Rice Barn Thai Eatery and Wine Bar, a new Vacaville based restaurant, claims the crowd-sourced reviews website, Yelp is sabotaging their ratings.
When you walk into Rice Barn, owner Andy Poomsan greets every customer with a warm, “Welcome home!” so that each person feels like they’re part of the family, even if it’s their very first visit. But it turns out when it comes to Yelp’s standards, having a lot of happy customers isn’t always a good thing.
“We just opened; it’s our third week. The first week when we open we got about 50 reviews, five star – all 5 stars,” Poomsan said. “And then, for some reason, the following weeks our stars drop, drop, drop to 30, 40, 20, 10 and then 5 and all the reviews [have] been hidden to the unrecommended reviews.”
Poomsan said he called the Yelp support line a couple of times.
“They told me that the restaurant has ridiculous reviews in a short amount of period of time, so the computer filter, they filter all the reviews out so it’s been hidden,” Poomsan said.
Poomsan is not new to Yelp and its services.
In 2014, he opened up Buddah Thai Café which was nationally ranked in the top 20 of all restaurants reviewed on Yelp.
ABC10 reached out to Yelp for a better explanation. A representative sent me the following response:
Our stance is quality over quantity and we err on the side of caution when it comes to protecting consumers and providing trustworthy and reliable content. That’s why we currently recommend about 75% of the reviews that are submitted to Yelp. This means about 25% of the reviews submitted to the site are not published on a business’ listing or recommended to consumers.
Just one little hiccup: There are only 13 reviews that were deemed worthy of being posted and over 90 that fall into the “not recommended” category. That’s about 87 percent of the reviews for this restaurant.
Even with his reviews in Yelp purgatory, Poomsan is still smiling and waving at every customer that comes by.