some recent Yelp reviews, it’s getting even tougher.
The owners say most of the reviews come from customers upset about the way the food was delivered by apps such as DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.
“Some people go straight to the one-star and use the typical ‘I would leave no stars if I could,’” Emily Lake, the owner of the Sisters Pizza, told NewsNation affiliate KSWB.
“It’s not in our control, and they are choosing the delivery service themselves that they trust. They should perhaps take it up with the delivery service,” said Lake.
“Unfortunately, the feedback that I’ve got is that it’s almost impossible to get a hold of a person, and so they want to take out their frustration somewhere and unfortunately, often, it’s via Yelp review.”
That’s where Bobby Marhamat comes in, CEO of Raydiant Screen Signage.
“We want Yelp especially and Trip Advisor to make a change here,” he said.
Marhamat’s company launched a nationwide petition asking Yelp to take the posts down. You may have even seen some of the advertising for it on the back of pedicabs in downtown San Diego.
The signs read: “Dear Yelp, Stop letting Karens kill restaurants because of third party delivery app issues. It’s not their fault.”
Marhamat says at least a dozen San Diego restaurants and hundreds more around the country have reached out to sign the petition.
A spokesperson for Yelp wrote KSWB to say that less than 6% of the overall reviews mention delivery and added: “Business owners and consumers can flag reviews they believe may be in violation of our content guidelines which will then be evaluated by our content moderation team.”
Marhamat says if that’s happening, it’s taking too long. He is hoping to get 100,000 signatures so that Yelp realizes it’s a serious problem that needs quicker attention.