How a Michelin-Starred Chef Responds to a Lousy TripAdvisor Review
The internet gives everyone a great deal of anonymity, which most people use to listen to Hanson on repeat, watch puppy live streams from our desks, and, of course, complain in very public forums.
But when you voice your displeasure online, you never really know who might be listening. Such was the case when a dissatisfied customer left a scathing one-star review of a restaurant on TripAdvisor and the Michelin-starred head chef responded.
The customer had traveled all the way from Limerick, Ireland to dine at Purnel's, a modern British restaurant in Birmingham, U.K. To say she was disappointed in the experience would be an understatement. She wrote that while she has dined at many Michelin starred restaurants, "Purnells has been the very worst for food and the cost of the food." She went on to call the portion size and price £68.00 ($98) "sinful in this day and age" and suggested that chef-owner, Glynn Purnell "take some lessons from Masterchef" to improve the menu.
After attempting to resolve the matter off-line and even refunding a portion of her bill, Purnell decided he had no choice but to respond to the customer online. "This review is not based on fact and we have tried to contact the author to discuss and settle this and strangely she has not taken our calls," he wrote.
"Food is subjective, we are not right or wrong, but this is our belief and ethos," he wrote, noting that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they are happy to accept constructive criticism, except "when feedback is false and littered with lies."
Purnel's biggest complaint seems to be with the fact that the issues were not raised at the time of service, and instead were made later and publicly. "These are 4 adults all upset by their dining experience who ate all 6 courses without once alerting us to the fact that they were not enjoying it," wrote Purnell.
And since the irate customer was making television-viewing suggestions, Purnell suggested she might "have more satisfaction from watching Man V. Food." Burn!
The review appears to have been removed (Metro UK has a screenshot) which hopefully means the parties came to an understanding and are now planning a Masterchef-Man vs. Food TV watching marathon together. She can bring her own snacks, though.