Food Blogger Fined For Review

How Many Mistakes Can A Restaurant Make?

Blogging is a very powerful marketing tool.
Blogging is a very powerful marketing tool.

Google’s algorithm for determining the order which search results are displayed is at best a secret. It can be frustrating when you are looking online for your own business to find that a review is placed higher than your own business’ website. If that review is positive, you might not mind so much, there is a strong chance they will direct their readers to your post and it all helps your SEO in the end.

However, if that review is negative, you can feel more than disheartened.

That is what happened with one restaurant, the Il Giardino in Cap-Ferret, France. They found that the fourth result for their restaurant name was a review posted by food blogger Caroline Doudet. The review was not flattering, calling the owner a ‘Diva’ and suggesting people should stay away.

The blog is very successful with over 3000 followers, which the lawyers for the restaurant claimed was significant.

Six months after the review was written, the restaurant owners took the food blogger to court, their lawyers stating the review had harmed the restaurant’s business. The restaurant won and the food blogger was told to pay compensation and to amend the review.

A Victory… Or Not As The Case May Be!

This may sound like a victory for the restaurant but it is far from it. As news broke about this incident there was a huge effort by online users to discredit the restaurant on popular review sites like Trip Advisor, Google Plus and Yelp.

restaurant reviews screen shot
Support for the food blogger was strong

Looking at these sites you can see the majority of the reviews were posted after this story became headline news. Since then, the average rating has been lowered significantly as people have posted 1 star reviews complaining of the treatment of the food blogger.

Previous to this, the restaurant might have achieved a 3.5 or higher star rating looking at the oldest ratings.

If this was it then the restaurant might be able to turn things around. The only problem is that the plight of the food blogger has made international news. International news means there are a lot of high profile websites covering this story. Now the restaurant’s website will be pushed further down the rankings.

search engine results
Reports of this food blogger incident go viral

This bad publicity comes with a price and it is likely that the business will see a huge fall out. Yet it didn’t need to be like this. There were options for the restaurant which would have been less costly and more subtle.

Embrace the Food Blogger And Certainly Don’t Fight Them

The major mistake which the restaurant made was that they didn’t respect the power of blogs. Their reaction to the food blogger was the complete opposite to what they needed to do. Therefore instead of helping their business, the owners have caused more damage than one review could have done.

Become a member and find out how you could have reacted differently should a similar situation happen to your business.

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /”