An amateur restaurant reviewer has criticised a vegetarian cafe for not serving any meat, leaving a village in hysterics.
The diner, known only as Bruce York, left an average review rating for the The Retreat Tearoom & Bistro in Grassington, North Yorkshire, after eating there.
But despite the cafe receiving excellent reviews from most of its guests, Mr York, who has reviewed more than 450 places on the website, said the food wasn’t to his taste due to the menu ‘lacking in meat with too much ecofriendly food.’ (sic)
Bruce York left an average review for The Retreat Tearoom & Bistro in Grassington, North Yorkshire after saying the food was ‘too veggie’
The cafe, which is run by Ricky Chant and his partner Adele Maxwell (left), specialises in vegetarian food. Mr York said the veggie burgers (right) were ‘not proper’
Mr York’s review, which was published on TripAdvisor, said: ‘Busy tea room in the middle of the Main Street in Grassington. There are surprisingly few similar cafes so it was very busy’
Mr York’s review, which was published on TripAdvisor, said: ‘Busy tea room in the middle of the Main Street in Grassington. There are surprisingly few similar cafes so it was very busy.
‘We found the service friendly but a little lacking. Regards food, I found it to be lacking in meat with too much ecofriendly food rather than a proper menu: veggie-burgers but none proper.
‘Whilst we found choice forced upon us due to the limited menu, we found the food ok, but we would go elsewhere next time.’
Alongside his comments, he gave a rating of three out of five stars.
But sources told the MailOnline that villagers think the review is ‘hilarious’.
One said: ‘Out of six restaurants on the High Street in Grassington, a man chooses a veggie restaurant then slates it for not serving meat.
‘The whole village is laughing at this man’s review.’
Cafe co-owner Rick Chant, 40, gave a tongue-in-cheek reply.
He wrote: ‘”Surprisingly few cafes”….”food forced upon you” …..Open your eyes man. If you cared to explore you’d find six cafes in Grassington – not to mention the many pubs that also serve food. Admittedly ours is the only vegetarian tearoom but you DO have a choice.
Mr York added: ‘We found the service friendly but a little lacking. Regards food, I found it to be lacking in meat with too much ecofriendly food rather than a proper menu’
‘Your most amusing point however…..what exactly does “eco-friendly food” mean Bruce? I’m assuming the “buzzword” is your interpretation of “different”. I’m struggling to see how [our menu is] ‘ecofriendly rather than a “proper” menu?’
But speaking to the MailOnline afterwards, Mr Chant, who runs the cafe with his partner Adele Maxwell, 39, expressed his frustration over the reviews system on the website.
He said: ‘Our reviews are generally positive but occasionally, there is the odd unusual one, which is fine because that’s the game of this industry.
‘But it’s when folk mark you down on a choice they’ve made, it goes against the grain of what other people have said.
‘We have had people come in, then leave because it’s vegetarian restaurant and then a leave a bad review.
‘In Grassington, we have six cafes. We took over the tearoom two years ago and kept it a vegetarian cafe out of choice.
‘My response was to explain to him, in a sarcastic way, we are who we are.’
Mr Chant added that the website was useful but can ‘really harm’ independent businesses.
He added: ‘It’s a small independent place, so if someone has a rant about it, it’s a shame – but equally if it’s not right, it’s not right.
Mr Chant said another reviewer, who was vegan, slammed the cafe for serving a coffee to a butcher
‘We have a local butcher who comes in everyday for coffee. One day, a vegan came in and reviewed us as ‘very disappointing’ for choosing to serve a butcher.
‘They said she was ‘splattered in blood from some poor animal’ but she wasn’t, because I was there.
‘People have to be aware of how it can damage your reputation.’
A spokesperson for TripAdvisor said: ‘We have guidelines in place that users must adhere to when submitting reviews to the site. Where we find evidence that a review does not meet those guidelines, we will remove it. For reviews that meet our guidelines, we encourage owners to put their side of the story across in a management response, which we publish for all to see.
‘It is also worth bearing in mind that the average TripAdvisor consumer reads dozens of reviews before making a decision, benefiting not just from the rating scores offered by each reviewer, but also the full written account of their experience and, in many cases, their candid photos as well.
‘Because of the strength and scale of our community, one single review isn’t going to have a huge impact. The weight of lots of reviews together coupled with the common sense that a user applies when reading them means that if they see something that is not relevant to them, they will dismiss it.’
The MailOnline attempted to contact Bruce York for comment.