There are two sides to every story, including those posted to Yelp and the like. And for those disputes, court is now in session.
The Post and Courier Food section weekly features a complaint that first surfaced online, along with testimonies from the patron and restaurateur.
You, the readers, are the jury. Join us in our Facebook group to weigh in on whether the customer is indeed right, or if the case should be resolved in the restaurant’s favor. Let’s enter the courtroom.
Marissa G., a tourist from Texas, had a bumpy ride through Charleston. She loved Cocktail Club, but was disappointed in the size of her buttermilk biscuit from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit and told fellow Yelpers so. “Thanks for the feedback,” owner Carrie Morey wrote in response, offering a corrective experience. “We can’t get better unless we hear from our amazing customers!”
Like Marissa, RuRu’s Tacos & Tequila isn’t from Charleston. The Mexican-themed bar got its start in Charlotte, but owner Martin Sprock fell for the Holy City’s “cobblestone streets and Southern hospitality,” according to the company’s website. The former Moe’s exec earlier this year opened RuRu’s on East Bay Street.
RuRu’s A-frame sidewalk sign promising “ice cold margaritas” and a happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. drew Marissa and her husband into the restaurant. Yet when the couple ordered their drinks, they learned the advertised happy hour wasn’t available on Saturdays.
According to Marissa, she wasn’t the only one who felt misled by the ambiguous sign. “This continued to happen to multiple parties after us, and the sign wasn't brought in,” she wrote. “We were disappointed to not be offered any sort of discount.”
Travis Snowden of RuRu's says the restaurant has lately "steered away" from enticing passers-by with happy hour promises. "Now we’re just trying to put quirky sayings out there," he says, explaining that a picture of a tourist with a RuRu's sign, blasted out over social media, is more valuable than a single beer sale. For instance, the contested sign recently read, "I like tacos, how 'bout two?"
As for the ambiguous happy hour sign, Snowden described it as "just an oversight on my behalf." When asked by The Post and Courier about its use, he offered to amend it.
"I should put Monday-Friday on there," he said.
Who’s right in this situation? Does a restaurant have to specify the details of deals advertised on its sidewalk signs? Or should patrons have to enter the restaurant to determine whether a promotion applies to them? Join the discussion at bit.ly/PCfoodFBgroup.