help with yelp

Ive just negotiated a great deal to own the pizza shop my brother and I have been establishing for the past 2 years, great lease, great rent, great sales so far.

my question is we are planning on changing the name in september maybe october we are going to hang a banner inside saying that we will be changing the name, same food, same faces etc.

my only worry is with yelp, we have a great reputation on there and although I hate yelp bc I think its unfair you can be judged by any person who has internet access.

can I just have them change my business name on the account? has anyone done this?

every time yelp has called my store they’ve always been rude, I told them I don’t want to participate in yelp and it should be a choice if you want to participate in it. I say this eventhough we have a 5 star average with 15 reviews.

a photo of me was taken opening day and posted on there I asked them to remove but they said they can’t/won’t. I’m just worried ill have to completely start over

I would consider keeping the name or doing something close to the name if the reputation is solid. What is the name?

Be careful how you tread with yelp. If you turn down their “awesome” advertising, they will start to remove your positive reviews and hide / flag some legit reviews. They are scam artists. Fortunately for us, yelp is not popular in our area, so not much affect on our business.

Why not keep the name if it’s doing as well as you say? Seems foolish to “start over” if it’s doing well and it’s already established. I personally try not to change things that are working, only things that aren’t.

Okay, I want to change the name because we didn’t chose the name (homerun pizza). The landlord who owned the bldg and buisness chose it.
I know it seems juvenile but it matters to us.

So it sounds like you are making an “emotional” decision versus a “rational” one…The “emotional” one may set you back…

I agree with Royster. I have personally made decisions that are emotional and have negatively affected my business. It is extremely tough to separate those but absolutely necessary.

I think that you sit on the idea with the name change as well, as far as Yelp, 100% agree that they can not be trusted

WOW how awful!! Did this happen to your business?

I have seen businesses successfully do a gradual name change. You start with Homerun Pizza then go to December’s Homerun Pizza. After you find that people are calling it December’s you can drop the Homerun from the name. Yelp will follow you through the process.

I don’t know for sure but I think Yelp is out of deleting your reviews business. 5 years ago we had about 30 reviews at one of our stores. The Yelp guys kept calling me and I was nice and polite but I finally did tell them I would not spend any money with them. The next day all of our reviews were gone. I have heard a lot of stories of this happening and Yelp has taken some heat for doing it. Both from the restaurants and the reviewers who wasted their time writing the reviews. Our reviews have built back up, but I still tell them no way. I find it kind of funny that places with bad reviews advertise with Yelp and places with good reviews don’t.

Anyway you can email them and request that they merge the reviews into your new name. If you spend some money with them they probably will do it. If you don’t spend any money they probably won’t

I am on the other side of the fence. How long has it been open? 15 reviews isn’t a terrible many. Are you in a small town? I would change it especially if the name doesn’t match the decor or theme. I would just make sure you buy the name or right to use it so someone doesn’t open another home run. Not sure on the legal aspect of that. Just say Name, formally Homerun or something like that for a year in all your advertising

Good luck with Yelp on anything, we moved over a year ago, and after a few dozen or more requests for them to merge the several different pages on us, they have yet to merge them,

Foursquare has a nice little racket happening too, they expect a $20.00 fee for an owner to claim their page. or they say you can wait 4-6 weeks to get a postcard that they never send to you to claim your business.
Oh, and with a relocation, they send the postcard to the old address, so you’re forced to pay their fees if you want to move forward with them…
if a person misspells, or uses punctuation wrong, boom there’s another duplicate page. fun fun fun. I ignore most all of them these days, yet I see many noobs that find us through those sites, so it’s a double-edged sword.

I’ve seen this first hand. We have over 23 reviews all positive flagged and the one negative review stays up even though it is very questionable. Yelp is a complete and utter scam no question.

If you want more info on how to deal with Yelp you can listen to the seminar Yelp gave at the pizza convention last spring. I used the info Yelp gave to get some of our fake reviews taken down. Some still remain but it is what it is. The best part of the seminar is the last 20 minutes. Its basically a bunch of pizza operators screaming down the Yelp lady. Its great fun.

Thanks for everyone’s responses! I’m defiantly changing the name. Just over time like Daddio suggests. I’ll call yelp and see what they say fingers crossed.

The decor and theme just aren’t us, the food is tottaly ours and doesn’t match our name.
Besides that I have friends all over the pizza industry in my town, right down the street 1 mile is Grand Slam pizza(hes a friend of mine and thought I ripped off his name) I actually get embarassed when I meet someone new and say oh I work at Homerun. They say oh why would you name your place homerun when GRANDSLAM is right down the road. Then I explain the owner of the bldg chose the name. And that he has deep pockets, woke up one day and said I like food I’ll open a pizza place. Looking forward to being proud to say the name of the place where I work!!

how can we listen to that?

You have to purchase the recordings