Online reviews are common these days. Regardless of what you do, there will be customers who are going to give your business feedback, some of it bad.
Not every business owner takes that criticism in stride.
One Bangkok restaurant has found itself in hot water for its total lack of chill and questionable professionalism, after netizens unearthed several ad hominem attacks on its Instagram account directed at customers who dared to leave bad reviews.
“We were rather disappointed with this lobster dish,” Proudsitaaa, an online food and fashion influencer, wrote of Bundle of Joy restaurant on Wongnai, an online food platform that encourages user-generated reviews. “Sure, it was fresh, but its portion was very small, not to mention the pasta was overcooked and the sauce didn’t go well with the dish.”
Instead of brushing it off, the admin of the restaurant’s Instagram account went the passive-aggressive route, screen-grabbing the review and posting it in an Instagram story with sarcastic comments directed at Proudsitaaa—but without tagging the influencer, naturally.
“You can go to buffet and eat more lobster and of coz more pasta, or just cook yrself (sic),” wrote the admin of Bundle of Joy in one of many Instagram stories.
Proudsita wasn’t the sole victim of the online harassment.
On Twitter, foodies shared stories of similar treatment by Bundle of Joy.
Facebook user Pao-Pao Tippamon said that she once left a review on the restaurant’s Facebook page, describing how the food she was served appeared to be different from the picture of the dish in the menu. “The waitress didn’t inform me of anything. They only explained to me that they used the seasonal ingredients so there wasn’t the truffle on my dish,” she wrote.
In response, the restaurant’s admin screen-grabbed her review and posted it in an Instagram story, writing: “You can print our photo menu and eat, it will be exactly the same thing.”
Another Twitter user noted that Bundle of Joy is owned by the same people who went after BK Magazine for writing a negative review of one of their other restaurants. (Note: All BK reviews are done anonymously and paid for out of pocket. To read our review policies, go here
As the stories piled up, so too did Thai netizens’ fury.
Putting a pun on the restaurant’s name, Thai Twitter users coined the hashtag #Bundleบ่จอย, which roughly translates to “bundle of no joy.”
Initially, the restaurant’s representatives seemed oblivious to the angry comments, posting in an Instagram story that they were currently being attacked by “uneducated wannabe foodies.”
Later, the restaurant finally issued a public apology.
“We sincerely apologize for our rude comments and bad attitudes. We have realized our mistakes and will work hard to improve our food services, attitude, [and] behavior,” Bundle of Joy’s admin posted in yet another Instagram story.
As writers and editors of a magazine that publishes food reviews, we know how much work goes into running a restaurant, and we understand the struggle of keeping your doors open now.
But online reviews help the whole industry get better. Objective reviews reward good food, service, and experiences. They challenge chefs and restaurateurs to move the scene forward. Reviewers don’t need to have graduated from Le Cordon Bleu or interned at Michelin-starred restaurants to write informed takes of the food on their plates or the atmosphere of a restaurant.
Besides, at the end of the day, they’re just opinions.