All restaurants would love to achieve stellar five-star reviews from their customers but two New Jersey restaurant chains have come under fire with their demanding policy requiring workers to get these top-rated reviews or face losing their jobs.
Tio Taco and Tequila Bar along with Tommy’s Tavern and Tap, restaurants both owned by Triple T Hospitality Group are at the centre of the controversy when an intimidating note was shared to Reddit's "Late-Stage Capitalism" subreddit and quickly went viral.
"Every service employee for FOH [front of house] is required to get a minimum of 5 Google reviews per month to remain employed at the Edison location starting February 2022,” the post read. Examples of staff who work front of house, are waiters or hostesses.
“The review must include your name and five stars in order to count,” and added that there would be "contests" each month to promote "healthy competition" and workers must have at least 15 reviews to compete.
Safe to say the note didn't go down well as people criticised the policy in the comments and also urged others to give the restaurant one-star reviews in protest, which the restaurants were then plagued with.
One person wrote: "I hate this so much. 1star from me."
"We need everyone in this sub to go leave this place a ton of 1-star reviews," another person said.
Someone else added: "Let’s review the sh*t out of them. 1 star for poor management."
In response to this viral controversy, the restaurants in question have distanced themselves from the rule as Triple T Hospitality Group's CEO Thomas Bonfiglio insisted the review demands are not their policy.
He toldNJ Advance Media: "In the restaurant business, we’re not firing anyone, we’re still trying to hire people. So to think that we will fire people over this is a silly thing."
Due to the influx of negative reviews, Bonfiglio detailed how a scrubbing company was hired in order to offset the impact of those. “It was scary to read . . . You have 2,000 people saying‚ ‘burn down and die, let’s put them out of business,'" he said.
Bonfiglio also revealed the policy was posted by an assistant manager and didn't get permission from their seniors to share it and described enforcing this rule as "impossible."
"I’d have to fire the whole crew," he added.
"It’s not enough that we have a pandemic, it’s not enough that we have a labour shortage, it is not enough that we have food inflation, it’s not enough that people are insecure going in restaurants."
Meanwhile, Danielle Smith, a director at Taco and Tequila Bar, told The New York Postthe employee who posted it has since been fired.
“We made sure it was not enforced at the location, and it was 100 per cent not company policy,” she said.
At the time of writing (January 25) both restaurants currently have four-star reviews on Google.
Enjoyed this article? Then click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help it raise through the indy100 rankings and have your say in our news democracy.