Bravest Bistro Ever Pays Customers To Write Hilariously Negative Yelp Reviews


Botto Bistro to the Goblin King of the restaurant world AKA Yelp: “You have no power over me.”

Since it first launched back in 2004, Yelp has grown into something of a tyrannical behemoth in the food world — even being granted legal permission earlier this month to manipulate reviews for money. Because business or something.

Still, not everyone is so willing to cower before the review site’s supposed “might.” In an effort to undermine the reliability of its Yelp listing, the Botto Bistro Italian restaurant in Richmond, Calif. has actually started offering customers discounts for writing negative reviews.

According to Inside Scoop SF, the five-year old establishment is on “a mission to the the worst-rated restaurant in the Bay Area.” Owners Davide Cerretini and Michele Massimo hope to prove that bad Yelp reviews won’t impact their business, nor that of “any other successful restaurant.”

The results of the tongue-in-cheek campaign have proven to be at worst confusing, and at best, utterly brilliant. Loyal and amused customers have brought their witticisms by the truckload, docking the restaurant stars for food that tastes too good, waiters that serve too well, and experiences that remind them way too much of Italy.










The clever stunt has not gone entirely unnoticed by Yelp’s legal team though, which, kind of ironically, recently reached out to the Bistro for “offering incentives” in exchange for reviews. The cease and desist letter read:

To be clear, this violates our Terms of Service (, and reviews written under such circumstances violate Yelp’s Content Guidelines ( We also often find from user feedback that such practices do more harm than good, as the practice creates distrust amongst customers and users who now eye all reviews on a listing with suspicion.”

Pardon us if we respond with a big ol’ EL-oh-F*CKING-EL.

Fast Food

X-Men Themed Burgers from Carl’s Jr. Come Loaded with X-tra Bacon


The upcoming X-Men movie Days of Future Past may not make a lick of sense, but mo’ bacon always does.

In a promotional tie-in similar to last year’ s Superman-themed “Super Bacon Cheeseburger” and 2012’s Spiderman-themed “Amazing Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger,” Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s is now offering another X-TREMELY baconed-out set of sandwiches, in honor of the new X-Men film.

The first is the Western X-tra Bacon Cheeseburger, which comes with four strips of bacon, American cheese, beef patties, barbecue sauce, and o-rings. The other is the X-tra Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit, featuring four slices of bacon, an egg patty, American cheese, and a buttermilk biscuit, for breakfast only.


Presumably, you won’t have to send yourself to the past in order to nab one of these little piggies, but you should probably stop by a Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s ASAP. When in doubt, just remember this little maxim: “If your future self doesn’t come back to stop you, how bad a decision can it be?”

PicThx Carl’s


Most Honest Wine Labels Ever Include ‘The One with the Berries’ and ‘The One with the Awards’


We’ve seen a lot of innovative marketing when it comes to wine lately. From infographic wine labeling that visually depicts flavor breakdown via color swatches to guides that help you decipher wine lingo, the wine marketing industry has become a hub of creativity. The latest comes from Realist Branding, who have kindly provided us wine-challenged beings with a solution to choosing that perfect wine for any occasion.


Designed for  Easy Choice Winery, the company created a no-hassle way to identify wine preference by implementing a bold font to highlight the most memorable trait of each wine. Such examples include: “The One with the Berries” and “The One with the Awards.”

These playful labels mimic the way most of us actually choose our wines and contain “ten percent less bullshit.” Mmm, tasty.

Picthx Realist


Unique Wine Labeling Uses Color Swatches to Break Down Flavor


Taking a modern approach to wine labeling, Uproot has created a first-of-its-kind color bar. The unique labeling serves as a visual representation of the wine’s tasting notes, offering a guide to the flavors and aromas found in the bottle. Together, these color bars make up what the company calls a “Flavor Palette” that is unique to each variety of wine. While the label changes according to the wine’s flavor profile, the design will retain the brand-specific color bars and overall aesthetic.

The idea here is recognition and transparency. From sommeliers to people just looking for an easy way to decipher wine lingo, this type of infographic strategy provides you with all the basics.

We’ve got to hand it to them — you would definitely know an Uproot wine bottle when you see one, thanks to this clever marketing scheme. However, while this is certainly “innovative” marketing, it’s unclear whether the company is selling wine with diverse flavors, or a home decorating service with a bounty of wallpaper color swatches.

Uproot Wines, $34-$44 @DrinkUproot


Well, That Was Awkward: Chipotle’s Bizarre Twitter Hack

So, what did you do this weekend? 

Chipotle: Oh, you know. Went on an epic search for an avocado in Colorado, learned how to pronounce “cilantro,” then asked the boo to pick up some groceries on the way. Typical weekend.


This past Sunday afternoon, Chipotle’s Twitter account was seemingly taken over by the most nonsensical of hacks. Its usual responses from PR reps Joe and Candace were replaced by a series of bizarre tweets ranging from a question fit for Siri (“Find avocado store in Arvada, Colorado”) to a nonchalant request for groceries (“Hi sweetie, can you please pick up some lime, salt, and onions? twitter.”)

When Mashable reached out to the burrito chain for an explanation, the company simply responded, “I’m glad no one went Anthony Weiner on us, but everything seems to be fine.”

So was Chipotle hacked or is this just an ingenious marketing stunt? Or aliens? Must be aliens.



chipotle twitter hack


H/T Mashable


Asians Like Panda Express, Mexicans Like El Pollo Loco and Other Fast Food Stereotypes Research Says Are Actually True


Next time you’re out grabbing fast food, stop and look at your fellow diners. If you’re at In-N-Out, are they mostly Asian and Hispanic? At Popeye’s, mostly African-American? At Tim Horton’s, mostly white?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it turns out you’re not just being racist (well not super racist) – you’re just seeing the natural influence of ethnicity on consumer’s taste in fast food.

According to a report compiled by location analytics company Placed, ethnicity is definitively the highest predictor of a diner’s restaurant preference, much more than gender, age or income. Titled “Dining Out in America: The Quick Service Restaurant Landscape,” the report measured over 70 million locations and 70 thousand panelists in order to reach several conclusions about American dining trends. And they’re probably way more stereotypical than you were expecting.

For example, the top five most visited chain restaurants among Hispanic eaters, according to the report? Pollo Tropical, El Pollo Loco, In-N-Out Burger, Wienerschnitzel and Del Taco. Among African Americans? Church’s, Checkers, Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits, Krystal and Rally’s.

Placed also analyzed the influence of geography, sex and age on consumer preferences, and found, among other things, that only those in the Midwest deemed Taco Bell and Chipotle worthy of their top ten; that middle aged women were much more likely to eat at McDonald’s than young adult men; and that the West had the highest amount of QSR diversity in the nation, with 40% of its top chains not appearing among the leaders in any other markets.

What the report isn’t clear on, though, is the causality of the whole thing. A quick glance at Orange County, Calif. alone would reveal a higher concentration of ethnic-centric restaurants in areas where specific ethnicities are better represented. You’re much more likely to find an El Pollo Loco driving through Anaheim (which is over 52% Hispanic) than anywhere in Irvine (which is 40% Asian). And the top 5 restaurants among Asians (Jamba Juice, In-N-Out Burger, Jack In The Box, Starbucks and Panda Express) can all be found on or just across the street from the UC Irvine campus.

So are fast food chains really good at marketing, or do we just like eating at restaurants we live nearer to? Chances are it’s a little bit of both, that over the years chains have tested in and out of areas based on the general taste of the local demographics. If you think about it, it’s kind of nice having someone out there who knows you so well, huh?

H/T Businessweek + PicThx CNN


Budweiser’s ‘Buddy Cup’ Instantly Facebook Friends Anyone You Tap

budweiser buddy cup

Pun not intended. Budweiser Brazil has unveiled the Buddy Cup — a cup that connects to Facebook through a built-in-chip. The idea is simple: Users scan the QR code at the bottom of the cup, then every time they clink glasses with someone else they’re instantly registered as Facebook friends.  The gimmick takes advantage of the number of times we cheers during the course of a night, making it easier to casually add a stranger to your Facebook circle.

Although, that’s where the issue of privacy comes up. What happens when you suddenly find yourself hanging with a group of people you just met and some yells, “CHEERS OMG TO NEW FWENDS.” Then all at once, bam, you have 30 new Facebook friends in a span of 30 seconds. All of sudden, the group of strangers you just met has access to your entire Facebook profile. Mix this in with alcohol and the entire situation makes us a little wary.

Still, Budweiser hopes the Buddy Cup will encourage interaction between consumers at branded events like as concerts and festivals. Apparently, “Toasting has received an upgrade.”

H/T The Drum

Fast Food

The McDonald’s Parody Ad That Likened Loving Big Macs to Suffering from Depression

mcdonalds depression

Tell me about the first time you ever went to McDonald’s. Do you remember who was there with you? Do you remember how it made you feel?

According to at least one McDonald’s ad which recently ran in Boston, the answer for some people is probably “f*cking depressed.” The ad featured a distressed woman covering her eyes, along with the copy “You Are Not Alone: Millions of People Love the Big Mac,” and likened the love of the iconic fast food burger to a kind of addiction, encouraging people to call the McDonald’s corporate hotline for help.

Of course, except for anyone who actually does suffer from a debilitating fast food addiction, loving a Big Mac is nothing like having a mental health problem (ahem), which has led the corporation to distance itself from the ad and ask that it be taken down.

AdWeek reports:

“In a statement to Time magazine, Nicole DiNoia, a McDonald’s rep for the Boston area, says the ad was ‘not approved by McDonald’s’ … She adds: ‘We have an approval process in place with our marketing and advertising agencies to ensure that all advertising content is consistent with our brand values. Regrettably, in this incident, that process was not followed. We sincerely apologize for this error.’

In all likelihood, McDonald’s probably did approve the ad only to receive considerable backlash from mental health advocates, after which it decided to throw its design agency under the bus. Or everyone who saw the ad called in to complain about its implications. “Yes I love Big Macs, but I don’t appreciate you suggesting I have a problem. I can stop whenever I want!”

H/T + Picthx Adweek