Hull restaurant owner speaks out after ‘ballistic’ customer leaves scathing review

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A Hull chef who urged other restaurants to “be aware” of a customer who made his staff cry has spoken out over the damage one “uncalled for” review can cause.

Aminul Choudhury opened The Crooked Skewer in Princes Avenue several months ago, winning rave reviews from customers ever since with a menu consisting of long-marinated meats, seafood and vegetarian options.

The restaurant, which is located in the former Aunt Bibby’s unit in the popular Avenues street, has managed to maintain a 100 per cent excellent rating on TripAdvisor, but Mr Choudhury has spoken of his upset after one customer brought his rating down to a 4.5.

Last week, a customer messaged The Crooked Skewer on Facebook, telling them of her long list of food allergies.

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Mr Choudhury claims he told the customer she would need to wait 24 hours so he could prepare a new marinade without the problematic ingredients in, but he says her behaviour in the restaurant caused him to vent his feelings on social media, where he named her and warned other business owners of her alleged behaviour.

The post has since been removed from Facebook.

“I know now it was a silly mistake to put a picture of the customer on social media, but I was so angry and upset”, said Mr Choudhury, who also runs Yo Tuk Tuk in Beverley, which was a finalist in the Best Restaurant category of Hull Live’s Food & Drink Awards 2019.

“I have always stood up for my restaurant, and I believe you have a contract in every restaurant with your customer to treat them right and with respect, but I also believe the customer has to do the same.



Aminul Choudhury at Hull Live's Food & Drink Awards 2019
Aminul Choudhury at Hull Live’s Food & Drink Awards 2019

“This woman made my staff member cry, and instead of dealing with any problems while she was in the restaurant she decided to be a coward and do it all online.

“She was telling people she could have died because of the staff member’s mistake, and was telling people not to come, and everything was blown out of proportion.

 

“When I posted the picture of her on social media, I started getting threats against me and my family, and people who have never eaten at my restaurant were leaving fake reviews and brought my rating down.

“They have damaged me so much.”

It is claimed the customer asked for a new side salad to be brought to accompany her kebabs, as it “was too plain”, but Mr Choudhury says he told her he had left the dressing and chilli sauce off because they contained some of the ingredients she was allergic to.

Mr Choudhury then admits a staff member went into the kitchen and brought out a fresh salad that contained cheese, which was one of the allergens, and he says the woman’s behaviour left the staff member “in tears” and caused customers to leave.

“I go above and beyond for every customer, and this is what I did with her,” he said. “Nothing is too much trouble, but the way she reacted was uncalled for.

“She went absolutely ballistic and was shouting in the restaurant because the staff member had brought out the wrong salad, and two tables of customers got up to leave without ordering anything because of her behaviour.



The meats are served on skewers
The meats are served on skewers

“We had 120 covers that night, and I even have it written on my menus that if people aren’t satisfied they should tell us in the restaurant, rather than wait until they get home to write reviews when we can sort it there and then.

“It’s upsetting that an error was made, but there was no need for her to do what she did.

 

“This woman ate all of her food, I offered her free drinks, and she still wanted more discount.

“We as a team have worked so hard to set up this restaurant, and I think some customers don’t realise when they behave like that in a restaurant they don’t just anger the owner, they effect the whole staff, most of whom are innocent.

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Food Reviews 2019

“I admit it was silly of me to share her picture, but I wanted to warn other businesses so they didn’t have to go through the same ordeal and behaviour we did.”

Since posting the customer’s name, Mr Choudhury has received messages of support from people working in and out of the industry, and he hopes future customers aren’t put off by the reviews.



A small selection of the canapés and meats on offer
A small selection of the canapés and meats on offer

“I would go through hell and back for customers, and I will not be satisfied until we get our rating back up to 100 per cent”, he said.

“I just think people need to be careful about their actions when they leave reviews of businesses. I have lost custom because what happened was blown out of proportion, and my team have been left feeling sad and upset.

“We are people too, and we deserve the same respect we give our customers.”

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