June 26, 2017

Yelp Thinks Feedback Is Only Valuable When It’s Public

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This month Yelp called out Tattle for trying to help restaurants collect feedback privately. “We don’t take this lightly,” a spokeswoman for Yelp told Eater. “Companies like Tattle are designed to help businesses keep negative (but honest) feedback off of public forums like Yelp, where it can help inform other consumers’ spending decisions.”

Naturally, our long-time and highly respected partner in Xi’an Famous Foods took to the defense of recent Yelp actions in support of publicizing their real-time Tattle feedback delivered from onsite guests to their respective Yelp profile. According to Yelp, this action is now frowned upon to the extent that they are placing ‘Consumer Alerts’ on practicing businesses’ Yelp pages.

Yelp seems to misinterpret the purpose of a Customer Experience platform like Tattle, along with the value of private feedback collection among brands that have grown tired of public reviews.

Contrary to Yelp’s PR response, Tattle’s mission is not to prevent feedback from going direct to open forums like Yelp, but to empower both brands and customers, respectively, to collect private guest feedback about the areas of their business they care most about and to participate in more constructive means of communication. “Long before Yelp ever came along,” said Alex Beltrani, CEO of Tattle, “restaurants used customer comment cards to empower their guests to communicate directly. Tattle was created because we saw a real issue with the consumer-centric review paradigm as it is exists today. It’s our duty to fix it.” 

In that sense, we cling tightly to a mission that reflects a more helpful, private, and merchant-centric approach. Through conversations among thousands of multi-unit restaurant brands who recognize the shortcomings of today’s review system, we have designed out platform using a mobile-first philosophy that drives our 99.53% survey completion rate while delivering 20-50X more feedback than public review sites from onsite guests. 

As one of Tattle’s partners, Barb Leung of Nom Wah Tea Parlor points out on Twitter, what is most startling about Yelp’s comments is that they see other feedback systems that are not public, as “shady”:

For Yelp, there may be more at play here. Increased guest communication directly with businesses ultimately hurts Yelp’s site traffic, content creation, and by extension their quarter-over-quarter revenue. To this end, Yelp’s stock price has been taking it on the chin of recent, dropping a whopping 25% after it reported last month:


The reality is that there are plenty of platforms available for guests to express their opinions publicly, e.g. Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, etc… And while we know that these sites are here to stay, of the 170 million people that use Yelp, only 1% of those users write reviews. To exacerbate the issue at hand, Yelp has also noted that 30% of all of the reviews on their site are fake! 

So what about the rest of us? What about customers that experience an issue with a restaurant yet resist the public discourse from of sharing discontent across the internet? Tattle fills that void in the market. And in the process has solidified itself as an incredibly valuable tool among feedback hungry brands who deeply care about the guest experience. 

Feedback is essential for businesses to succeed in the format specific to their guest services and operational process. Most customers understand this. That’s why Tattle makes it easy to communicate directly with their partner brands. It gives the business the opportunity to hear about an issue, self-correct internally before the rest of the world finds out, and reach back out to the guest directly in order to fix the problem. Building a stronger relationship with the customer along the way.