Restaurant Dangles Refund If We Replace Scathing Yelp Review With A Five-Star One

Have you ever visited a restaurant or store that was really terrible, but had lots and lots of four- and five-star Yelp reviews? Maybe they’re engaging in practices similar to a restaurant that Jennifer reviewed. They offered her a refund to change her poor review to four or five stars. She and her fiancé brought a large family group to a steakhouse for a pre-wedding “meet the family” dinner. Was it the second tip that the waiter added to their bill for himself, the extra $400 in seafood dinners added to their tab, or the the attempted sleight-of-hand with bottled water? She wrote about all of it, and the restaurant didn’t like it. The refund, however, was only to come after she revised the original review and pretended the bad experience never happened.

Here was her original review, which offended the restaurant’s management so.

We came to [redacted] just over a week ago – A few days before our wedding – so that our families could meet over a nice steak dinner. I had been to [redacted] a few years back and remembered it fondly.

Unfortunately, on this occasion (which was supposed to be a happy one), we found ourselves thoroughly disappointed and insulted. This was not the classic steakhouse joint I remembered from a few years back.

We really regret hosting our pre-wedding dinner there as it’s left a horrible mark in our memories.

If you decide to dine here, then remember to (1) Thoroughly examine your bill and (2) Beware of what your waiter(s) are selling you — hence, (3) Diners beware, do not order anything without seeing prices.

* In Detail *

We walked away really hurt by the fact that we were SCAMMED by the service staff, who took full advantage of the situation by racking up our bill erroneously (it was noisy, and we were a party of 8).

Our two servers tried to pull several ‘quick ones’ on us throughout the course of the meal and additionally, put incorrect charges on our bill.

First, when asked about water, the waitress showed us two bottles and asked if we would prefer flat or sparkling water, and tried to pass it off as if these were the only options, and that the flat water was free. She nearly got away until we asked if tap water was available to which she finally admitted that it was an option.

We were also pushed to order a Lemon Drop cocktail. Not exactly the first cocktail that would come to mind at a steakhouse but we decided to try one out. Not sure what was in this Lemon Drop as it cost us $19 (vs a $17 Manhattan cocktail)! I don’t think I’ve seen a Lemon Drop in NYC at this price, but now I understand why they were pushing it on us.

Second, the waiter who took our orders was very dismissive and tried to push a lot of appetizers and side dishes on us. We had ordered more than plenty, and the waiter tried to have us order double the amount of family-style portions we really needed.

On top of this, we were misled into ordering eight seafood appetizers (which were off of the menu) – adding over $400 to the bill for a dish which was really unnecessary.

Third, the same waiter slipped/tacked on erroneous charges onto our bill. He knew that only one individual asked for her steak to be prepared “Oscar” style (which costs extra), but he tacked the extra charge on FOUR other steaks.

Lastly, the same waiter gave himself an *extra tip* at the bottom of the bill – this was IN ADDITION to the standard 18% tip that was already included for parties greater than 6. We luckily caught this one and crossed it off, but it was shocking to find this sort of behavior on top of everything else that had already happened.

We live in NY and have access to plenty of steakhouse establishments around here, and we have never once come across such pushy service and terrible behavior.

Then the restaurant reached out. She had this to add to her review:

I put forth what was necessary in my original review down below, regarding what we went through while dining here.

It is worth noting that as if this was not enough, [redacted]’s response was to attempt to bribe us (with a partial refund) to write a “Positive” review for them.

In what was basically insult added to injury, [the restaurant]:

1. Asked us to take down the original review immediately, promising a (partial) refund for erroneous charges on our bill. We obliged, in good faith

2. Told us that management was not around to approve the refund immediately

3. Finally informed us: The refund can be credited immediately, as long as we put up a 4 or 5-star review about the service & food.

After all that we originally went through while dining with them, and now this – The Irreversible fact is that this is now a part of our memories, for what was supposed to be a wonderful weekend celebrating our wedding.