Restaurant owner won't let scathing Yelp review get away with 'alternative facts'
Not everyone knows how to act when in restaurants. Sorry, folks, but the customer isn't always right.
While business review services like Yelp and Trip Advisor can offer valuable insight and influence your night out on the town, anyone with a computer can write a negative review. There's bound to be some inaccurate accounts from both patrons and restaurant owners defending their establishment. Regardless, there's no greater internet drama than when an owner goes shows up on Yelp to duke it out with a reviewer.
A Yelper by the name of Mary S. left a pretty nasty Yelp review for Broadway Oyster Bar in St. Louis, Missouri, in February. Mary was a bit upset with her experience, so she left a 1 star review. Just for reference, the restaurant has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Yelp, with 919 reviews.
Mary claims she had a reservation for nine people, but follows it up by staying that it took two hours to get seated. Ouch! She was also upset because her party had to be split up when they added some additional guests, and accused the manager of being "unwilling to work" with them.
"It is our fault as a society for allowing this behavior to be accepted and to allow sub par customer service," Mary said in the review. She and her party ended up heading to another restaurant down the street where they had "a FABULOUS dinner with EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE!"
Owner John J. noticed the review that same day, and fired back with a very different account of the events that unfolded.
John starts with a kicker: " And now for the real rather than the alternative facts."
John reminds Mary that she actually didn't have a reservation, which seems to be what started this whole thing. Why? Well, because Broadway Oyster Bar doesn't even take reservations. According to John, the party waited an hour and a half, not two hours, and nine people were seated at a table usually reserved for eight, but they were OK with squishing.
"Shortly thereafter, five more people, not three as you claim, showed up and wanted to be seated at your table that was already overcrowded," Jonh wrote. "Instead of asking our staff for assistance, MEMBERS OF YOUR PARTY PROCEEDED TO GO TO ANOTHER PART OF THE RESTAURANT AND TAKE CHAIRS THAT WERE NOT BEING USED AND PUT THEM AROUND THE TABLE FOR THE EXTRA FIVE PEOPLE TO SIT!"
John then goes on to say that the five extra people were sitting in the aisles and infringing on other guests personal space. The floor manager apparently then tried to work with the large party, and offered the five additional people a separate table. That's when a heated argument with "F bombs" broke out between the manager and member of Mary's party, who according to John, had been drinking at the bar since mid afternoon.
"After Mr. F bomb finially [sic] realized that he was not going to get to do whatever he wanted and the heck with the guests seated around your party as well as our staff and manager, he decided to take your group elsewhere where I am sure you had a FABULOUS meal with EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE," John wrote.
But it doesn't end there. John included one more juicy detail that Mary left out.
"The funny thing is not all of your party left and went with you to Soulard," John wrote. "Several of your party stayed at BOB, apparently too embarrassed by your party's behavior to continue to be seen with you. We do have our problems in society, and many of those problems come from privileged people like you who think you can do whatever you want to because the customer is always right! Well, they are not always right. Sometimes they are loud, ignorant, rude and verbally abusive."
He ended his rebuttal by banning Mary from the restaurant.
Mary responded and tried to explain why some members of her party stayed behind. She then suggested that the bar should be on the reality TV show "Bar Rescue."
Check out the full review here: