In Honolulu, Hawaii, Cafe 8 1/2 thought it was a great idea to post a sign on front of their establishment that says "If you voted for Trump you cannot eat here. No Nazis."
Unsurprisingly, some residents took offense to this sign which is unwelcoming at the very least and discriminatory at worst. I could care less about their politics; I'm more interested in what would happen to their brand when it became world wide news.
Sure enough the barrage of one-starred reviews appeared like mushrooms overnight on Yelp. The onslaught was so severe, Yelp posted the above pop-up as a heads up. But also as a way to protect their own brand.
Yelp is now the supposed gold standard when it comes to reviews. In reality, it most likely isn't and might have a lot of flaws but let's pretend for a moment this is not the case. In order to be a useful resource tool, Yelp has to keep their brand unsullied by vindictive motives. Unlike say, Wikipedia, who clearly doesn't care. This means Yelp will be clearing out a lot of ultra-negative and ultra-positive response reviews by people who have never eaten at Cafe 8 1/2 but wanted to express their viewpoint. Yelp helpfully concludes by asking people to "take it to the forums," because that's the place for discussion. It should be fairly easy for Yelp to do this weeding out, by concentrating only on the reviews after Cafe 8 1/2 made the news. And I must say, good on them for trying to keep it objective and stay unsullied by a restauranteur's political stance.
As for Cafe 8 1/2, time will tell if it has any long-lasting effect on their business. Hillary Clinton easily won Hawaii with 266,891 people voting for her, as opposed to Trump and alternate candidates combined 162,046 votes. Still, one has to wonder in this day and age where outrage and tension is still running high, where even a joke from Cinnabon about Princess Leia gets the angry mob out, is it really such a great move to be deliberately politically divisive if you are a brand?
Like it or not, Donald Trump won. In my opinion, Cafe 8 1/2 would do their brand (and all other brands tangentially related, like Yelp) a bigger favor by taking their sore loser note off their wall and stick to making pasta.
Sore loser or savvy marketeer? Sounds like more publicity will get more asses on seats. At any rate, this is dumb.