Chef Davide Cerretini of Botto Bistro in Richmond, internationally famous for waging a war against Yelp, announced this week that his eatery has been sold to Mountain Mike’s Pizza.
But Cerretini is making sure not to leave Botto Bistro, located in the Harbor Gate Shopping Center, without hurling parting shots at the online review site, which he claims manipulates reviews in order to force businesses to purchase advertising.
“We would like to thank Yelp for being so stupid and arrogant that they tried to extort the Italians,” Cerretini wrote on social media. “In doing so they allowed us to have fun, increase our business and our popularity, troll them for the last 6 years, sell our place at a profit, and forge a new career that took us all over the world exposing them for the idiots they are.”
In 2014, Botto Bistro made news headlines for providing large discounts to customers who left dismal 1-star Yelp reviews about the restaurant. The “Hate Us On Yelp” campaign was a protest against Yelp’s business practices and quickly threw Chef Cerretini and Botto Bistro into national fame. His protest was documented in national newspapers, TV news stations and in a documentary. Last year, Chef Cerretini discussed the topic in a humorous appearance on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
Alas, Botto Bistro has been sold. Probably to his customers’ delight, Chef Cerretini said his war on Yelp isn’t over.
His letter in full follows:
Dear friends, fans and Botters,
Botto Bistro has been sold to Mountain’s Mike Pizza
We would like to thank Yelp for being so stupid and arrogant that they tried to extort the Italians. In doing so they allowed us to have fun, increase our business and our popularity, troll them for the last 6 years, sell our place at a profit, and forge a new career that took us all over the world exposing them for the idiots they are.
Botto Bistro became an inspirational symbol for many restaurants and small business owners around America, who now refuse to advertise with Yelp despite the pressure and the blackmailing. I, Chef Davide Cerretini, have been featured in a docu-film about Yelp, appeared on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and have been interviewed by all major media outlets in the country, including Time magazine, USA Today, NY Times, MSNBC etc. The world had a big laugh and Yelp’s credibility found its place in the toilet.
In 2014 I started the Hate Us On Yelp campaign and turned the tables on one of the most hated enterprises in America. At the time, Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman was sitting on a 3 digit stock on Wall Street. Today the king’s stock is worth no more than a small cheese pizza.
Last time we heard from a Yelp big shot they said, and I quote: “Cerretini gives himself too much credit”, which translates in Italian as “Cerretini screwed us pretty badly”, I can’t hide my satisfaction at seeing the venom spewing out their mouth every time they mention my name. Priceless, to say the least.
Knowing that the Yelp CEO’s ego is definitely bigger than his balls means it’s unlikely he’s going to take his loss and get the point. And also knowing how Italian I am, it’s unlikely I’m going to let him off the hook. So obviously this thing is not over, and this page stays up along with our website and blog. Yes this is going to be fun.