A pub landlord in Lancashire has responded to an angry guest on TripAdvisor who claimed to feel “cheated” after dining at the pub.
The Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland has a fab four-star rating on the website after 644 reviews, but one guest was not happy.
And, the owner didn’t stay silent in response to the two-star review left by someone claiming the restaurant cooked frozen meals.
A large number of former reviews, 399 in fact, called the location “excellent” and one even said it’s a “must experience destination”, reports LancsLive.
But, while one diner said they were “so excited to visit” they dubbed the meal out “disappointing”. Having eaten at the Parkers Arms in October they said they were "so disappointed to have to write this review" having "never" left a negative review before.
And, went on to say: "But people need to know what to expect, as having seen your responses to other negative reviews you clearly have no intention of improving your offering."
The customer claimed to have followed the pub and its many awards and good feedback on social media so visited for a “birthday treat”.
But, they said they were greeted by "really friendly but pointedly harassed" front of house staff before being seated and added: "it was 3pm & there were only four other tables occupied. Place is pretty tired & not the cleanest." They also said they had to wait for drinks.
The review stated: "Only sound was the kitchen swinging doors being literally booted open every time someone came through.
"I don't care where you are, someone there should have enough professionalism to say to staff ‘don’t kick the doors to enter a silent dining room as it’s really jarring to the people paying to enjoy their meal.’”
They added that they could hear a “loud kitchen timer” and “someone getting shouted at in the kitchen for a good while".
The review noted: "It was SO uncomfortable sitting there listening to it, to the extent I went and asked the front of house guy if they could tone the shouting down or move us. He came & said he’d asked them, but it continued.”
Reportedly, someone denied anyone was being yelled at and offered them another seat by the fire, but they refused.
They added: "At this point we couldn’t wait for it to be over. Food was fine, not that anyone checked, but if you’re charging £26 for a pie and frozen chips or a hotpot that to be honest if I’d made at home I’d be disappointed in myself with, you need to raise your service & experience offering, as the only elevated thing about you presently is your prices."
They added: "So you're 'a no frills country pub' – being a country pub is not an excuse for the experience we had, that’s so insulting to every other pub out there that is working hard to show customers they are valued.
"So you’re ‘a small family run business’ – so is ours and if I left my customers feeling as let down as we felt yesterday, I’d be SO embarrassed.
"‘Rustic’ doesn’t mean dirty toilet floors or adjacent tables left uncleaned for the entire time we were there. I understand cleaning an old country property but this ain’t it."
The angry guest added: "Really sad & disappointing and we genuinely feel cheated by such a poor experience. I’m sure you’ll now prove me wrong about how little respect you have for your customers with a hostile response so hey, go for it.
"Or maybe have a little humility & listen to people like us, just crummy old paying customers who were so excited to come & left feeling utterly deflated – then you could take pride in all aspects of what you do, not just the food alone?"
But, a week later the owner of the pub responded.
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They said that the only complaint the reviewer seemed to have was “noise” and continued: "You did not like any service related noises such as swing doors and timers going off which unfortunately cannot be helped, there was (sic) no issues in the kitchen it was just the usual service chatter as explained.
"We offered to move you to different available tables as the others were taken, you refused them all. You never complained about the food or service during your visit."
The owner then said: "We have NEVER served frozen anything let alone frozen potatoes of any kind in our establishment . This is such an easily proven fact for us. Disproving your defamatory comment in a court of law would be very straightforward."
Apparently they have "sacks of home grown potatoes delivered weekly" with receipts to "prove it".
"Hence why we can call them OUR fries," they said, "The only reason I am indulging you with an explanation of the process is again another review making defamatory remarks without valid proof. I can only assume you have never enjoyed a real freshly made French fry or potato chip before, the difference is really very clear to the trained palate."
They added: "Finally the elevation of pies and hot pots. Again we are a country pub serving great food all made fresh in house.
“We do not claim to elevate nothing. We cook and serve delicious original and reworked historic dishes.
"I think that the term is possibly an overused tv cookery judging show speak. If as you say you have followed us for a long time on SM you will have seen lots of images of those dishes looking exactly as they did when served to you."
The owner said it was a “shame” they could not "read reviews on guests before we accept the bookings".
"We should also be pre warned of what to expect in a guest," they added. "We most certainly do not want unhappy diners who do not enjoy the experience we offer.
"Sadly it seems there is a minority of people across the board who expect far too much for far too little and hospitality venues are often used as a battering ram for coming short of unreasonable experiences, to sum up apologies you did not enjoy your visit but you really should have made us aware in advance that you are very noise sensitive."
The Parkers Arms was contacted for comment.
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