Upset Doncaster restaurant boss blasts online trolls after customer row boils over
A Doncaster restaurant boss has blasted online trolls who have subjected him to abuse and bad reviews after a row with a customer boiled over.
Giuseppe Zammuto, who runs the Zammuto Steak House in Doncaster town centre, says he has been subjected to personal threats and abuse and the restaurant bombarded with bad reviews after details emerged of a clash with a coeliac customer.
Mr Zammuto, who runs the Italian-Sicilian restaurant in Nether Hall Road, says he has received abuse from all over the world after a row with customer Natasha Tunmore went viral.
The 31-year-old, who has coeliac disease, gave the restaurant a one star review on TripAdvisor, claiming staff were flippant about her condition, saying waiters were ‘too busy’ to check her requests on whether dishes contained gluten and described the venue as ‘cheap.’
Mr Zammuto then clashed with her over the review telling her: “I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your evening but if you let us know the next time you are coming, will get the red carpet out for you and assign you your own waiter and chef.”
But he said since details of the bust-up emerged, he has been blasted with bad reviews from coeliac customers from as far afield as Australia – with many never having set foot inside the restaurant.
He said: “Suddenly we were inundated with bad reviews and trolled saying my restaurant doesn't cater for coeliacs - I was even getting personal hate messages and they were also looking into my personal Facebook page.
“All of the bad reviews were from outside of Doncaster, some as far as Australia, they have never visited my premises yet thought it was OK to write bad reviews even though it's against TripAdvisor policy.
“I have been in business for over 20 years and I have no problem with coeliacs or anyone with food allergens, it would be business suicide if I did.
“Yet just because a young lady didn't get her own way she decided to try and ruin my business which I think is unfair.
“In actual fact we couldn't give her what she asked for because we physically couldn't as all our hobs were full to capacity and we were already cooking for the next table.
“I was rude to her in my response, however that was because she was rude to me first saying my food was cheap.
“The cyber bullying doesn’t bother me but it did upset my family to read such vile comments written about me and this is why I am so upset over the matter.”
Earlier, Ms Tunmore, described staff as ‘abrupt and intimidating’ and said: “I felt embarrassed and awkward and throughout the meal. My friends asked if I wanted to leave. I did not want to ruin their night too so we stayed.”
“I allowed this to happen very quietly and we left quietly. We paid the full bill and didn't even hang around for any change. We just wanted to get out of the horrible situation.”
Replying to her review, Mr Zammuto wrote: “I'm sorry we couldn't cater to your whims and demands during this busy period but unfortunately we had over 160 other customers we had to serve and cook for.”
He said: “I shouldn't have written it. I admit it. I made a mistake, I was angry.
“I had just worked 13 hours straight and I was getting this aggro from someone when I didn't see what I did wrong. I shouldn't have written it, but it happened. Then I got all that abuse from all these people I didn't even know.
“We were extremely busy and we had customers complaining because they were waiting for food. We have to try and treat everyone equally and fairly.
“This particular table were taking up the waiting staff and kitchen staff's time more than anyone else.”