The bistro chef’s wild TripAdvisor comeback after the reviewer criticized “Ryanair-style management”

The owner of an award-winning restaurant has beaten back a complaining customer who left a TripAdvisor review criticizing his “Ryanair-style management”.

Gary Usher, who runs the Sticky Walnut in Hoole, Chester, didn’t hold back when a disaffected diner accused his staff of “not looking back at the customer experience,” reports NorthWalesLive.

In a review with the title: “Excellent food left in the lurch by Ryanair-style management”, the reviewer “Rob V”, who has apparently only written this one review since 2010, rates the place with two out of five points.

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He wrote, “The good news is that the food here is very, very tasty and deserves a high rating.

“The bad news is that restaurant management doesn’t care about the customer experience. I ate here on July 9th and had a complaint that was so poorly handled by the manager that I wrote to the owner.

“A restaurant that wants to offer an upscale dining experience but has lost the ability to empathize with customers and ignore them when they complain? That’s a shame.”

But Gary, whose bistro scored an overall four and a half out of five on TripAdvisor and has 1,987 reviews, has been quick to defend its reputation.



Rob V posted “Excellent food let down by Ryanair style management” after his visit last month

He replied, “For God’s sake Robert. I’m supposed to be retired from TwitAdvisor so let’s not waste any time. After all, you’ve waited 11 years to write your first review since joining Twitadvisor.

“Rob, you reserved a table on a Friday evening and agreed to a time slot of 1 hour 45 minutes. A common practice, especially at peak times, that guests and restaurants around the world agree to.

“After your dessert course, the manager you said didn’t care gently reminded you that we would need the table back shortly.

“You ignored the manager and ordered another round of drinks. If your party had arrived on time for your reservation, this might have been avoided.




“When the manager came back one last time to politely inform you that we had to clear the table for our next guests, you stood up from your seat, towered over the manager and pointed in his face.

“The manager’s reply was, ‘Sir, can you please stop pointing me in the face?’

Gary added, “You went on to tell the manager that he didn’t deserve to be a manager and that he didn’t qualify for the position.

“Your mother then went along with adding the vitriol addressed to the manager.

“You and your mother proved that with the classic color: ‘We both worked in restaurants, so we know how it works. We should get these drinks for free.’

“You, Rob, then threatened the manager by telling him that you were contacting the owner because you knew him and that Gary (I) would be appalled to learn how you, my friend, had been treated.

“The manager politely asked your whole table to just listen while they explained. Nobody did it.

“In a strange twist of events, you emailed me, your ‘friend’, at Sticky Walnuts email address. You must have lost my number Rob! Not surprising to either me or the manager, you and I don’t know each other, Rob.

“Every few months a rude guest in a restaurant uses the ‘I know the owner!’ try to intimidate team members and intimidate them into thinking they are going to get into trouble for not looking after the owner’s “friends” well enough.



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“I’ve read your email. I ‘made a throw’, not because of you Rob, but because of the way you treated the team. Instead of answering you, we have chosen to block your and your mother’s number and to leave a note on our booking system so as not to accept future bookings from you.

“As for the manager who doesn’t care, they’ve run Sticky Walnut for the past eight years.

“Coincidentally, Sticky Walnut has had a top 100 position at the National Restaurant Awards in the UK for so long. I think that makes them both extremely deserving to be managers and well qualified to hold that position.

“Greetings, not your buddy, Gary.

“Another owner you don’t really know.”

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