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Pub owner hits back after diner claims staff were aggressive and food tasted like ‘dirty oven’

The owner of a Midlands pub has responded to a diner who claimed part of their meal tasted like a “dirty oven” and they were left “embarrassed” by the food. The customer who visited The Plow Inn in Shropshire said they would not recommend visiting the establishment to others.

They took to Tripadvisor to claim that their lasagne was “dry”, while a side of chips was “heavily populated with black burnt bits”. The unnamed reviewer also claimed they had received “aggressive” messages from staff since highlighting their poor experience on Facebook.

The Plow Inn, located in Shifnal, near Telford, has a 3.5 rating on Tripadvisor – with more than 100 reviews. It regularly receives positive reviews on the popular travel website – while their service has been given a rating of 4 on the website.

Readmore: The best pubs in the West Midlands according to the National Pub and Bar Awards 2022

One recent reviewer said: “Great beer garden! Perfect place to go when the sunshine is out, loads of tables and they serve food outside. Family friendly and dogs welcome in the garden.”

But this particular reviewer shared their negative thoughts after this visit in their review on Tripadvisor. They said: “After receiving recommendations off a local Facebook page I took two friends to this establishment on Wednesday evening.

“I was embarrassed at the quality of the food. My one friend had fish and chips and the fish was so brown it looked as if it had been in and out of the fryer as a career.

“I had the lasagne and garlic bread. The lasagne was dry and the garlic bread tasted of dirty oven.

“The side dish of chips was heavily populated with little black burnt bits. My other friend had the nachos which were OK.

“I later commented on the Facebook page that had recommended the establishment that we had not had a good experience. Since then I have received quite aggressive messages from the manager and owner regarding my post.

“We did not want to make a fuss at the time and from the messages I have subsequently received and comments form others on here, on reflection that it was a good call. I would not recommend this establishment.”

But the owner of The Plow Inn, identified as Lana, decided to respond to the negative criticism – questioning why they took to the travel website when they did not want confrontation. She added that they were a “community pub offering good products at great value”.

Her full response said: “We contacted you after your Facebook comments on our establishment in an attempt to find out exactly what the issues were and why you had not made any complaints about the food after you had all eaten your meals.

“You said you did not want confrontation but then you condemned us on a public forum hiding behind the veil of the internet. I think most people would be shocked that you chose that direction when there was absolutely no need for it.

“If you had said at the time it would have avoided the questions which we have every right to ask you and it certainly was not aggressive.

“I think it’s very sad when customers behave in this manner. You had obviously decided we were not your type of establishment.

“We are a community pub offering good products at great value. We have strived over a decade to build an established family business and offer a good service.

“Had you have told us we would have done everything we could have done to improve things for you and your guests but you declined us the opportunity which is a great pity. This is the first time you have visited us and such a shame you have us entirely wrong and have decided to continue with your condemnations on review sites.

“I should imagine it is relatively easy to sit in the comfort of your home being a keyboard warrior where your victims are unable to question what you say.

“I always prefer to give people a chance especially a business which employs local people and adds to the local economy. This can be empowering for everyone in that respect rather than so destructive.”

The Plow Inn has 133 reviews on Tripadvisor – with nearly 90 of those branded as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. One reviewer said: “Great little pub.

“Team super friendly and accommodating. Great range of food and drink. Fast becoming our regular haunt!”

A visitor from London said: “Thought this was a little pub but go in and it is HUGE .. extensive garden with tables and style to suit all tastes. Good clean lager *the pipes must sparkle*

“Food time had just finished but the chef cooked for us anyway, without asking. I have a tasty omelette and my husband gammon.

“Fresh clean and ample portion. Staff checked on us more than once. Good honest pub food, a rare find these days.”

While Sarah added: “What a lovely friendly inviting pub. I visit often and always feel welcome. Such lovely staff and a great atmosphere.

“I highly recommend visiting. Food is very good what a great garden to enjoy the summer weather. Best pub in Shifnal.”

Readmore: Midlands pub named as one of best to visit in the UK this spring – with ‘enchanted secret garden’

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