Chef hits back at customer who said restaurant was 'a total rip-off'

Chef hits back at customer who said his restaurant was ‘a total rip-off’ and urged diners to avoid it ‘like the plague’ on TripAdvisor – saying they should have stuck to the set menu instead of paying extra for sirloin steak

  • Chef Gary Usher, 36, criticised a customer’s scathing TripAdvisor review
  • The diner had claimed the £122 meal was a ‘rip-off’ and that staff were ‘rude’
  • Usher defended his restaurant, the Sticky Walnut in Cheshire, in a public reply
  • Said the diner had been ‘rude’ and asked her to ‘think before you write’ 

Chef Gary Usher slammed a customer who said her meal at his restaurant was a ‘rip-off’ in a damning online review. 

Usher, 36, hit back after diner Emma left a one-star TripAdvisor review for his restaurant, the Sticky Walnut in Chester, Cheshire.

Emma the £122 bill for her meal – two people for one course with drinks – was ‘eye-wateringly expensive’ price tag was ‘really not worth it’.

But Usher claimed she had misunderstood the pricing of the set menu and that they could have ordered a three-course set menu for just £39 each. 

Chef Gary Usher (pictured), 36, hit back after diner Emma left a one-star TripAdvisor review for his restaurant, the Sticky Walnut in Chester, Cheshire 

Emma had claimed the meal, which cost £122.50 for two, was ‘average’ and said the ‘eye-wateringly expensive’ price was ‘really not worth it’. Usher posted his own response (above)

The chef added that her review could ‘devastate’ his business at a difficult time. 

Emma’s original review, posted last Sunday, read: ‘If you want to pay £45 each for an average piece of sirloin steak and some parmesan chips then this is the place to go!

‘When we mentioned to the waitress we thought the menu was misleading, instead of apologising and trying to fix our distress, she got extremely agitated, defensive and frankly rude.

‘Sticky Walnut was somewhere I used to look forward to going to but I would council (sic) EVERYONE heading to Chester for a decent meal to avoid this place like the plague unless they like being ripped off.’  

Usher, who previously appeared in a Channel 4 documentary about one of his restaurants, said in his response that the menu has a fixed price of £39 for 3 courses and that the supplement of dry aged sirloin steak costs an extra £30. 

Emma’s original review, posted last Sunday, pictured, caught the attention of Usher

He wrote: ‘I only personally respond on here every few years so well done on getting me out of Twit-advisor hibernation.   

‘The essence of your ‘review’ should be quite simple. You think we’re a rip off, which is probably the most common complaint on the Twit-advisor website.

‘So nothing new there. So why am I responding? Simply because you wouldn’t let Becky the MANAGER explain at the time. In fact it was YOU who got extremely agitated, defensive and quite frankly rude.

‘With all set menus there are supplements. On ours it’s our dry aged Aubrey Allen sirloin. In Sticky Walnut it will cost an extra £15 per person to have the sirloin instead of, for example, the feather blade of beef.

He added: ‘You are a self-professed expert in comms and brand awareness and still manage to be so short sighted not to see how devastating your words can be.’

The chef shared a photo of the exchange on Twitter with this caption announcing he is quitting TripAdvisor

Usher further advised the reviewer to ‘Think before you write’ after her scathing review. He added: ‘Be kind, it won’t cost you as much as a first-class flight to Dubai.’

The chef shared a photo of the exchange on Twitter with the caption: ‘My response is no longer pending. The TripAdvisor site has published it & Emma the reviewer will now have it too.

‘Was great to get all your feedback on it yesterday. I’d like to announce my retirement from trip advisor after an unhealthy 10 year working relationship, farewell’. 

Gary’s tweet has been liked 8,800 times and earned him strong support from social media users.

One user @OldHallPubAlty wrote: ‘People just don’t realise how difficult it is trading at the moment. Maybe they’ll like it better when we are all closed down again and they can go back to ‘just eat’. 

Gary Usher’s restaurant Sticky Walnut in Chester, Cheshire. Pictured in a stock image 

@westcountry85 added ‘Making a mental note to visit your place if I’m in Chester. Good luck to you and your team’.

Gary made headlines in 2018 after a customer complained about the Sticky Walnut’s lack of ‘customer skills’ after staff were asked to go shop for lemonade for a red wine spritzer.

Gary shot down the customer saying: ‘We often nip out for people’s requests. It’s part of great hospitality. We just don’t do it if you’re a rude c***’.

Gary starred in a Channel 4 documentary in 2019 called The Rebel Chef: My Restaurant Revolution.

The documentary follows the opening of one of his crowdfunded bistros Pinion in the Merseyside Town of Prescot.

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