Operator lets rip at two-star food review

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Customer feedback: a review claimed the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, north London was "tired"
Customer feedback: a review claimed the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, north London was "tired"
An award-winning north London pub received a two-star Google review because its food tasted like it ‘had been stored in the fridge’.

Heath Ball, licensee of the Red Lion & Sun, in Highgate - which recently took home Best Wine Pub and was the overall winner at this year’s John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards - responded to the post and said he was going to shower as “I’m tired and I smell”.

The complaint was made by Google user Joan LE, who posted a short comment seen by The Morning Advertiser​, before Ball replied and then revised the original review to include more information, claiming her phone sent it before she had completed it.

The first review from user Joan LE said: “It smells. It’s tired. My food tasted of having been stored in the fridge.”

Constructive feedback

Ball responded on Google, referencing the pub’s “award-winning” wines and outlining why the food needs to be stored in the fridge.

He said: “Dear Joan. We welcome constructive feedback, however, as your review doesn’t make any sense, it doesn’t fall into that category.

“One can only assume you enjoyed a few too many of our award-winning wines before writing it. ‘It smells’ of what? Beer? Fish and chips? A pub?

“’It’s tired’, tired of what? Illogical feedback? Of winning national awards? What did you eat? As I’m sure you know, 99% of the food we serve, legally has to be stored in the fridge so it does not go off or, God forbid, give you food poisoning.

“I’m keen to hear about what you ate that would have benefitted from not being stored in a fridge. If you would be so kind as to email me what was actually wrong, I’d love to get a more detailed insight into what you mean. Many thanks. P.S. Just off to have a shower now as I’m tired and I smell.”

Tasted of the fridge

The review went on to say: “It smells. It’s tired. My food tasted of having been stored in the fridge, which of course it had to be.

“But the beetroot was dry on the outside and had not been freshened. The place smells as though it needs a good cleaning, not just a ‘pub’ smell.

“Food that’s been dropped and wiped up, but perhaps not thoroughly enough. I wanted to like it. It’s potentially good food, I have eaten there before and came back as a result.

“My food was ‘beet bourgignonne’ (sic), the carrots were baby carrots, mushroom slices OK, beetroot, once the outside edge was cut off, was good, and so was the sauce.

“But I insist it tasted of the fridge. No good being defensive in response, better to improve. Sorry I hadn’t finished my review when my phone sent it.”

Meanwhile, it has recently been revealed that slow service and rude staff were the main drivers behind negative pub and bar complaints.

The research, from customer feedback and online reputation firm Feed It Back analysed customer feedback from January 2018 until September 2018 from tens of thousands of reviews across platforms including Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor.

Related topics: News

Related news