When somebody left a negative review of the business of an Irish restaurant owner he wasn’t ready to take it lying down.
It wasn’t so much that the reviewers didn’t like the food or service at the Eala Bhan restaurant in Sligo, but that the reviewer questioned the integrity of the owner, Anthony Gray.
Ironically, the problem was actually caused by the person who left the review, who had left his belongings behind, rather than the restaurant owner who vowed to get them back to him.
Not that that mattered to the Australian visitor who titled his TripAdvisor review ‘Honesty not delivered’ and wrote the following:
“My wife and I were visiting Sligo from Australia & Restaurant Eala Bhan was recommended to us for evening Dining.
“Based on that recommendation, we decided to dine there on the only evening we were staying in Sligo.
“The food was quite reasonable, however we were extremely disappointed to find that the operator lacked integrity.
“This comment is based on the fact that I accidentally left my wind breaker with eye glasses in pocket.
“We only discovered this when we arrived at our next destination, so rang and spoke to the restaurant manager (Anthony Gray) who confirmed that the jacket was with them.
“Based on his agreement to forward the jacket to me, I e-mailed details of my credit card to cover all costs to return the garment to me.
“When it did not arrive within a week or so, I re-emailed twice with no response.
“My wife and I have since returned to Australia, short of one jacket and one pair of glasses. Bottom line is food might be O.K. But integrity is seriously lacking.”
It was pretty scathing stuff and Gray couldn’t let the reputation of his restaurant be attacked without any response.
He gave the following reply that outlined his side of the story, where his priorities lie, defended his integrity and even questioned the reviewers fashion sense:
“I never usually respond to reviews but have made an exception in your case. I apologise that I had not immediately sent your belongings back to Australia.
“I should have done a Joe ninety on it and hot tailed it up to the local post office and made your jacket a priority but unfortunately these things don’t always happen the way you may have planned.
“I mean I’m only trying to run two restaurants in the middle of summer while my manager whom I’m delighted to say is six months pregnant but unfortunately is suffering God bless her wee soul and out of work resting which I insisted on!!!
“Having three children myself under the age of 10 running around the house like
gladiators and tearing to pieces while not going to bed on time, rising like ninjas at dawn I am what you might say just a little tired and a tad busy.
“I should have pushed this way up my priority list but forgot and while all of this is going I’m very busy busting a gut here and in the UK promoting my beloved Sligo.
“Why do I do this? I love my town, I love it’s people, I love every tourist that graces this beautiful part of the world and provides me and my staff with a living.
“People make mistakes and forget things just like you did with your possessions.
“But to come on TripAdvisor and review me about my lack of postal skills honesty and integrity beggars belief considering I never laid my mince pies eyes on you
“I mean you are butchering my name insofar as my forgetfulness yet it was your forgetfulness
that has us here.
“POT KETTLE BLACK (Google it) finally I just checked the weather forecast in your part of sunny
“Australia and I reckon you will be fairly safe insofar as your lack of windbreaker……jaysus it’s roasting in your spot boi!! You lucky duck!!!
“Your possessions are en route you will be glad to know!!! and as far as my honesty is concerned I’m not even going to charge your credit card for the post furthermore the next time you visit the beautiful Emerald Isle and my County I’ll bring you shopping locally for a new Wind breaker as far I see its a bit of a crime against fashion.
“Next time you feel like writing a review for a restaurant try to remember us for our qualities which we provide in the abundance of good locally sourced food wine, atmosphere at least that’s what we hear consistently from our customers.
“So eventually when it cools down in Australia and you put on your Wind breaker on think of your honesty Irish restauranteur who’s full of integrity but you never met and who knows you may even break into a smile and give your face a holiday until then keep her lit .
“WE MAKE OUT OF THE QUARREL WITH OTHERS,
RHETORIC, BUT OF THE QUARREL WITH OURSELVES
POETRY………….. W.B YEATS
“Regards and Good day Mate
Gray’s reply comes hot on the heels of another Irish business owner who responded to criticism of his hotel – the Doolin – with an equally brilliant reply.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling