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Five-Star Dreams And A One-Star Attitude

, , , , , , , | Working | January 17, 2023

I decide to try out a new restaurant in town. I walk in, take one out of literally half of the restaurant’s empty spaces and… wait. I wait some more, and before I know it I’ve waited for almost twenty minutes and the staff haven’t even shown any interest in doing their jobs.

When one of the waitstaff looks me dead in the eye and then turns her back on me, I decide to just stand up and leave. I leave a one-star review on their Google review page, noting that my review is the only review that is one-star, bringing an otherwise immaculate five-out-of-five rating to a 4.9.

The next day, I get an email from the review site, informing me that the owner has left me a comment. I assume they want to make amends, as they have left me their contact number. I make myself a nice cup of coffee, sit myself down, and call.

Restaurant Owner: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name]. You left your number on my review?”

Restaurant Owner: “Ahh, yes. You must be One Star.”

Yes, he genuinely refers to me as “One Star”. Considering my name is on the review comment, this is not a great first step at amends.

Me: “Uhh… yeah, it’s [My Name]. I left the ‘one-star’ review on your page.”

Restaurant Owner: “Uh-huh, you see…. the reason why we have such good reviews before yours is that we want everybody to have a good experience with us.”

Me: “And this is relevant because…?”

Restaurant Owner: “Well, when you write reviews that are not strictly true, it gives off a bad impression, doesn’t it?”

Me: “Excuse me? What are you trying to say?”

Restaurant Owner: “Well, is there something you are perhaps not telling people in that review? Like how you waltzed by the ‘Please Wait To Be Seated’ sign?”

There was never any sign.

Me: “I beg your pardon? For your information, there was no sign whatsoever, and even if that was your policy, why did your staff show no interest in pointing it out rather than remaining glued to their phones?”

Restaurant Owner: “Look, we can pretend all we want, but that’s not the reason why you called, is it?”

Me: “Oh, really? So, according to you, not only am I a liar, but now you know my motive? Go on, then. Enlighten me.”

Restaurant Owner: “We will happily give you another chance in our restaurant, but I want that review deleted.”

I sputter a bit at this. How does a restaurant owner have such gall?

Me: “Neither of those notions is what I intend to entertain. And you know what? Once I have hung up this call, I will be adding this conversation to the next review. You do not speak to who pays your income like this, and you certainly do not tell them what they will or will not do.”

I hung up the call, and I made good on the promise of another review, bringing the 4.9 down to 4.8. I know it’s petty, but in the moment, they deserved it. Not long after, a lot of “anonymous” accounts sprung up posting five-star reviews, some of which tried denouncing my own. I wonder what sad and pathetic person would have to resort to that.

Question of the Week

What is the most stupid reason a customer has asked to see your manager?

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