Restaurateur’s comeback to ‘wealthy’ diner’s complaint

‘The customer is always right… unless they are very rude’: Restaurateur gets rave reviews for ‘joyous’ comeback to ‘wealthy’ diner’s complaint about ‘cr** food at extortionate prices’

  • Disgruntled customer left a scathing review after a meal at Trakol in Gateshead 
  • The restaurant is in By The River Brew Co, an independent container community 
  • Company hit back at the diner saying they ‘took umbrage over personal attack’
  • Do you know the customer? Email [email protected] 

A company’s witty response to a disgruntled diner has been met with rave reviews on social media. 

The customer left a scathing review after dining at Trakol, a restaurant within a cluster of renovated shipping containers beneath the Tyne Bridge in Gateshead. 

The man said he was ‘born and bread in Newcastle’ and ‘Self employed from a wealthy background and well educated (privately, obviously)’. 

But he was displeased with his ‘salty shellfish’ and ‘budget supermarket garbage’ wine.

By the River Co, the firm in charge of the popular ‘independent container community’ – which has been mentioned in The Michelin Guide – swiftly shared its acerbic reply. 

The customer left a scathing review after dining at Trakol, a restaurant within a cluster of renovated shipping containers beneath the Tyne Bridge in Gateshead

The man said he was ‘born and bread in Newcastle’ and ‘Self employed from a wealthy background and well educated (privately, obviously)’

By the River Co shared the email on chain on Twitter, where it has amassed thousands of shares and retweets

By the River Co shared the email on chain on Twitter, where it has amassed thousands of shares and retweets.  

The unhappy businessman said he was Newcastle born and ‘bread’ and had lived in Heaton, Gosforth, Jesmond, Weardale and North Shields.

He added: ‘Self employed from a wealthy background and well educated (privately, obviously).

‘I have eaten in the best restaurants of Newcastle, Europe and the Caribbean.

Do you know the customer? 

Email [email protected] 

‘I can honestly say I have never eaten such c**p food in c**p surroundings and payed at least four times what the food was worth.

‘I appreciate your venture is high risk so probably need a quick return but…?????’

The businessman went on to say they were making good staff serve ‘c**p food at extortionate prices’ and described the wine as ‘budget supermarket garbage’.

He added: ‘I had Barnsely Chop, as a retired sheep farmer amongst other things, the chop was good but the things with it!!!!! Salty shellfish????? Is you chef vegan or thick!!’

He said he wouldn’t do the firm the disservice of putting his review on social media, but The River Brew Co chose to share their response on Twitter. 


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By The River responded to the man and said the customer was not always right 

The company responded: ‘Thank you for your mail – as a self employed, wealthy, privately educated individual we would have thought you would have understood the difference between bread and bred.

‘That would have been assumptive of us of course – and as you have made so many assumptions in your mail including an analysis of our business plan and lease we don’t feel there is that much room for anymore.

‘Whilst we are always welcoming of comments, critique and well reasoned complaints in this case we must take umbrage to your mail which we feel is simply a personal attack. However, regardless of your barbed and rather insulting tone it is of course our duty to reply…so hold tight:

‘Chef: At Trakol Chef is neither vegan or ‘thick’ – a bit chunky maybe…but thick?…no definitely not. He is, as is the whole team here By The River are extremely passionate about what we serve here as a local, independent operators.

‘C**p food: We are glad you enjoyed the Barnsley Chop and we are relatively intrigued just where your sheep farm was? Heaton? Gosforth? Jesmond?

By the River Co, is in charge of the popular ‘independent container community’ – which has been mentioned in The Michelin Guide

Author and restaurant critic Jay Rayner shared the comeback with his 230,000 followers

‘Actually… no matter and no need to let us know… the real surprise is that you would expect crustaceans to be anything but salty given that they live in…the sea.

‘C**p surroundings: you don’t go into much detail here – and of course this is not the Caribbean at which you have dined in the best restaurants – we are however quite taken by the stunning views of the city here on the south side of the river and are saddened you didn’t enjoy the vista as much as we and our many visitors do.

‘Wine: you do not say which wine you refer to. If it was the red you may have had the JJ Hahn Reginald Shiraz-Cabernet? If it was the white then maybe it was Rias Baixas Lolo Alberino? (excuse us for this one tiny assumption based on price paid).

‘Regardless, please let us know which supermarkets you source these wines at budget prices from (we imagine you are a Waitrose kind of guy) and we will be straight down there with our bags for life to stock up.

‘Finally, with reference to your kind offer not to do us the disservice by publishing your thoughts on social media please check our twitter feed. The customer is always right…unless they are very very rude and very very wrong.’ 

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