retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Vice has a story about how - to use its headline - "Yelp is Screwing Over Restaurants By Quietly Replacing Their Phone Numbers."

It works this way:  "Even though restaurants are capable of taking orders directly—after all, both numbers are routed to the same place—Yelp is pushing customers to Grubhub-owned phone numbers in order to facilitate what Grubhub calls a 'referral fee' of between 15 percent and 20 percent of the order total."

In other words, instead of looking out for its retail clients and their patrons, Yelp is looking out for itself.

“We're working with these companies to help generate orders, but so many times, we're put in a position where we need to compete against them to get access to our customers,” says Robert Guarino, CEO of the Manhattan restaurant group 5 Napkin Burger.  “So many of these practices make it hard to trust the companies. To not have all the practices clearly spoken about and understood by the businesses is really scary in my eyes.”

You can read the story here.

KC's View:

Read this story … and then think about whether any service provider with which you might be working is looking out for your brand equity (which ought to be its primary job), or looking to build its own business on your back, even if that means laying the foundation to eventually be able to compete with you.

Think about it.  Is there any company with which you are working that might fit that description?