A Massachusetts pizza place is experiencing a surge in sales after a negative review by businessman Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports.
Portnoy filmed a review of Dragon Pizza, located in Somerville, Massachusetts, in which he called the pizza a “floppy mess” and rated it a 6.4 out of 10. The American businessman also labeled it “The Worst Pizza Place in America” on his Instagram and YouTube channels, sparking a viral feud with the owner, Charlie Redd.
In the video, Redd expressed his displeasure with Portnoy’s one-bite review and accused him of negatively impacting small businesses. Portnoy responded by saying that his reviews actually help many small businesses and referred to Redd as a clown.
Despite the negative publicity, Dragon Pizza has seen a significant increase in business. They thanked the community for being sold out on Monday and announced their closure for the rest of the week to prepare for the increased demand.
Residents of Somerville, such as City Councilor Jake Wilson, have taken to Twitter to express their gratitude towards Dragon Pizza.
On Monday, Dragon Pizza thanked the community for “Another Day SOLD OUT” in an Instagram post. On Tuesday, the account announced its closure to get through the rest of the week.
“We are completely sold out and need a day to prepare for the rest of the week. Thank you to our amazing staff and supporters. Couldn’t do it without y’all,” the Tuesday caption read.
However, Redd revealed that he has received death threats and various attacks as a result of the video.
“… It’s mental … I’m receiving death threats. I’ve received threats at my home. I’m receiving tons of all sorts of different attacks in many different ways,” Redd said.
While the negative review may have brought Dragon Pizza increased attention, it has also come with negative consequences for the owner. Redd remains committed to his business and vows to continue making pizza and making people happy.
This incident thrusts the power of social media and viral reviews into controversy, while simultaneously influencing the fortunes of small businesses, both positively and negatively. It also raises questions about the ethical responsibility of influencers like Portnoy in their online reviews and the impact on the livelihoods of business owners.