For most business owners, a negative review can be a bit of a blow.
But one chip shop owner has turned it to his advantage by biting back with such entertaining responses that people are visiting his business just to witness his wit for themselves.
Rod White is co-owner of The Bunker in Seahouses, Northumberland, which is also a soft play area an crazy golf course, proclaimed by many to be the best chip shop in the fishing village.
But despite the business’s popularity, it has received the odd negative comment on TripAdvisor and Google and, not one to back down, Mr White has hit back with his own witty responses.
His responses have won him some fans, with some visiting the chip shop on the back of his humour.
To one review claiming the fish and chips were too greasy and there was no gluten-free option, Mr White responded: “Your comments are duly noted sir and from now on we shall be frying our fish and chips in daffodil extract.
“Once cooked, the fish will spend 5 minutes in a tumble drier, while at the same time, staff member X will be blow drying the chips, with one of those Dyson hair dryers, you know the one that doesn’t even look like a hair dryer?, until there is no sign of grease whatsoever.
“Then, and only then, will the plate of Atlantic cod and Northumbrian chipped potatoes be presented to our customers.”
To another complaint over the price of £4 for chips and mushy peas, and the customer’s declaration that their group of 10 wouldn’t be returning, Mr White responded: “We take note that you and your nine friends won’t be visiting here in the future, and will take this into account when when preparing next year’s budget forecasts.”
And when one person complained about a long wait for his food before finding the chips were “greasy and soft”, the fish “dry” and the portions “miserably small”, he hit back with a lengthy response, including a tongue-in-cheek offer to introduce a chip colour chart for his servers to consult.
He wrote: “Each customer will be asked when placing their order, exactly what shade of chip they’d prefer. After pointing to a chip chart at the back of the shop, our fryer can then leave each separate customer’s chips in frying, until they reach their particular favourite shade
“That way, there’ll be no worry that customers, like your good self sir, will be going away with chips of the wrong hue. Absolutely brilliant, even if I say so myself.
“So let me thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to moan in length about the catastrophe that happened in your day.
“I hope you’ve managed to calm down now, got a good night’s sleep, and can get on with the rest of your disaster-filled life without too much worry. Anyway, must dash, got a chip chart to prepare.”
Mr White, who co-owns the business with his brother-in-law, couldn’t explain why he signs his responses “Lionel Blair” or “Montgomery Applegate” but said his response are often the product of “exasperation”.
“You deal with hundreds of people a day and you cannot please everybody,” he said. “You cannot stick your fingers up at people, so you have to reply. If they leave a scathing review, you cannot just leave it.”
But Mr White pointed out many more people leave The Bunker – which has a four out of five rating on TripAdvisor and 3.7 out of five on Google – happy, including one person who posted a review with a picture of an empty plate with the word “delicious” written in tomato ketchup.