Some restaurants and business establishments get bad reviews on Yelp (or other social forums) due to an unpleasant customer vs. proprietor experience. But, they take it in stride. They extract whatever constructive criticism they can and let the rest (i.e. those unreasonable complaints, which don’t take extenuating circumstances into account) roll off their backs. This, indeed, is the upright and most professional way to go about things.
Some restaurant and business owners, however, take negative feedback as a signal to BRING IT. In other words, negative criticism—to them—is a gauntlet thrown. In their eyes, the customer’s not always right, so they hit back with harsh words and rants and raves of their own—often with hilarious results—such as in these following 15 examples.
15 "Dark, dark rabbit hole..."
This is just too good a comeback. Poor Ben got smacked down hard here. Let’s face it: in this match of wits, Ben’s outgunned. He just doesn’t have what Chisai Poké Bar has in its grey matter arsenal. Chisai really takes umbrage at Ben’s painful and alliterative phrase, "pathetically pivoted," to describe their restaurant’s shift to being more on trend (seizing, in particular, on Ben’s use of "pathetically" in his review). Chisai explains how they’ve contributed to the community (very positive and important to point out) before they attack Ben’s own pathetic-ness. They even throw out some numbers, concluding that Ben must be a full-time unpaid (AKA unhappy and unfulfilled) review writer, who has fallen down a “dark, dark rabbit hole” of useless and excessive social networking.
14 The saga of Amy and Samy...
Amy’s Baking Company (owned by Amy and Samy) stands as the only establishment that Gordon Ramsay gave up on with his restaurant business rehab show, Kitchen Nightmares. These people were beyond saving in his eyes (indeed, the company has since closed). After their embarrassing performance on Ramsay’s show circa May 2013 (where shining moments were filmed, such as them openly screaming at unhappy customers, pocketing their employees tips and threatening a customer with a knife), the pair also engaged in regular, ongoing internet flame wars with their disgruntled clientele on various social media platforms. If you’re gonna take a swing at Amy and Samy—they’ll swing back!
13 "If you came back, I'd kick you out again..."
Seems like Scott E. stepped on the last nerve of Francesco M. (owner of Park Italian Gourmet restaurant) on this particular day. Scott has a complaint that he turned up 20 minutes late for breakfast service hours and they refused to serve him his bacon, egg and cheese. It’s rough when you’re craving something, it’s before noon, you go to an eating establishment which advertises breakfast and your foodie dreams are denied. We do sympathize with Scott E. on that.
Feisty owner, Francesco, is having none of this, however and rounds out Scott’s story, pointing out that he was “not kind at all” (presumably to Francesco himself and/or his staff). Francesco showed Scott the door and if Scott comes back, he’ll kick him out again!
12 We don't want you or your "theoretical friends" here...
You know how it is when you’re standing behind someone in line, who's raging at the cashier and being condescending. They usually wind up their grand rant with threats like how they’ll never come back and they’ll tell everyone they know not to come to this establishment, either. In those moments, you know the cashier or owner is probably thinking to themselves: "Whew! Thank God, I’ll never have to deal with this idiot again!"
Some customers aren’t even worth it. Businesses don’t want their stinking money at all if it means not having to put up with them and their kind. That’s what Mark N., owner of Onefold, is saying in his response here to a negative review, which was written because (apparently) he denied these complainers a free bowl of chili.
11 "Emma" vs. Nick's Riverside Grill
We should tell you upfront that this is a case of mistaken identity, subsequently confirmed by the owners of Nick’s Riverside Grill. But, before that was determined to be the case, it looked like a woman complaining on Yelp about being overcharged for her one happy hour drink and the owners sniping back, accusing her of soiling herself “in the middle of (their) restaurant,” and proceeding “to sit in it for the remainder of the evening” and saying that they didn’t want her to return to “any of their establishments until (she is) potty trained.”
As it turns out, Nick’s Riverside Grill was lashing out here at the wrong customer—one who did not post the review in question, but it’s still pretty gross and unbelievable that this happened at all!
10 Mark got served!
Mark got served, all right. A day late, maybe, but he got what was coming to him. Sounds like Mark’s negative experience at Meri’s establishment was the result of him being refused service because he lacked appropriate ID. Perfectly acceptable for any liquor-serving place of business to refuse service on these grounds. Supposedly, Mark—like some kind of offensive clown—exposed his chest hair to the female staff as his proof of age. Not cool, Mark. Total creep move. Mark slams the place in his review here, saying it’s gross, smells, is seedy and that some of the staff look “cracked out.” Then, of course, this owner’s response puts the whole thing into perspective and exposes that Mark’s the real “seedy” one in this scenario!
9 "$15+ a piece for lunch..."
Note to self: do not leave a negative review about Park Italian Gourmet online because business owner, Francesco M., will hunt you down and challenge you. He may even throw you out if you show your face there again, like he did to Scott E. (who went there expecting breakfast, 20 minutes after posted breakfast service hours). Be forewarned! Now, with that out of the way, Francesco goes a little gentler this time and only questions Salman’s math on his lunch tab (but he does accuse him of being “full of sh*t”). At least he doesn’t threaten to throw Salman out and tops off his insulting response with a less inflammatory “Take care.” Showing some restraint here, Francesco!
8 Ciao, chow!
So, Peter B. has a beef about waiting too long for his Saturday lunch at a place that offers “mostly good” food. He starts his review talking about “rude” people, who are “lacking in compassion,” strongly implying that he is talking about the chef/owner of Gaia’s Italian Café (when he refers to “their restaurant”). Ever notice that the accusations some throw at others tend to be characteristics they themselves are guilty of? A little bit of the pot calling the kettle black is going on here, it seems.
The chef/owner of Gaia’s blasts Peter’s “attitude” and for “pretending” to have a table. These two seem to have a history and Gaia’s owner has zero chill left and basically tells Peter not to darken her restaurant’s doorstep again.
7 "These two winners..."
When two obnoxious diners showed up at Alden & Harlow’s restaurant, the owner of the establishment took their picture and posted it online, sarcastically identifying them as “two winners” and claiming that they “seated themselves with no reservations, insult[ed] and berat[ed] [their staff],” “refused to leave” and openly went on Yelp in front of them, as “means of threat.” Chef/owner of Alden & Harlow (identified as ‘mscelfo’ on Instagram) took some online flak for posting the photo and he defended his actions by commenting: "It's one thing to be entitled, but mistreat my family. Hell no.” He further elaborated that his staff “opted to kill them with kindness until they left,” and that he and his family/staff “as a team endured a ton of abuse.”
6 Very punny
And now for something completely different, here’s a more lighthearted exchange between two parties on Twitter: @TeaAndCopy, who went shopping at Sainsbury’s for a particular battered cod and the responder, a witty Sainsbury’s employee named David, who clearly has a relentless gift for incessant punning and pleasing customers. We’re pretty sure these two captured every kind of fish the sea has to offer—along with clams and squid. @TeaAndCopy picks right up on the trend and gives Sainsbury’s back as good as it gets. Or maybe this is how the shop typically communicates? It sounds like—by the end of it—@TeaAndCopy is going to get what he wants from Sainsbury’s, even though they might “pull a mussel” in getting it done. Ha.
5 Burger Centric is pretty touchy
Burger Centric is actually a really cool name for a burger place...if you’re a total nerd and appreciate the word “centric.” There’s that cool word, for example, “geocentric” which refers to the once-prevalent theory among ancient civilizations, that Earth was the center of the universe. Modern astronomy, of course, debunked that whole philosophy, though much like ancient civilizations, Burger Centric is, indeed, still the center of its own universe. Quite frankly, though, the business owner here is truly offensive in their response (implying that this poster doesn’t have insurance coverage—presumably based on their appearance) and has a very condescending tone (“I can’t help people with no knowledge”). However, they do raise the excellent point that customers should buy something before commenting.
4 "Bottom of the barrel..."
This was quite an ugly mess for the now-closed restaurant (which was located at 47 King Street West located in Manchester, UK). A diner named Melissa posted a mildly negative review on Facebook. She mentioned that the "restaurant was nice" and the "food was fab," but did complain that while their party grew from the original reservation number (and she says she notified the restaurant in advance), the restaurant responded by seating their party at two separate tables, far away from each other. The restaurant responded with a truly shocking rant, referring to the ladies of the party as “peasants,” calling them “ugly,” “vile” and saying that they “piti(ed) the groom.” The restaurant also added that this hen party littered their restaurant with confetti. Talk about overreacting!
3 "In the spirit of ending this whole thing..."
Here’s another customer, who has sworn never to return to a restaurant and the business owner is happy about it. Good riddance! We don’t want you or your money! So, Joan showed up late for a reservation, with only half of the people available to complete it and wrote a negative review because she felt slighted by the irritated hostess/owner, who was trying to run her business as best she could on a bustling Saturday night (which is probably the busiest time in any restaurant). Supposedly, Joan edited her original review to delete the cheap shot she made about the hostess/owner “need(ing) to get laid,” but leaves everything else as is. The owner chimes in to declare Joan’s review is a “bunch of crap.”
2 Francesco M. strikes again!
Italian Park Gourmet owner, Francesco M., doesn’t let one negative review go by—not on his watch! You better believe it. Here he is, trolling his negative reviewers yet again. Reviewer, Joe T., hates on Italian Park Gourmet’s supposedly bland chicken parm and “subpar” pasta. Joe concludes his negative review by telling readers not to “waste (their) time” dining at Park Italian Gourmet. Well, Francesco M. has gotten a load of this negative Yelp review and here, in response, speaks as one Italian to another and in his typically blunt way, calls Joe T. “stupid” (in Italian) and telling him to do them all a solid “favore” and “stai” the hell in Brooklyn! Whatever you say, Francesco M.!
1 Domino's Pizza: "a unicorn in a field of horses..."
These are some pretty stellar accolades for a pizza delivery joint! Here’s a positive review from ‘universalbutterflie,’ who is a happy camper. They write in appreciation of Domino’s pizzas' “dainty and delicious” crust, with just the right amount of sauce (unlike “the Saharan Desert that is a Pizza Hut pizza” and yet, is no “avalanche of tomatoes”) and includes some solid, evocative metaphors, decrying certain other pizza places’ too-crisp crusts that run “through your mouth cutting things like a gladiator on Adderall.” LOL.
A Domino’s representative, in response, writes that they appreciate universalbutterflie’s “colorful” review and crafts their own “lighthouse” metaphor: “We’re thrilled that our pizza served as a beacon of hope…in the dark sea of a college all-nighter…” Ha! Talk about a couple of comedians!