Restaurant Responds To Negative Yelp Review With Role-Playing Exercise

yelpgrabWhen a ticked-off consumer goes on Yelp to unleash a nasty rant about your restaurant, what’s the best way to respond? For one eatery in Kansas City, it was to flip the tables on the Yelper with a bit of dramatic role-playing. has the story of the Yelper whose husband attempted to place a to-go order from a restaurant that not only doesn’t offer take-out service, but explicitly says “No” under “Take-out” on its Yelp page, so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

“My husband asked to speak with the manager,” reads the one-star review, which appears to have been either deleted or filtered off the restaurant’s Yelp page. “The manager, Jamie, said, ‘our food is plated beautifully, and we can’t put it in a ‘to go’ container.’ So thanks, Jamie, we’ll just starve. (What the manager said is just not true by the way–we’ve eaten there before, and they did pack our food to go.) When my husband said that he was going to post a Yelp review about the way the restaurant was treating us, the manager questioned, ‘Are you a grown man and an adult?'”

The Yelper also said that she and her husband “regularly travel to NYC and eat at a variety of restaurants, which are more than happy to accommodate people by packing food to go.”

In its response to this review, the restaurant points out that its no to-go policy is in place because they would rather have customers eat at the restaurant and experience the food the way it was meant to be plated and served (and at the right temperature). Any to-go containers the couple may have seen previously were packed-up leftovers; not take-out orders, says the restaurant.

The response even confesses to questioning the caller’s age and maturity “after he became combative and threatened us with a negative Yelp review if we did not alter our operational practice and provide him with ‘take-out’ food.”

Then it gets to to the role-playing:

It was made REPEATEDLY clear in the conversation with your husband that he is a lawyer. Let me provide the following analogy/role reversal…it may assist in clarifying your request.

YOU: I want to hire you to handle my divorce.

ME: But, I’m a tax lawyer.

YOU: I don’t care…I want you to handle my divorce.

ME: Sorry, but I don’t practice that form of law.

YOU: Just handle my divorce, I’ll pay you…it will be fine.

ME: I don’t feel comfortable providing my services as a divorce lawyer, as I am a tax lawyer. You won’t receive the service you are wanting or that I am willing to provide.

YOU: Well, I travel to NYC often, and in NYC, Tax lawyers handle my divorce litigation all the time. I don’t know what the problem is. I’ve told you I’m a chef, right?

ME: Well, that’s nice sir, but I really can’t help you. It goes against my business practice.

YOU: If you don’t represent me in my divorce, I’m going to post it all over the [most frequented social media review of lawyers] that you refused to provide me with the service I requested, and make baseless allegations about how you are very pretentious, arrogant and unprofessional. I will also try to prevent you from getting any additional business by damning you on said social media platform. Now will you represent me?

ME: I don’t take kindly to threats.

Thanks for your feedback. We will let you know if we decide in the future to practice divorce law, I mean, provide “take-out” food.

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