Chester cafe owner posts withering reply to negative TripAdvisor review

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The owner of a popular independent business has hit back in spectacular style after being on the receiving end of a negative TripAdvisor review.

Laura Lautrete, who runs the Meltdown cheese toastie cafe in Handbridge, was so unhappy with the reviewer's comments that she penned her own biting reply on the website. 

The initial review, posted last week by a user known only as 'MarcoPW' of Chester, says: "Came in as had read about this cafe. We had two cheese toasted sandwiches, which were OK, but the coffee was awful, really burnt. 

"Service was fine, although staff sitting down when a few people were in isn’t a good look. Menu definitely needs expanding if they want repeat custom as it is a bit of a trek to find."

It was the first time Laura's business – billed as Chester's first cheese toastie cafe – had received a negative review on TripAdvisor, which allows members of the public to rate hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, pubs and other eateries. Of the 22 reviews posted for Meltdown, 20 rate it as 'excellent' and one other is 'very good'. 

Clearly unhappy with her first – and only – ‘average' rating, Laura took to the forum to post her own reply, which contained a heavy helping of sarcasm. 

Laura wrote: "Thanks so much for your negative comments. What a shame you didn't say anything at the time in order to give me the opportunity to redeem the issues mentioned, and instead anonymously wrote a negative review on a huge social platform which may well hurt my small independent business that I have put my heart and soul into. Dead brave that.

"Also obviously I will beat my staff for sitting down. How dare they! I will instruct them in future to stand at all times so as not to offend anyone. Excellent point."

Laura took to Twitter to alert people to the fact she had posted the reply. She tweeted: "TripAdvisor response to negative review is now live. My mother always said I’m too reactive."

Laura told the Standard it was “incredibly frustrating” to read bad reviews which is why she decided to post her reply. She added that in general people had been hugely supportive of her business since she opened up in May this year.

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See full story in the Chester Leader

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