The one-star review of The Kicking Donkey pub in Lancashire, which is rated as the 5th best restaurant in Ormskirk, and has an average rating of 4.5, was posted on TripAdvisor by someone named “Steve”.
It stated: “Went there for a Sunday roast. In all my life I have never been in a restaurant for a roast beef dinner and told it does not include a Yorkshire pudding.
“It costs an extra £1.50 and if you want gravy with that, it also costs an extra £1.50,” they wrote.
“Totally disgusted. We will never be going back there. First visit. Never again.”
Another diner, named Larry, also took issue with the restaurant, writing: “Roast dinner was bland, hardly any taste. You want a Yorkshire pudding or more gravy, fine, but you need to pay extra.
“Dogs allowed in eating areas, not great idea – so not for me. Tried it, but no more.”
Now, the pub’s owner, Matt Fallaize, has hit back at both reviewers, writing in response to Larry:
“Hi. Thanks for the feedback, very sorry to hear that your experience with us wasn’t all it could be.
“We would have been more than happy to swap your meal for something else or knock something off your bill if we’d been aware that it wasn’t to your satisfaction.”
“As to dogs, well, I’m afraid it’s a country pub, kind of goes with the turf.
“We would have been happy to move you to another table if we had known you were uncomfortable with their presence.
“Once again, sorry that you didn’t enjoy your meal. Should you ever try us again, ask for me and I’ll make sure that everything is as splendid as we can manage.”
To Steve, Fallaize replied: “Hi Steve. Sorry to have upset you so much.
“The reason we charge for Yorkies and extra gravy is that they’re both home-made from scratch.
“This takes time and effort, we don’t have the manpower to make a yorkie for every meal, so we make a batch and when they’re gone, they’re gone.”
“We charge for extra gravy because we put plenty on anyway. In the past, people have asked for extra and then it comes back untouched.
“I believe that the staff’s work should be reflected in their pay, and so we do need to charge for things like this. They cost us money to make.
“It’s a disappointment to hear that you won’t dine with us again, but I felt at the very least you were owed an explanation.”
Speaking to The Independent, Fallaize added: “I’m somewhat surprised by the furore. It was two TripAdvisor reviews out of who knows how many.”
As for why they charge extra for Yorkshire puddings, he said: “It’s pretty simple to be honest. We never used to do them, as we didn’t have the time or manpower to make them in the quantities we’d need.
“When we did start to make them, it was extra hours in the kitchen, so rather than raise prices I made them an optional extra. As to how this minor kerfuffle has made the national press in what could hardly be said to be a slow news week I’m mystified. Can’t say it’s put anyone off though; we’re having a rather busy Sunday.”