A family-owned Italian restaurant in Brisbane, Australia is enjoying the sweet flavor of vindication today after foiling an attempted smear campaign by a pair of nightmare customers. Sarah Biuso co-owns Casa Nostra Ristorante along with her husband Biugio Buisco, who is the head chef. As they described to news.com.au, the incident started when a couple came in for dinner on Saturday evening. And for a family of seasoned foodservice workers, this pair immediately set off alarm bells.
We had two people book a table for dinner, with the woman booking saying she was bringing the Duchess of Netherlands as her guest. My son who works in the restaurant took the booking, and it was quite bizarre, but he listened and took down what they said.
When they walked in, they immediately started making demands. First they moved tables, and then they tried to combine two entrees for the price of one. Once their meals arrived, they quietly ate 75% of them. But then they brought their server over to make a complaint.
The customer who had asked for the Frankenstein dish pointed to her plate, where there was a hair. She demanded the meal for free because of this disgusting violation. But Biusco wasn't buying it.
As soon as the waiter cleared the plate, it was obviously the woman’s hair. We all have short dark trimmed hair, and this was a strand of dirty blonde curly hair.
When Biusco's son refused her request, she threatened to expose the hair in a negative review on TripAdvisor.com.
She was really rude while dealing with my son, but she was adamant and said, "If you don’t take this off the bill we will destroy your restaurant."
But Biusco's son stuck to his guns. And true to the woman's word, two scathing reviews appeared on TripAdvisor only hours later, one of which mentioned the hair fiasco.
The review reads:
We came here for a romantic Italian dinner.... and it turned out to be the worst experience ever! when we received our food my partners meal had a long hair in it, and when we showed this to the waiter, he got upset at my partner accusing him that it was his hair. His hair isn't even that long!
But hers was. And she didn't count on one other smoking gun—the surveillance cameras installed by the Biuscos, just in case something like this should happen. They posted footage of her clearly placing her own hair in the pasta on the restaurant's Instagram, along with a hilarious voiceover by Biugio.
The caption reads:
The Customer Is Always Right hey?????? Look what we, and other food business owners have to deal with on a regular basis.
We work hard every single day to give our customers an amazing experience in our restaurant and then you find people like this who decide to try and blackmail us for a hair in their meal.
As you can see, she put her own hair in the plate, stirred it around and insisted the waiter remove it from her as she was so offended.
FYI they tried to pretend it was a man and woman, but it was two women and both wrote a review.
We could see 101% it was the customers hair and that is the reason why we did not remove this dish from the bill.
Because we did not remove the dish from the bill, they told us explicitly that they would post bad reviews on Trip Advisor, which they did.
Trip Advisor has a no blackmail policy for reviews and if you inform them in advance, they say they will not post them.
Ummm no, we emailed them on the night this happened saying the customers threatened us with these bad reviews and we gave them easily identifiable information.
Yep, you guessed it, the reviews are posted on Trip Advisor for all the world to see.
Once again Trip Advisor publishes whatever they want for the world to see with no regards to the blood sweat and tears of business owners and our complete inability to control or withdraw fake and blackmailed reviews from these sites.
Trip Advisor have been sued successfully in the past over similar incidents. Any other business owners have similar experiences and have had enough?
We are in talks with our lawyer in regards to pursuing a case for defamation.
Please share as much as possible to show the world what's going on.
The Biuscos also sent the video to TripAdvisor, as well as to news outlets including 9News. In response to the overwhelming outcry, TripAdvisor eventually did take down the reviews—almost a week later.
In the years since sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp have become critically important to all sorts of businesses in the service industry, owners have become increasingly paranoid about the damage that could be done to their lives by a single unhinged customer like this. But stories like this prove that that paranoia is justified—if the Biusco family hadn't installed those cameras, they might be out of business. So next time you're going to write a review of your dinner, choose your words carefully.