Sometimes, dining at an establishment is such an awful experience, you have to let the rest of the internet know about just how bad of a time you had. While it's true that the majority of people tend to be more vocal about their negative experiences than positive ones, there are definitely some experiences where it appears the ire is validated, like how Salt Bae's Nusr-Et restaurants get slammed for its non-transparent pricing practices.
There are moments, however, when business owners are able to get the last word in against customers who they feel are unjustly slandering their operations, and the internet supports them in their rejoinders, like the time a restaurant owner went viral upon receiving poor markings on Yelp and dishing up more information on the patron's experience, or when the owner of an escape room replied to one customer's gripes with their establishment.
Now a manager at Atina Kitchen in Chester, UK, is being lauded online for the thoughtful response they gave to a customer who dined at their restaurant multiple times but decided to give the place a one-star review on Trip Advisor.
The customer's post was screenshot and highlighted on X (previously known as Twitter) where they wrote: "BAD SERVICE AND RUDE STAFF. Service is very poor and barely pays attention to the customers. I had to stand up twice the first time asking for water at the bar while the 2 members of the staff were chatting and the second time I had to get up and go to the bar again and ask for to pay the bill."
The customer, who goes by Kate on Trip Advisor, continued in their diatribe against Atina, stating: "one of the waitresses didn't even say thank when I paid. I normally leave good tips but on this occasion, I didn't as the service was poor and the experience wasn't please like the previous times I have been eaten in that restaurant. I definitely won't be back again."
Atina's manager responded to the customer, writing: "Hi Kate, I'm very sorry for your experience when you last joined us. We value all the custom we get and I'm sorry we let you down on this visit. I would usually ask you send us an email to elaborate on your visit and to ask you to return so we can make up for last time with a discount."
In addition to providing the customer a discount for their next visit to their restaurant, they also touched on the fact that the customer was more vocal about their negative experiences at Atina than their positive ones they've had: "However, I noticed you said 'the experience wasn't as pleasant as previous times I have eaten in that restaurant' but I also noticed this is the first time you've reviewed us."
The manager went on to decry Kate's decision, highlighting this dichotomy of action, while writing that it is especially damaging now, in a post-pandemic business world where so many establishments are still struggling to stay afloat financially.
The reply from Atina's manager ends with them writing: "I also believe that the service you received on your visit is a one off which all staff are now aware of to make sure it doesn't happen again. I say all this, in hope that next time you have a good experience at a restaurant you positively review them also, not just review the negative."
X user, @wynnegarratt responded to the restaurant's upload and offered up an appreciative comment praising the restaurant for the way they replied to Kate's negative review on the travel website.
"Atina is genuinely one of the best precocious independents we have in Chester. The points made in the poor review have never been experienced by me on the many visits I have made to this great restaurant. The service is always friendly and prompt, no request is too much," they wrote.
Atina has accumulated 1,216 reviews on Trip Advisor and currently enjoys a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on the website across all sections: Food, Service, Value, and Atmosphere.
The restaurant hopped onto X to thank the poster for sharing the screenshots and the kind words they gave to the restaurant, penning: "Many thanks. Means a lot to all the team"