Restaurant manager gives brilliant response after TripAdvisor review brands staff 'a freak show'

Boss asks critic to 'take time and be kind' after she calls his tattooed and pierced staff 'somewhat repulsive'

A restaurant manager hit back with a brilliant online response after a scathing TripAdvisor review attacked the appearance of his staff and branded the venue a “freak show”.

The manager of the Hard Rock Café in Manchester issued the riposte online after a customer complained about his staff’s body piercings and tattoos. 

In the review, the customer named Elizabeth complained she was “somewhat repulsed” by her waiter’s appearance and said she “wouldn't like to meet him in a dark alley and would have preferred him not to be serving me food either”.

Her complaint was based on a “large septum ring in the shape of a horseshoe, accompanied by ear expanders which resulted in gaping holes in his ears, as well as multiple other piercings”. 

She added: “I appreciate its a destination restaurant and with a name like Hard Rock Cafe I wasn't expecting genteel waitresses in frilly caps, but between him and a female waitress with tattooed sleeves! It was less an experience and more of a freak show!”

But in response, manager Ben G pointed out the restaurant chain has had “Love all, serve all” as a mantra since launching in London in 1971.

He wrote: “No matter who you are, where you from, what you look like, what your background etc. You are welcome at the Hard Rock Cafe. We can hardly adopt such a value without treating our staff in the same way, can we?

“Your server has been with us for almost 15 years… it's sad you couldn't look past his appearance and see him for the genuine nice guy that he is.

“There are hundreds of Hard Rockers all over the world with tattoos and piercings living the same values and delivering a great experience too, hopefully if you get the chance to meet any of them you might remember that they are human beings, just like you. Take Time To Be Kind.”

Manchester’s Hard Rock Café has a four star rating on Trip Advisor, with more than 1,000 reviews submitted, most of them positive. The most recent, by Emma C, said the staff “treat our autistic son like a rock star”. 

TripAdvisor, which launched in 2000, has quickly become one of the most popular reviewing websites in the world. 

But business owners have complained its open nature allows spiteful or malicious reviewers to hurt their businesses, with a group action for libel threatened by more than 400 hotel managers in 2011. 

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