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Local businesses share consequences of inaccurate reviews

The Iowa Restaurant Association emphasizes the importance of making sure your reviews are accurate before posting, since it can really hurt businesses financially.

WAUKEE, Iowa — Two metro restaurants have recently received bad reviews for things they say are out of their control. 

And, according to the Iowa Restaurant Association, it's a problem that's plaguing the state as a whole.

Home Sweet Cone Ice Cream has been open for over a year in Waukee. For fall, the business changed their hours of operation and has them clearly printed in-store.

However, a recent Google review gave the shop a one-star rating for not serving a would-be customer — someone the business says arrived after closing. 

"That's following protocol for what I've asked our employees to do," said Colleen Strohmaier, the owner of Home Sweet Cone Ice Cream. 

She says the review is unfair and lowers her business' Google rating. 

"That one star will always be playing a role on the algorithm and people's possible perceptions," Strohmaier said.

Inspired by another local business, I felt compelled to share a little something…thanks for reading and hope to see you soon!

Posted by Home Sweet Cone Ice Cream on Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Another business receiving a review they thought was completely unnecessary is 5 Borough Bagels in Clive.

Owners Sarah and Toney Chem say a recent review, written by a customer who frequents the shop, doesn't address what actually happened Monday. 

The owners say that they told the customer they were out of certain things because the business was busy and there were supply chain issues. 

"Everyday we get people that are new, never been here, never heard of us, and if they do a quick Google search or Yelp search, they'll see that," Sarah said. 

Please like and share! ❤️

Posted by 5 Borough Bagels on Monday, September 5, 2022

Jessica Dunker, the CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, says people leaving inaccurate reviews is something negatively affecting business owners statewide.

According to Dunker, it's a problem that can be quite costly in the long run.

"I've seen research that says one bad review can cost from anywhere from $3,000 annually to $3,000 monthly," Dunker said. 

For Strohmaier, one thing she asks of people posting reviews is not to shy away from leaving them in the first place, but to just make sure it's not hurtful.

"I think you need to give a place two or three chances before you sit behind your computer and put this out there," she said.

The Iowa Restaurant Association echoes that statement, emphasizing the importance of making sure your reviews are accurate before posting. If possible, it's recommended to resolve any issues with the owners in person.

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