THE owner of a popular gastropub near Chester has praised a member of staff after she was upset by a table of guests.

The guests, who had been dining at the White Horse in Churton, left a rambling one-star review of the restaurant after what they referred to as a “miserable” Sunday lunch and criticised their server who they said had a “horrible attitude”.

The review from LWC44 said: “Jemma was our server and she coincidentally served us on our first visit and equally horrible attitude and my specific issue is trying to add a service charge on to the bill without showing a receipt. Incredibly rude, conniving and deceitful.

“I thankfully asked for clarity and a copy of the receipt only to be shown the same receipt before the voucher was deduced but after much discussion and attempted confusion she reluctantly went to the bar the 3rd time to remove the service charge.

“I do not feel bad removing this whasoever as the service did not warrant an extra charge, the food was nice but the portion size and additional charge for gravy when you get a thimble full on your meal initially is ostentatious.

“As previously mentioned by others, we will not be returning and we will not be recommending. What a shame.”

Gary Usher, founder of Elite Bistros who own the White Horse, addressed the issue via the pub’s social media account on Monday, April 8.

He said: “Gary here.

“Non polite notice to anyone upsetting any of the team here or in any @Elite Bistros.

“I will block your number & details on our system from being able to book again & trust me I do it regularly. It’s music to my ears when arseholes end a review saying they won’t be returning but I like to call them to confirm.

“Now let’s quickly compliment Jemma because at 21 years old she’s an absolute credit to The White Horse, to her parents & to the hospitality industry. Jemma I’m sorry these people upset you yesterday & on their behalf instead of working the next guest chef night you can have two tickets to come & enjoy it instead.

“Much love from us all here at The White Horse X”

In a further tweet, Mr Usher added: “Just for more context. My reaction is nothing to do with the ‘review’ the ‘guests’ were absolutely vile to Jemma yesterday.”

The incident prompted several messages of support for the server, with many attesting to the quality of the service they had received.

One person said: “Jemma has served us the last couple of times we’ve visited and has been absolutely brilliant. I hope she doesn’t take to heart what this post says because it is so far wide of the mark.”

Many also praised the restaurateur for supporting his staff.

Another person said: “Well done Gary, just to say I love your non polite notice. Good on you for sticking up for your staff.”

Some also picked up on the issue of the service charge.

A comment read: “Whilst I commend you for standing by your staff and upholding your stance. I’m of the opinion that a tip or service charge should be optional!”

The White Horse is the seventh Elite Bistros location and opened in summer 2023. It was subsequently named among the best gastropubs in the country in December.