The latest tale of Yelps gone wild comes to us from Eater Boston, which reports that the chef at a Medfield, MA, wine bar has issued a public apology after countering a 1-star Yelp review by calling the customer a “mentally ill raging alcoholic.”
It all began over a 1-star review posted on Yelp by a customer who that after dinner she and her fellow diner wanted to try some scotch when, “All of a sudden, the manager came to our table and told us to leave because he thought we had too much to drink. He insisted that he could not serve use any thing [sic] more including coffee and to just leave,” according to the review.
“We paid the hefty check of $180 with cash and left totally embarrassed,” continues the write-up. “He even threatened to call the police when I protested that we each had no more than 3 drinks and maybe we should have coffee before driving… Needless to say it was a very unpleasant and disturbing experience.”
It’s certainly a negative review, but it could also have gone ignored as the business already has dozens of reviews on Yelp with a 4-star average.
But rather than respond with a calm explanation of its side of the case, the restaurant’s chef wigged out and took to ranting online, writing on Facebook that the Yelper in question “neglects to mention that our restaurant had to get a RESTRAINING order against her because she is clearly a mentally ill raging alcoholic that causes a major scene every time she comes near our restaurant. She doesn’t mention that the police were on scene either.”
He also writes the commonly stated complaint by restaurants that the review wasn’t being filtered out by Yelp because the restaurant doesn’t pay to advertise with the site.
The chef has subsequently pulled his statements and issued an apology via Eater.
“I sincerely apologize for expressing my frustration with a guest’s review on social media,” saying that such a vitriolic response is not the way his restaurant “responds to guest feedback and my words do not reflect the hospitality-first philosophy of the team here.”
The chef was within his rights to defend his business against the negative review, and if the statements about the police being called and restraining orders being issued are true, then these are relevant facts to be used to discredit the 1-star write-up. All that said, this information didn’t need to be presented in a way that makes the chef look as reactionary as the customer.