South Carolina restaurant sues woman over 'libelous' Facebook review
As we're all well aware by this point, social media has left all of us walking a tightrope in society, and some of the biggest victims of that - for better or worse - are restaurants. With plenty of establishments out there dependent on Instagram or Facebook for word of mouth, a good review can be the difference between great business and going out of business.
By that same line of thought, when people talk smack about your restaurant, it's likely to affect your sales, and you'll probably end up with your Facebook or Yelp page inundated with outraged customers. Not good. So you can understand why this restaurant was quick to shut down a customer over bad service.
You might even be able to understand why they sued the disgruntled customer.
Let's dive right in, then, and head to a seafood restaurant in South Carolina, where a South Carolina resident left a scathing review, and like most disputes involving food, this all kicked off because of a coupon. Myrtle Beach Online tells the story of a restaurant called Buoys on the Boulevard, allegedly visited by Doreen Gale-Alfano on October 30.
She was visiting the eatery with her father when she tried to use a coupon that would have enabled her to enjoy a dinner for two worth up to $30. A coupon worth using, that's for sure - but when staff told her she couldn't use the coupon - they're under new management - Alfano was not happy.
The lawsuit from Buoys says that she threatened to "destroy" the restaurant on social media, and taking to Facebook, Alfano blasted the restaurant in a now-deleted post that caused quite the stir.
"Awful food....found a worm in my sushi. Also had a fast crawling bug on the wall. The Junga game is a germ carrier. Go and enjoy if you don’t care cuz the new owner doesn’t at all."
Buoys on the Boulevard, however, were having none of it. Through the official Facebook page, they responded to Alfano's post, and they shed light on what really happened that night.
"Hi Doreen, your visit last night is on our camera and you never ordered any food. NO SUSHI was made for you. You and your father came in last night with a $30.00 off coupon dated October 2017 from Grand Strand Dining Group. We bought the business in March 2018 and are not affiliated with Grand Strand Dining Group. We tried to explain that and you were livid because we would not accept the coupon.
We did comp out a Grey Goose Martini, a beer and a coke. We also let you know to go to Duffy Street to redeem the coupon. I did see where you went there after you left here. I can post the video of your entire visit on our camera playback and see where only drinks were at your table. I find it really sad that you would stoop so low to post lies about a business because of your anger. You did let the staff know that you would get on social media and ruin our business. Those are your own words."
A follow-up post from Buoys threatened legal action, and in the lawsuit, Buoys say that their reputation was hurt by the so-called libel post, before adding that Alfano's outburst was slandering the business by making false statements. They also asked for an as-yet-unspecified amount of damages.