Kiwi chef’s scathing response to diner’s ‘horrid’ restaurant review

Kiwi chef’s scathing response to diner’s ‘horrid’ restaurant review


A restaurant owner has posted a scathing response to a customer who left a bad review after being turned away for not having a booking.

The Smoking Barrel in Motueka was given a negative Facebook review from a man named Brian who claimed he was turned away despite the barbecue restaurant being “75 per cent empty”.

But the owner Josiah Smith was quick to respond, saying he fully backs his team who have worked “unimaginable hours” at a time of year when “everyone else is kicking back”, accusing Brian of “thinking the world revolves around him”.

Smith’s scathing clapback has since gone viral, with many praising the restaurant and labelling the complaint “crappy” and “horrid”.

Brian’s issue came after he claims he arrived at the restaurant at 5.15pm on January 6 and tried to get a table.

He said all tables were reserved, some for 6.45pm and 7pm, but he asked if he could be seated if he was able to eat and leave before the next booking arrived.

“We were told no, it’s a capacity issue? The place was 75 per cent empty!” he wrote online.

“I guess maybe they are just very very slow at cooking?”

Smith later shared the review alongside his response, telling Brian he has “no idea”.

“Every time we open our doors, we also open ourselves up to criticism, personal preferences and reviews,” Smith wrote.

“These days, everyone likes to think that they are a food blogger or a MasterChef judge.”

He went on to say his team has worked incredibly long hours over the silly season and he takes his hat off to each and every one of them.

“They have done the extraordinary. They’ve sacrificed sleep, their families and relationships and personal enjoyment whilst everyone else at this time of the year is kicking back and enjoying the experience that we work so hard to create,” he said.

Smith also pointed out that the restaurant churns out between 600 and 700 fresh doughnuts a day as well as smoking around 400-500kg of brisket, pulled pork, and ribs as well as another 200kg of chicken.

“People like Brian get their heckles up because we are fully booked for a dinner service. He didn’t book a table because he thinks the whole world revolves around him,” Smith continued.

“Actually, he just wasn’t very well organised. Well Brian, you need to wake up. You have no idea my friend.”

Smith went on to implore Brian – and other diners – to appreciate the industry and the staff, encouraging people to “tip if you feel compelled”.

“It might just make their day,” he said.

The restaurant has since received an outpouring of support, with many labelling the post “spot on”.

“Some people can only think of themselves, not the bigger picture,” one said.

“The food industry is one of the hardest professions there is,” another agreed.

“You’re doing fabulous! Don’t let one crappy review taint the amazing work you do,” someone else stated.

Others called Brian’s review – which has since been deleted – “horrid” and “unfounded”.

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