Chef Michael Scelfo gets a Retail Balls Award for standing up to horrible custys threatening and insulting his staff. He took their pic and shamed them on Instagram! Way to go Chef!
The takedown included the hashtag #wedontnegotiatewithyelpers.
Attention keyboard warriors: Threatening a restaurant owner with a poor Yelp review can backfire, and when it does, it can backfire hard. According to Eater Boston, a pair of "smug-looking" customers walked into chef Michael Scelfo's restaurant Alden & Harlow last week with no reservation, decided to seat themselves without any reservation, and then proceeded to berate and insult the restaurant staff. The impudent duo refused to leave and threatened the restaurant with an awful Yelp review.
Scelfo was not having it though, and took to Instagram to call out the two women. He posted a (now deleted) photo of the diners with a description of their abhorrent behavior and the hashtags #kbye and #wedontnegotiatewithyelpers. Scelfo added later: "It's one thing to be entitled... but mistreat my family. Hell no." The chef posted a follow up comment on Instagram, explaining that his staff decided to take the "high road":
We tried to have them leave, they refused. Taking their drink away and being forceful is not hospitable. So in lieu of calling the police (only other recourse imo) which seemed too strong a response, we opted to kill them with kindness until they left. We as a team endured a ton of abuse but ultimately chose the high road. My choice to post this is not to slander on them per say but to call attention to a major flaw in the current 'online review system & entitled mentality.' Ultimately, it's about protecting the integrity of our (well documented) humble and gracious staff. Feel free to vilify me for posting, but I stand by my post.
Eater Boston writes that it was Instagram that pulled the original photo of the two female diners that "accumulated thousands of likes." Scelfo noted in a new post that regardless of the photo being taken down, "#wedontnegotiatewithyelpers stands true though," adding, "I would encourage more people to be responsible with [Yelp]. Uber allows for service providers to rate customers, we should move to that system."
Like Scelfo, other restaurant owners have had a hard time standing by while Yelpers trash their establishments online. Last October, an angry Yelper posted a screed about Voltaire in Kansas City when staff wouldn't bend their take-out order rules. Instead of sitting back, ownership hopped onto the review site and fired off a sassy response of their own, explaining their side of the situation, and calling out the Yelper and her husband's behavior.