Workers in retail and hospitality sectors are used to taking the high road with difficult customers and dealing with a “the customer is always right” attitude, but one fed-up restaurant owner has dropped the nice guy facade, banning a customer over a negative online review, and taking him to task over his criticisms.
Owner of upmarket Noosa restaurant Miss Moneypenny’s Ben Walsh hit back at the customer, known only as “Richard T”, in a lengthy rebuttal to a TripAdvisor review posted on October 6. In the review, the disgruntled customer called the owners “greedy”—all over the price of sparkling water and coffee.
“A Rip-off…. How would you feel if you are charged $5.00 for a glass of “Home” sparkling water (equivalent to a Soda Stream water)? and $4.50 for a lousy coffee,” Richard T wrote.
“Incidentally talking to locals about this place the reputation is that they are owned by greedy owners…. Good luck to them!
I hate to give a bad review but this Restaurant / Bar has pushed it too far….”
Not about to take the lashing lying down, Mr Walsh responded: “With all due respect it seems that you have zero understanding or even the slightest grasp of the price attached to dining out in 2021, or even from anytime this century.
“As you will see from the following comments, i think even you would disagree that we could be labelled as ‘greedy’ due to our pricing.”
Pointing out that cafes in far less prestigious retail spaces across Australia charge the same or similar amounts for a cup of coffee, Mr Walsh didn’t hold back.
“The cafe’s (sic) up at Noosa junction sell their coffee for $4.50 whilst you sit on a plastic chair looking at a bus terminal,” he wrote, before also launching into a break down of the price of sparkling water—which he assures the customer is not from a Soda Stream—which is unlimited at $5 per person.
After hammering the message home, Mr Walsh ensured Richard T would not have any cause to complain in future, banning him from his restaurants—Miss Moneypenny’s in Noosa and the Gold Coast and Fat Freddy’s on the Gold Coast.
“As of today we are officially banning you from our restaurants until you can provide us with evidence that you have somewhat actually grasped the pricing attached to dining out in the year 2021 at ANY decent restaurant, let alone one that is on one of the most expensive retail streets in Australia,” he wrote to sign off.
“Good day to you, and may i (sic) suggest you open up your world and get out of the house a bit more and into the real world of dining out in 2021!!!”