In the most recent tablehopper issue, I was the first to report on the flurry of one-star reviews for restaurants happening on Google, with scammers threatening to leave bad reviews daily unless the restaurant sends a Google Play card with the value of $75. Google has been mostly unresponsive to restaurants, but he GGRA (Golden Gate Restaurant Association) posted this update in a recent newsletter that they have “been working closely with our contacts at Google SF and have been reassured repeatedly that Google is very aware and working to correct the situation.”
They also add: “We are advising restaurants to continue monitoring their Google reviews and to flag any one star reviews that look fraudulent. This can be done online through your Google business page.” The GGRA wants you to forward your scam reviews to them, click here for more instructions on how to handle the shituation (because restaurants just aren’t busy enough trying to survive right now).
The GGRA also made a statement about a potential deal/modification to the (previously) permanent 15 percent delivery cap, a deal that would have DoorDash and GrubHub drop their lawsuit against the city. The proposal is being presented to the Board of Supervisors today (Tuesday). Here’s the GGRA: “Over the past several years, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association has worked to provide a fair playing field for our members in regards to third party delivery fees and practices. We are supportive of Supervisor Peskin’s proposed legislation, which modifies San Francisco’s existing permanent 15% delivery cap to allow restaurants and businesses more flexibility in contracting for additional services. This legislation would create an exemption from the 15% cap to allow delivery companies to charge for additional marketing and promotional activities starting January 31, 2023.
“Businesses could choose to opt-in to pay for these opportunities such as advertising and other features. The companies would continue to be required to provide core services to all restaurants at the 15% level, including the listing on their service’s platforms, websites and mobile applications, and the delivery of food and/or beverages from the establishment.
“The goal of these amendments is to provide flexibility for restaurants and other businesses interested in additional promotional and marketing services, but also to ensure that the core services of the delivery companies with a 15% cap, must continue. Restaurants and businesses with existing contracts will have a transition period until January 30th, 2023. We are thankful for the hard work and collaboration from all sides. This is an example of how we can all work together to ensure a safe and fair business environment for all.”
A sampling of the scammer one-star reviews plaguing local restaurants on Google (these are from Town Hall’s page).