Pub owner strikes back after critic slams ‘overpriced’ food

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An angry pub-goer has been shut down by the owner of a top pub after brutally slating the venue and leaving a one-star review.

The Stanhill Pub and Kitchen in Lancashire has always been applauded by its local community – so when they received the "scathing" review, owner Brian Healy felt compelled to respond.

The family-run pub offers a mouth-watering menu that includes tapas, starters, pasta and main dishes like Lancashire chicken and pan roasted duck breast – which reviewers say is "top class".

Mr Healy said he was left insulted after a critic called Steven branded their food “overpriced and undercooked”, reports Manchester Evening News.

The gruelling review, which was submitted in June this year, suggested that the boozer which is rated #1 out of 15 restaurants in Oswaldtwistle, wasn’t as good as others had claimed.

"If you like to hear a doorbell every 30 seconds and like undercooked food this is the place for you,” Steven wrote.

"£12.50 for frozen fish n chips is in no way acceptable. Mum n Dad had beef Sunday dinner they couldn't cut the meat so had to request steak knives. Even then Mum couldn't cut it had to be sent back to cook longer."

Steven reportedly paid £60.40 for four main dishes and drinks which he said was too expensive.

He added: “I'm really struggling to understand all the good comments on here based on my experience. Don't go you will be disappointed."

In response, Mr Healy thanked the critic for taking the time to make them his "first TripAdvisor contribution" and said he had waited a week to "put together a considered response".

He wrote: "The doorbell is a mechanism to alert service staff to attend the kitchen; this is usually to deliver plated dishes to the restaurant. This will not have occurred every 30 seconds.

"During a Sunday service this will occur approximately every 5 minutes and is set to a discreet tone and an appropriate volume. I’m sorry that you found it intrusive.

"To suggest that my fish and chips are frozen and that the beef used is inferior is an insult to me, my team and our suppliers. All of our fish is provided fresh by Neve Fishmongers of Fleetwood."

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Mr Healy assured the critic that their batter is made daily, battered and fried on demand. He then explained that their chips, provided by Robert Wellock & Son of Preston are "chipped daily" and also cooked on demand.

As for their beef, Mr Healy said: "The beef used for our Sunday Roasts is 35 day matured Sirloin of beef provided by Whitakers Butchers here in Oswaldtwistle. It is slow cooked and sliced to my exacting standards."

He added: "When it comes to the price paid, I do not consider us to be overpriced. £60.50 for 4 main dishes and 4 drinks equates to just over £15 each for fresh local produce and a premium quality drinks from a tied brewery pub.

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"The price paid covers the cost of raw ingredients for your meal and contributes to the rent paid on the building; the gas, water and electricity; the kitchen staff who prepared and cooked your meals; the service staff who took your order, delivered your meal and served your drinks; the cleaner who ensures that your visit is clean and pleasant; the Covid regulations we are forced to trade under; the license to play music that made the atmosphere; the till system that ensures your orders are managed properly and dozens of other unseen overheads."

Mr Healy then pointed out that they have "worked hard over the last 3 years" to gain their positive comments.

He said they had to "transform The Stanhill from a broken boozer on the brink of being lost to the community into a busy and well-loved community asset that provides employment for dozens of hardworking and diligent staff."

Mr Healy then added: "It is my belief that the comments you rudely dismissed are a true reflection of The Stanhill and we take great pride in them."

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