Ever since online reviews came to be, people no longer have to rely on professional food critics to rate restaurants. People can give reviews to any place they eat, and those reviews can make or break a business. Users of sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor count on the other members to be honest about the good and bad parts of their meals and experiences, but sometimes there are people who are holding a grudge over something ridiculous.
Case in point, this Trip advisor review from an Australian man who ate at a restaurant called Eala Bhan while vacationing in Sligo, Ireland. While he didn't leave the absolutely dreaded one-star review (he gave three stars), he did have a bone to pick to pick with the restaurant manager, and he decided to do so on a very public forum.
Apparently the man found the food to be fine, but after leaving the restaurant, realized he'd forgotten his jacket and glasses. He called and spoke to the manager, named Anthony Gray, who said they did indeed have the items, and agreed to send them to the man in Australia. The man gave his credit card info to the manager, so all shipping costs for the jacket and glasses would be covered.
However, the items apparently didn't arrive quickly enough for the man, who, after a week or so, emailed two more times, but received no response from the restaurant. So the disgruntled customer took it upon himself to review the restaurant on Trip Advisor, writing, "Bottom line is Food might be O.K. But integrity is seriously lacking." OUCH.
This obviously didn't sit too well with the Gray, who responded directly to the unhappy customer's review with a missive of his own.
I never usually respond to reviews but have made a exception in your case.
We are delighted you enjoyed your meal at multi award winning restaurant here in Sligo serving the finest local sourced ingredients on the very edge of the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way!
I apologise that you forgot your jacket and glasses while dining with us. I apologise that I had not immediately sent your belongings back to Australia. I should have done a Joe ninety on it and hot tailed it up to the local post office and made your jacket a priority but unfortunately these things don't always happen the way you may have planed. I mean I'm only trying to run 2 restaurants in the middle of summer while my manager whom I'm delighted to say is 6 months pregnant but unfortunately is suffering God bless her wee soul and out of work resting which i insisted on!!!
Having 3 children myself under the age of 10 running around the house like
gladiators and tearing to pieces while not going to bed on time, rising like ninjas at dawn I am what you might say just a little tired and a tad busy . I should have pushed this way up my priority list but forgot and while all of this is going I'm very busy busting a gut here and in the UK promoting my beloved Sligo. Why do I do this? I love my town, I love it's people, I love every tourist that graces this beautiful part of the world and provides me and my staff with a living.
People make mistakes and forget things just like you did with your possessions. But to come on TripAdvisor and review me about my lack of postal skills honesty and integrity beggars belief considering I never laid my mince pies eyes on you ! I mean you are butchering my name insofar as my forgetfulness yet it was your forgetfulness that has us here!!!! POT KETTLE BLACK ( Google it) finally I just checked the weather forecast in your part of sunny Australia and I reckon you will be fairly safe insofar as your lack of windbreaker......jaysus it's roasting in your spot boi!! You lucky duck!!!
Your possessions are en route you will be glad to know!!! and as far as my honesty is concerned I'm not even going to charge your credit card for the post furthermore the next time you visit the beautiful Emerald Isle and my County I'll bring you shopping locally for a new Wind breaker as far i see its a bit of a crime against fashion.
Next time you feel like writing a review for a restaurant try to remember us for our qualities which we provide in the abundance of good locally sourced food wine, atmosphere at least that's what we hear consistently from our customers.
So eventually when it cools down in Australia and you put on your Wind breaker on think of your honesty Irish restauranteur who's full of integrity but you never met and who knows you may even break into a smile and give your face a holiday until then keep her lit .
WE MAKE OUT OF THE QUARREL WITH OTHERS,
RHETORIC, BUT OF THE QUARREL WITH OURSELVES
POETRY.............. W.B YEATS
Regards and Good day Mate
TL;DR—Gray thanked the Australian customer for eating at his establishment, and apologized for not getting the jacket and glasses back to him sooner. He explained (very politely) that he's trying to run two restaurants while his manager is taking some time off due to being six months pregnant. He added that he has three kids of his own, all under the age of 10, who keep him pretty busy, so he just forgot about mailing the items to Australia.
However, he pointed out that a man who forgot something at a restaurant probably shouldn't make such a huge deal out of another person forgetting something, too ("POT KETTLE BLACK"). Gray wrote that since his integrity was being questioned, he didn't even bother using the customer's credit card to pay for shipping, instead just covering the costs himself. He also added that he'd looked up the weather in the customer's part of Australia and it was really hot. So hot, even, that no one would really need a windbreaker.
The only bit of shade Gray threw was when he offered to buy the Australian man a new windbreaker should he ever find himself in Sligo again, referring to the current jacket as "a bit of a crime against fashion."