We have all wanted to yield our reviewing power at some point or another. Whether you got bad service or just plain bad food, it can be very satisfying to go home, log on to the internet, and start typing away at your catty, one-star review. It is just too easy to do, and gives too much satisfaction.
Some people have made an art out of poorly reviewing restaurants. They spend hours writing up their poetic reviews, or they walk into restaurants already threatening the staff with the fact they are a Yelp reviewer, as if to say, "give me perfection or you are going down. I am practically the queen here."
For small business owners, these reviewers can wield a lot of power. Even one bad review can plummet your business, but these business owners still need to stick to their guns and uphold their own policies. That is why a cafe owner and a customer have come to all out war over a one-star review.
The Watering Can is a cafe in Liverpool at the heart of this review drama. Someone left a really bad review for The Watering Can on TripAdvisor. Were they mad about the food? No, they never even tasted it. Were they mad about the service? I guess you could say that. The thing is, the review focused on the fact that the cafe "refused point-blank" to let the non-customer and their child use the restroom.
The review which can be found on TripAdvisor explains the situation: "I brought my daughter to the park with some of her school friends when they broke up for summer a few children was desperate for the toilet facilities to use and the cafe refused point blank that the children or adults can't use the toilets unless they are paying customers."
Only allowing customers to use the restroom is a common policy for many restaurants, and most people wouldn't be too surprised, even if it upset them. The reviewer continues, explaining what lengths they had to go to to get their children to a usable restroom. "So I had to take several kids to the spire hospital to use their toilets and they were very helpful and understanding ...What this pack (sic) needs at greenbank is toilet facilities not a cafe that doesn't let anyone in for the toilet."
You might feel bad for the reviewer, but Keith Perryman responded via Facebook to put it all in perspective. In his Facebook response, he says, "We had damage in the toilet for 5th time today, with kids filling water guns and balloons. A toilet cistern was broken again, on top of an already expensive week following a break in."
Keith Perryman's post continues to say: "If you are local as you say you are, surely you could have gone home to a toilet and this wouldn't have been the massive inconvenience to you. We are not here to provide free toilet services to the park. We pay the rent, the water rates, electricity, buy the toilet roll. We built this building ourselves and decorated it to a high standard, only for some people to damage and abuse it. We are perfectly within our rights to refuse entrance to anyone for whatever reason and today has been totally justified."
What do you think? Does this response put The Watering Can's position in perspective? As Perryman states, the restaurant is the one who has to pay for all the maintenance of the toilets. Why should they offer it to anyone except for customers?