A PUB in Herefordshire has hit back at a customer who criticised bosses on Tripadvisor for cancelling their table due to issues in the kitchen.

The Oak Inn at Staplow, near Ledbury, said the review had cost the business dearly at a time when many firms in the hospitality industry were struggling.

He said the review cost them to slip from the third-best restaurant in Herefordshire on Tripadvisor to fifth, as well as hundreds of pounds from customers being put off after reading the negative review.


The pub, run by Chris and Heather Howells, said they gave the customer nine hours' notice on December 27 that it couldn't honour his booking for a table of 15 that evening.

That was because a key piece of kitchen kit had broken and the pub was unable to get it repaired the same day, meaning they lost thousands of pounds in revenue.

Want to stay up to date with all the latest Ledbury news? It's easy, just sign up for our weekly email newsletter here and all the important stories that matter to you will be delivered straight to your inbox.

The review, by Michael P, was titled "last minute let down" and said: "Booked a table of 15 people (sic). Chose our food ahead of time.

"Got a call on the day saying they had an issue with their kitchen and they were waiting for parts. We should of (sic) been informed at least the day before."

Pub flabbergasted by negative Tripadvisor review

Replying to the one-star review, the pub said it was "flabbergasted", and the nine hours notice it gave him was "not last minute by any means".

"Sadly, we will lose thousands of pounds as a result and no doubt because of this disappointing review, hundreds more.

"In total, we had six large parties booked like yours and everyone was totally understandable; indeed showing us great sympathy with our hopeless situation."


It added: "In case you hadn't noticed, the hospitality industry is on its knees and we are working tirelessly to keep this business afloat and working far beyond normal hours.

"So for us to get this kick in the teeth makes us extremely upset and frustrated."

The pub, which is on the B4214 towards Bromyard, describes itself as a cosy 16th century black and white country inn and said it had to cancel more than 25 bookings as a result of the fault with electrics.