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Negative review causes controversy at Omaha restaurant

Posted at 8:23 AM, Jul 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-12 11:36:44-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Businesses are prone to negative and hateful reviews, sometimes often, but one popular downtown restaurant said one hateful review crossed the line.

Take a stroll down Farnam Street and you'll find one of Omaha's most popular restaurants, Block 16.

The prominent restaurant sees its share of customers go in and out. But one day, co-owner, Paul Urban was taken aback by a negative review.

"It's one thing if you don't like your food..."

Which is how the review left on Google started...

The review said in quote: "The burger had so much mustard on it, nothing else could be tasted. Sweet potato fries were burnt and had so much salt they were inedible. Atmosphere is great if you're part of the rainbow/low t-cell crowd."

"....To attack a whole group that had nothing to do with my restaurant. It just made no sense to me," Urban said.

Urban highlighted the experience and responded directly to the poster on Twitter.

Brandon Pappas with the Greater Omaha Chamber said negative reviews are something many businesses are dealing with, especially in recent years.

He always recommends responding in order to protect your reputation.

"The one thing you don't want to do is not respond to a negative comment," Pappas said. "You don't just want to leave the negative reviews there. It can look like you don't generally care or that you're not addressing them. It can also, over time, start to compile where you are noticing an uptick of negative reviews because that's what you're allowing your page to do."

A bad review might be hard to swallow, but research from Northwestern University showed customers are more likely to buy from you when you have between 4.2 and 4.5 stars. A few complaints, with responses, can make the business look "legit".

Like most owners, Urban just wants customers to have an enjoyable experience.

"We just want you to be happy. That's all. If there's a problem. There's 14 of us here every single day. If there's a problem, we'll fix it."

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