A fish and chip shop owner has said he has received overwhelming support after the restaurant’s brutal comments to TripAdvisor critics hit the headlines – and he has urged other businesses to follow suit.
Pinnacles, in Seahouses, has recently attracted regional and national media attention for the way it responds to criticism on the travel review website, which has a star-rating system of one (terrible) to five (excellent).
The restaurant’s public relations manager, Tommycat1, has been hitting back at those who were less than impressed with their experience at the eatery, blasting one as ‘feeble minded’ while another as ‘not fit to pass judgement on a goldfish’.
But the comments have been called ‘tongue-in-cheek’ by restaurant owner, Michael Armstrong, who admitted that they will continue to ‘fight fire with fire’ against ‘cowardly trolls’.
Mr Armstrong said: “The support we have had on Twitter and Facebook since the story came out has been incredible. The whole thing has turned into a success for us because people are overwhelmingly supporting us and our stance.
“We have had people coming into the restaurant saying ‘wow, we support you, we think it is great’ and there have been businesses who have said that they will do the same thing and I would absolutely encourage this, as long as you have got a mission statement.”
Tommycat1 is a pseudonym and Mr Armstrong added: “Nobody will ever find out who Tommycat1 is – he is like The Stig in Top Gear – and he always there to protect Pinnacles.”
Explaining the rationale behind the responses, Mr Armstrong said: “We have a business which is very tourist orientated and we have to get it right. We do a good job for the tourists – every business in Seahouses does their best – and we do our best to get it as perfect as it can be.
“At Pinnacles, we have a mission statement that is fixed on the wall. It makes it clear that our customers’ total satisfaction is paramount to us. If there is a problem, tell a member of staff and we will put it right.
“When we get some very negative responses, we feel that we need to have a word back and the right and proper way to look at these comments is with suspicion. When you are getting four or five-star reviews and then somebody comes in and you can recognise that they are making a malicious attack on the business, we feel it is a great way to respond to what we believe are malicious attacks on our very conscientious staff. If they throw a punch, then they should expect one back and will continue to operate in this way.
“We have worked hard for our four and five-star reviews and we won’t let cowardly trolls interfere with the success of the business.”