A Chinese takeaway in the United Kingdom is gaining popularity for its savage replies to rude customers on a review aggregator website.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 15, 2021. It has since been updated.
Most people in the service industry, from small business owners to waiters, bartenders, and baristas, have been told that the customer is always right. One Chinese takeaway restaurant is proving that statement wrong. In sharp, dry responses to rude reviews, a restaurant based in the United Kingdom is taking its power back. When a disgruntled customer leaves a negative review on a rating website, the owner of the shop leaves a reply explaining what actually happened, taking back control of the narrative in the process. Alice Cheung, the owner of the Chinese eatery Oriental Express in Pudsey, Leeds, is making sure one bad review does not break her business, Bored Panda reports.
"[Negative] reviews tend to put business owners down and demotivate them, I want to be realistic," she said in an interview with the media outlet. "I think reviews should be honest and not corporate responses." In order to be "realistic," as Cheung stated, some of her comments include possible reasons for a bad rating: "Let me guess, too much food, too tasty, delivered too quickly." While the customers who leave bad reviews may not necessarily appreciate her responses, the internet has definitely come to love them. Her replies gained popularity ever since a Twitter user posted a thread of them to the social media platform.
This Chinese takeaway in Leeds doesn't mess about when it comes to replying to reviews.— Daniel Sheridan (@DSheridanYEP) March 29, 2021
"We are good but mind reading the stupid is not one of our skills."
Some of her best-loved responses include ones to entitled customers who simply placed the wrong order. For instance, she wrote in reply to someone who claimed that a chicken dish included "small pieces of battered dry chicken mixed in with battered prawns... Good job [she wasn't] allergic to prawns," "Hi Laura, will you please open your eyes and read the descriptions, you ordered the 'special sweet and sour' which contains king prawns. You got what you ordered so how is this our fault. The food was fresh and perfectly cooked. We are good but mind reading the st*pid is not one of our skills."
These are bloody brilliant 🤣🤣 it’s a Chinese takeaway in Pudsey.— Gilly (@lufcgilly) March 29, 2021
Note: the customer is always right, except when they’re not! Customers are dicks, and poor reviews damage businesses. pic.twitter.com/ZlCcUBIXvx
According to Cheung, the website her domain is listed on removes any malicious responses. Therefore, she affirmed, "So it seems they’re fine with our responses." "Obviously best practice would be ‘customer is always right' and I believe this is true when the restaurant or shop is at fault," she noted. "But if you’re leaving bad reviews as a form of blackmail for free meals or to try to get refunds, it’s absolutely ridiculous!” Ratings can mean a lot to small takeaway owners, and some offer comped meals simply to ensure their reputation on rating aggregator websites is not tarnished owing to a few "bad apple" customers.
Heard about the Oriental Express in Pudsey posting replies to Just-Eat reviews. This has to be my favorite... pic.twitter.com/110MRA6HiM— Dave (@yorkshiredadof4) April 1, 2021
A representative for the restaurant explained that they are able to differentiate between genuine reviews and those looking for a free meal as a result of the years of experience they have in the sector. They shared, "There are times when things like delivery times can be longer than expected, especially due to lockdown and increased delivery orders. These are normally genuine, but you can expect food to take over an hour during busy periods. If you want it quicker, come pick up, it’s simple." Ultimately, the staff at Oriental Express just want customers to remember that they are human too. "If you’ve got genuine feedback, do you need to throw abuse?" The representative asked. "There [are] people that read the horrible reviews and a human behind the phone call when you throw abuse, not just the name, so there shouldn’t be a reason to throw abuse over a £10 meal. If you have something to say... just be polite!"