Restaurant Owner Teaches Customer a Lesson Via Yelp

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 9.47.08 AMAs Yelp continues its descent down a long, bumpy, rusty slide into a pool of irrelevancy, more and more restaurant owners are realizing they have no fucks left to give when it comes to people leaving bad reviews about their restaurants. Case in point: the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Linh in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Last week, a customer named Mary needed to take a dump but when she couldn’t find a restroom to her liking she decided to use Yelp as her toilet and diarrheaed out a review about her meal instead. She says the atmosphere is “fine” and seems rather disappointed that there aren’t enough booths to sit in. She is also not impressed with the lighting or the parking options. Already, it sounds like Mary needs to stay in her little bubble at home where she has soft-lighting, an atmosphere to her liking, a banquette in the kitchen and her own private garage. She goes on to compliment the waitress calling her “beautiful visually.” Not that a server’s appearance should ever affect a review, but I wonder why Mary had to specify that her beauty was visual. Maybe the waitress is beautiful on the inside too, Mary, did you ever think of that?

Mary’s real problem was with the ordering. In fact, it was downright “P R O B L EM- A T I C.” She did not appreciate having to recite her order multiple times and she was also upset that the food came out “peace-meal.” (I think she meant “piecemeal.”) I can see how that may be confusing, but it has been my experience in many Asian restaurants that the food comes out when it is ready and not necessarily all at the same time.

But here’s where we truly know that the problem is with Mary and no one else. She freely admits to waving her credit card in the air to indicate she is ready for her check. Does Mary not understand how fucking annoying and rude that is? She claims the waitress did not show up to her table for five minutes. Five whole minutes. Now that may not seem like a long time to most of us, but I guess if you are an ancient fossil on your last dying breath, five minutes can be the difference between dying at a table in a restaurant (not a booth) or dying in the parking lot on your way to your car. She saw her waitress in the kitchen who was “dancing, joking and cavorting.” This is when Mary pulled out her cane and “hobbled” over to teach her a lesson: “if the waitress wants to play with others, she should take care of her customers first.” The apology from the waitress was not enough to keep Mary from leaving a 1-star review.

Enter Tam, the owner of the business who responded to Mary’s review. He calls her out on her bad behavior and, in the snarkiest backhanded compliment ever, thanks her for giving him such a wonderful teaching moment for his staff:

I’ve reiterated to them many times that out of 100 patrons, there will be 1 or 2 who are unreasonable and are generally unpleasant. Your dismissive, disrespectful, holier-than-thou, and overall sense of entitlement provide a shining example of the type of patron that is, quite frankly, too good for our middling establishment.

Ouch. Someone go get some aloe vera gel for Mary to rub on that burn, ‘cause that’s gotta hurt. Tam then goes downstairs to dry storage to get some salt that he now wants to rub into Mary’s wound:

I often preach to my staff to do whatever it takes to ensure our guests have a pleasant dining experience.  With that being said, I would never want to subject my staff to a person of your quality.  Thank you for teaching us this invaluable lesson.

Basically, Tam just issued a big ol’ “Bye, Felicia” to Mary and told her to not come back.


Listen customers, if you’re gonna be a pain in the ass and treat the staff with disrespect, most restaurants are going to be more than happy when you say you will never come back. Like Tam said, out of 100 people, there are just a couple who suck. If you don’t come back, there are 98 or 99 others who will and those are the ones we want to serve. All of you “Mary’s” can stay the fuck at home.

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21 thoughts on “Restaurant Owner Teaches Customer a Lesson Via Yelp

  1. Kelly

    I’m going to go out of my way to go to Quincy and go to this restaurant now. Any manager that has the backs of his employees like that has my business.

  2. Shannon

    What a racist old shit. Starting first with complaining about parking. Like they can control that? Or do you expect valet parking everywhere? You seem entitled, so probably.

    The cane and the veiled racism lock up the entitled old biddy personal for me. Rarely does a young person put that much importance in 5 minutes. Hell, my 67 year old parents don’t – but then Mom was a server and they’ve both worked various service jobs, so they’re pretty understanding ans nevery stiffed a server (even when it was me as a teen still livingwith them). I guess, perhaps this could have been a veteran or accident victim. But I doubt it.

  3. joe c

    Danyele: Quincy is not Dorchester, genius. Also, how nice of you to take a shot at Dorchester while we’re discussing casual racism.

  4. Kelley

    I wish you could rate replies from businesses on Yelp because that was a magnificent take-down of an asshole, even if the asshole’s protesting it. Is it just me (seriously asking, is it?) or do “Mary ‘Sweet cheeks’ H.”‘s reviews read strangely when you compare the grammar or punctuation of each? They’re kind of like a joint account of several failed authors from Rockland, MA.

  5. Deborah

    I think that as a server you should be able to communicate in the language that most of your patrons speak. I have had this happen a new Irtysh can be an exasperating experience for it to take 20 minutes to order a meal. That being said I really don’t think that Mary said anything out of line. She said the food and the atmosphere were good. I also aka fan of everyone’s food coming out together if you are dining as a group, especially if you only have about an hour. I really don’t feel unless you are going on a weekend night where you know that their will be a wait that it’s too much to ask to have everyone’s food delivered in a timely manner. I have personally waited on parties of 20 or more and the kitchen was able to make sure that there wasn’t a significant amount of time in the time that everyone got their meals. A few minutes sure if you have a few medium or mid rare steaks as opposed to a few well dones. It’s just good time management.

    1. Erika

      There is no way you have spent 20 minutes ordering food ANYWHERE.

      Well, no way you spent 20 minutes ordering food and it was the server’s fault. That is preposterous. Reign in your hyperbole, woman.

      Some people come to this country from other ones. Maybe they don’t speak perfect English but they’re trying. Get over it.

    2. Anna

      I’m a server as well, but I’m also Asian, and one thing that is common in Asian restaurants is that food comes out when it’s ready because they want the food to be fresh rather than sitting under a heat lamp waiting to go. Also, waiting five minutes for a check is not long at all. Perhaps that waitress was in the kitchen waiting for the last touches on a different food order or talking to the line cooks to communicate instructions. There are many reasons that a server could be standing in the kitchen.

      If you only have an hour to eat as a group, you should be ordering a bunch of apps and not full courses. It is unreasonable to expect food and check in an hour of you are sitting in a group unless you come early and make your intentions clear to your server, and even then, you cannot expect to be the number one priority if it is busy just because your group decided they wanted incredibly fast service at a sit-down restaurant. Go get fast food or a sandwich if you’re in such a rush.

      Finally, I am unsure of how many ethnic type restaurants you go to, but even in the high-end fine dining ones, it is extremely common to have servers that speak only okay English. A large part is that many of those restaurants “import” those highly skilled fine dining servers from their country of origin to work on visas, and it allows them to communicate with the kitchen staff that may speak almost no English at all. It also means they are most likely very knowledgeable about the menu items from first-hand experience and don’t have to gloss explanations over for the customers.

      If you want mediocre food, go to some American chain restaurant. If you want authentic food, have some patience with a server that might not speak English as well as you. Many of those people speak 3+ languages and are improving their vocabulary while working. Or better yet, just stay at home if you are so impatient that you can’t wait five minutes for a check.

      1. CincyDrunk

        My favorite Mexican restaurants are the ones where the server barely speaks English. 😂 You want a good taco that’s what you look for.

    3. Veronica

      Deborah! I think the thing that you don’t get is that anyone can write whatever they want on these reviews! I’ve been a victim of that myself! Do you really think that it took 20 minutes to order! That’s ridiculous! And yes that woman was totally disrespectful and racist! Maybe you don’t see it because you are too.

      1. Molly M

        This!!!! Took the words off of my keyboard! Why do hitches insist on reminding everyone how awful they are?

  6. Yarrgh

    Wow, just wow. Mary really got offended at being called out for her casual racism, and then doubled down on it while swearing up and down that she’s not racist. What a horrible piece of shit.

    Also, it must take a long time for Mary to write a review when she’s trying (and failing) to use a thesaurus correctly.


  7. Nancy

    And here’s her reply to his comment (clearly she had an epic reading fail regarding the 1 or 2 out of 100 comment):
    Tam, not one iota of verbiage used by me was unfair, racist, untrue, malicious, enveloped in prejudice or falsehood. For you to consider, charge, and/or believe so, indicates to me your lack of a grip of reality. Never in my life have I held a prejudice. Insinsinuating or belief otherwise is outrageous. Your accusation makes me wonder whether you are reflecting upon yourself.
    The waitress who was placed to serve our table was evidently having difficulty. Not because {as you erroneously state we were 1-2 out of 100 patrons}, but clearly she just wasn’t up to the job. I do not indicate this as she was inferior. I speculate that she simply wasn’t connecting with us. Who knows why? Perhaps no one can answer the question. For you to point a finger and accuse me of being unreasonable is a reflection upon you. Waiting for a check for a time while your waitperson had disappeared then watching your waitperson having fun with a coworker is not a good business practice. Fully I understand the difficulties of ESL, waiting on tables, explaining items for those words and items are unknowledgeable in the menu, and other tasks that appear to a waitperson. As the owner, Tam, it is Your Responsibility to remember at all times you are in a “Service Industry”. Maybe do a “WIKIPEDIA” search, Peace.

    1. Shannon

      AKA I don’t understand that I’m not assigned my own personal waitress and they have other shit to handle that doesn’t involve my needs. Nor do I understand that means 5 mins is an acceptable amount of time to wait while they juggle the needs of a few other tables.


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