Case Study: How One Bad Restaurant Review Made Money

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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.

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