Local Resto Speaks Up About the Ugly Side of Customer Feedback

There's a fine line between constructive criticism and being plain rude.

PHOTO BY Instagram/onlypanspoblacion, Facebook/Onlypans Taqueria Poblacion ILLUSTRATOR: Patricia Baes

(SPOT.ph) Much as they try to be, restaurants aren't perfect. As a paying customer, you definitely have the right to raise concerns about potential missteps in their service—ideally straight to the restaurant. With raising your concerns, though, is a fine line between constructive criticism and being just plain rude—if not possibly abusive. Sadly, that line does get crossed in the Philippines; just take a look at a recent Instagram post by taco shop Onlypans.

Also read: Should You Complain About Restaurants on Social Media?

Onlypans received these harsh comments:

"Trigger warning: verbal abuse... three years into operating and today, for the very first time, we encountered this," Onlypans writes in an Instagram post published January 11, with screenshots of messages where the store is addressed "tanga" and "worst restaurant in Manila." The sender also threatens Onlypans about ordering P10,000 worth of food (presumably via a delivery app) and canceling the order, which would force the rider to bring the food back to the resto sans the customer's payment. 

PHOTO BY instagram/onlypanspoblacion
onlypans customer
PHOTO BY instagram/onlypanspoblacion

"Quite harsh, isn’t it?," says Onlypans, elaborating more on the incident in the caption. As it turns out, this customer ordered food on a delivery app and received cold food—admittedly not exactly what you want when the food in question are of the gooey, cheesy sort Onlypans is known for. The reason behind it isn't so simple however, especially when you throw in the delivery factor into the mix.

Upon going through CCTV footage, Onlypans found that the food was made fresh and still hot upon dispatch. But they have control only over so much, and though they point out that they do check via their system whether it's been delivered, it's essentially out of their hands once it's out for dispatch. What "clearly" happened, the resto writes, is that the rider accepted the order as part of a multiple-part booking—i.e., one with multiple stops, thus possibly entailing more time on the road before your order gets to you. "Because of the multiple stops that the rider did, the food ended up being cold and so the customer really got frustrated."

watch now
onlypans birria tacos
Onlypans is known for their birria tacos that are best enjoyed hot.

The question, though, is whether the degree of the customer's reaction matched that of the incident. Does receiving dissatisfactory service warrant name-calling and explicit threats in return? Hard nope, especially as Onlypans shares that they did take steps to try and remedy the situation. They had their head chef call the customer to try and talk things out, but shares that it "didn't sit well." "We asked if it was possible to talk diplomatically and yet again we were bombarded with the usual 'I’m the customer and I will say whatever I want,' and so the call ended," they write.

"We didn’t even bother to answer the calls because it was way too abusive already." Onlypans also offered "complimentary hot meals" and tried reaching out again to explain their side—that they're "not assholes" and that they always "try... to make [things] work." To this, the customer—who apparently hails from LA, notes the restaurant—responded that they were frustrated and had "expected 'more'." 


"Friends, this is the ugly side," concludes Onlypans. "This is the reality we live in. It’s bad. Respect really should be earned. To those who really deserve it."

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