Two chain restaurants in New Jersey went viral for all the wrong reasons after issuing a notice to employees that their continued service would be reliant on receiving a 5-star Google review.
Tio Taco, Tequila Bar, and Tommy’s Tavern and Tap are all owned by Triple T Hospitality group, and were put on blast when a post of their threatening new guideline went viral on Reddit.
“Every service employee for FOH is required to get a minimum of 5 Google reviews per month to remain employed at the Edison location starting February 2022,” read the post. For reference, “FOH” stands for “Front of House” and includes waitstaff among others.
“The review must include your name and five stars in order to count,” the warning continued. “We will have monthly Google review contests each month to promote health[y] competition. You have to receive a minimum of 15 reviews to qualify for prizes.”
“Google review policy” of a chain restaurant posted to Reddit. There was a golden age of two or three years where Yelp and Google had valid restaurant reviews before restaurants figured the process out, but now it’s all rigged. An opportunity for a new approach to the idea. pic.twitter.com/h3ddh6sHTG
— Ben Brockert (@wikkit) January 22, 2022
The memo was reportedly up for no longer than 15 minutes before it became internet fodder and was promptly taken down. However, Triple T CEO Thomas Bonfiglio claims that nobody was actually going to be fired over the policy, which appears to contradict what was written in the memo.
“In the restaurant business, we’re not firing anyone, we’re still trying to hire people. So to think that we will fire people over this is a silly thing,” he told NJ Advance Media. He also claimed that an assistant manager had posted the memo and had not consulted any of the higher-ups before doing so.
“It was scary to read . . . You have 2,000 people saying‚ ‘burn down and die, let’s put them out of business,’” Bonfiglio said of the comments his businesses have received since the requirements went viral.
“It’s not enough that we have a pandemic, it’s not enough that we have a labor shortage, it is not enough that we have food inflation, it’s not enough that people are insecure going in restaurants,” he lamented. He then noted that the chains to keep an eye on Google reviews, but would never base employment status on them in the way the memo indicated.
“It would be an impossible policy,” he said flatly. “I’d have to fire the whole crew.”
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