Nobody likes a bad review, but Gary Usher, the outspoken chef/owner of Elite Bistros, won’t tolerate unfair remarks about his Sticky Walnut restaurant in Chester, UK.
When the chef saw a review slating his restaurant, he went through ten years of social media posts by the reviewer in order to build a profile of just who was dissing his restaurant and why. He then publicly 'quit' Tripadvisor by deleting the app from his phone, saying: "It's been emotional."
A chef or restaurateur always has the right of reply on TripAdvisor, so if you think a review is unfairly negative or not fully balanced, a robust riposte can often negate any damage. Few responses are as thoroughly researched and articulately constructed as Usher's, however.
It’s also worth noting the huge public support the chef has received, especially on social media. It includes those within the industry who understand that bad restaurant reviews leave a bad taste in the middle of a pandemic and the biggest crisis the industry has faced in generations.
It was a poor choice of words from the reviewer in this instance, who advised people to avoid the restaurant “like the plague”. Usher has previous in this regard, with a history of high-quality comebacks on TripAdvisor, but it looks like he’s done with the platform. Let’s hope not. He only set up this personal Twitter account recently to stop getting his restaurant into trouble. Well played, chef.