PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A business owner in North Portland is battling misinformation online, in addition to fighting back from the pandemic.

Jon Poteet owns the Shine Distillery which he opened on North Williams Ave. three years ago. In hopes to extend hours for his target audience, he opens for brunch an additional six hours on weekends. The extended hours do not consistently show up on Google, however.

“[Sales] get cut in half on the weekends that Google changes our hours,” Poteet said.

Poteet estimates the sales take a $1,000-$1,200 hit compared to weekends with a full brunch crowd. His kitchen prepares for the rush and when it doesn’t come, he estimates around $200-$300 of food that is thrown out after being prepared.

Poteet has reached out to Google several times. He notes, and a Google Spokesperson confirms, that there is no phone number for businesses, even those verified through Google, can call to remedy these problems. Instead, it’s filing an online form.

“It’s one more factor in the daily struggle of running a restaurant,” he said.

Poteet says he’s submitted corrections several times, and yet his hours revert to the same 4 p.m.-10 p.m., instead of 10 a.m.-10 p.m. for weekends.

“This is something that’s very problematic, it can definitely hurt your business,” said Seth Morrisey, owner of Oregon Web Solutions, “You just have to stay vigilant to really watch that information.”

Morrisey’s business helps small businesses utilize social media and search engines to get their names in front of potential customers. Morrisey says his first step is helping businesses ‘claim’ their business posting on Google.

In the worst scenarios, a business can end up in an ‘edit war’ where incorrect and correct postings go back and forth, like a battle for which information gets posted.

“It’s like the wild west out there. There’s just a lot of information on the web that just isn’t accurate,” said Morrisey.

In a statement, Google says the platform uses a mix of human and automated processes to post data it believes is accurate and up to date. The spokesperson points out that contributed content from users is how it creates information on Google Maps for everyone to use.

“Feedback provided by Google Maps users is essential to keeping the map up to date, and when we receive an edit, we use available information to confirm its accuracy before publishing it. Providing accurate, reliable information is our top priority, and we encourage people and businesses to report content errors and misleading information, which helps us improve our automated detection systems and keep the information on Maps authentic and reliable,” the spokesperson wrote.

Poteet regularly watches the search engine now. He’s also perplexed why his competitors show up on the “food near me” or “restaurants near me” search option, but he does not. A search through Apple’s Siri will show his restaurant, but he believes he’s missing out on other new customers who use Google.

Morrisey found research that shows 90-92% of search traffic is from Google.

“It’s an unnecessary headache. This shouldn’t be this difficult,” Poteet said. “I rather deal with taxes than Google.”