A customer by the name Rob, posted a two-star review for the restaurant and targeted the staff only to get called out.
Negative reviews can be damaging to a restaurant's reputation but there are instances of petulant customers giving bad ratings for no reason. When one such customer wrote a poor review about Sticky Walnut restaurant in Chester, the owner didn't take it lying down. It's always tricky to respond to bad reviews as it can turn into a PR nightmare, but it's safe to Gary Usher, the owner of Sticky Walnut, did the right thing when he stood up for his staff and called out the customer. Rob, the customer, posted a two-star review on TripAdvisor, writing that 'excellent food let down by Ryanair-style management.' Rob took aim at the staff, adding, "the restaurant management doesn't give a toss about customer experience," reported BoredPanda.
Gary Usher is a hands-on owner and decided to find out what happened for the customer to give a two-star rating. After checking with his management, he wrote a scathing public reply to the customer, calling him out for his entitled behavior. "For goodness sake Robert. I'm supposed to be in TwitAdvisor retirement so let's not waste any time. After all, you've waited 11 years since joining Twitadvisor to write your first review. Rob, you reserved a table on a Friday evening and agreed to a 1 hour-45 minute time slot. A standard practice, particularly on busy periods, that guests and restaurants worldwide agree to. "After your dessert course, the manager, who you said 'doesn't give a t***', gently reminded you that we would need the table back shortly. You ignored the manager and proceeded to order another round of drinks. Perhaps if your party had arrived on time for your reservation this could have been avoided," wrote Usher, who also owns several other restaurants.
Usher carried on, calling out the customer's efforts to bully the manager and slate him in front of other customers. “When the Manager came back a final time to politely let you know we needed to clear the table for our next guests you got up out of your seat, towering over the Manager, pointing in their face.” The manager requested Rob to stop pointing fingers in his face. The customer responded by telling the manager that they "didn’t deserve to be a Manager and weren’t qualified to be in the position.” Usher also called out his mother for joining in and targeting his manager, reported Indy100. “Your Mother then joined in by adding to the vitriol being directed towards the Manager. That’s when both you and your Mother showed your true colors with the classic ‘We’ve both worked in restaurants so we know how it works. We should be getting these drinks for free.’”
After nothing worked, Rob allegedly played the 'I-know-the-owner-card.' Usher said Rob "threatened the Manager by telling them that you would be contacting the owner because you know him” Rob pretended to be Usher's friend but Usher didn't come to play. “Every few months in a restaurant a rude guest will use the ‘I know the owner!’ line to try and intimidate team members and bully them into thinking that they will get into trouble because they didn’t look after the owner’s ‘friends’ well enough,” said Usher. Rob had allegedly also mailed Usher, in addition to the review. "I did ‘give a toss’, but not about you Rob, but about the way you treated the team,” wrote Usher. "So instead of replying to you we chose to block your number, and your Mum’s, and put a note on our booking system to not accept any future bookings from you.”
Usher also backed up his staff in his stinging reply. “With regards to the Manager who ‘doesn’t give a toss’ they have managed Sticky Walnut for the last 8 years. Coincidentally the same length of time that Sticky Walnut has achieved a top 100 position in the National Restaurant Awards in the UK. I think that makes them both extremely deserving to be the Manager and absolutely qualified to hold that position.” Usher then signed off the note, with: "Not your mate, Gary — another owner you don't actually know."