Chip shop owner wins praise for witty responses to online critics

The Bunker is located in Seahouses on the Northumberland coast (Tom Wilkinson/PA)

A chip shop owner has won fans by fighting back against critical online reviews of his business with a series of sarcastic responses.

Rod White, co-owner of The Bunker in Seahouses, Northumberland, refuses to back down when confronted by negative online comments, firing back at the rare, unhappy customers.

Many leave his restaurant – which is also a soft play area and crazy golf course – satisfied and some have proclaimed his cod and chips to be the best in the popular fishing village, which boasts at least three other chippies.

But the odd unhappy customer has left negative comments on TripAdvisor or Google, only to be receive a snippy response from Mr White who, for reasons he cannot explain, signs himself “Lionel Blair” or “Montgomery Applegate”.

These responses have won fans online, with some visiting the chippie on the back of his humour.

When a customer reviewed The Bunker last month and found the product was too greasy with no gluten-free option, Mr White responded with sarcasm: “Your comments are duly noted sir and from now on we shall be frying our fish and chips in daffodil extract.

“Once cooked, the fish will spend 5 minutes in a tumble drier, while at the same time, staff member X will be blow drying the chips, with one of those Dyson hair dryers, you know the one that doesn’t even look like a hair dryer?, until there is no sign of grease whatsoever.

“Then, and only then, will the plate of Atlantic cod and Northumbrian chipped potatoes be presented to our customers.”

A biker’s online review complained about paying £4 for chips and mushy peas, and said their group of 10 would not be returning.

A review response Credit: Screengrab/TripAdvisor/PA

The owner replied: “So sorry you’re less than happy with your chips and mushy peas for £4.00.

“Typical TripAdvisor, one review saying the prices are good, next one complaining they’re too dear.

“However, we take note that you and your nine friends won’t be visiting here in the future, and will take this into account when when preparing next year’s budget forecasts.”

And when a customer complained about a long wait for his food before finding the chips were “greasy and soft”, the fish “dry” and the portions “miserably small”, the owner hit back with a lengthy response, including a tongue-in-cheek offer to introduce a chip colour chart for his servers to consult.

He wrote: “Each customer will be asked when placing their order, exactly what shade of chip they’d prefer.

“After pointing to a chip chart at the back of the shop, our fryer can then leave each separate customer’s chips in frying, until they reach their particular favourite<br>shade.

Mr White co-owns the business with his brother-in-law Credit: Tom Wilkinson/PA

“That way, there’ll be no worry that customers, like your good self sir, will be going away with chips of the wrong hue. Absolutely brilliant, even if I say so myself.

“So let me thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to moan in length about the catastrophe that happened in your day.

“I hope you’ve managed to calm down now, got a good night’s sleep, and can get on with the rest of your disaster-filled life without too much worry.

“Anyway, must dash, got a chip chart to prepare.”

Mr White, who co-owns the business with his brother-in-law, explained his tactic of responding to the odd criticism.

He said: “It’s exasperation. You deal with hundreds of people a day and you cannot please everybody.

“You cannot stick your fingers up at people, so you have to reply. If they leave a scathing review, you cannot just leave it.”

But Mr White pointed out many more people leave The Bunker happy, including one person who posted a review with a picture of an empty plate and the word “delicious” written in tomato ketchup.

The Bunker has a four out of five rating on TripAdvisor and 3.7 out of five on Google.