“[Our manager] has been in the customer service over many fields, he is super passionate about servicing customers and enjoys doing that and loves to interact with people,” the Yelp page for La Porcetta, a pizza restaurant in Sterling, Virginia, says. But the manager also has some unconventional methods of interacting with his customers, like allegedly banging on their front door at 10 PM to have a conversation about why the restaurant only deserved three stars on Yelp.
Yesha Callahan, the deputy managing editor for The Root, says she placed an order from La Porchetta on Sunday evening. When her burger and zeppole arrived, the delivery dude asked if she could review the restaurant after her meal. After what she described as an underwhelming dinner—a recently defrosted burger with no lettuce or tomato, soggy zeppole, and “sorry-looking steak fries”—she did as she was asked, and wrote about her three-star meal.
Callahan’s review wasn’t scathing, it wasn’t rude, and it didn’t cover anything but her disappointment with the dry burger and flaccid pastries. “Maybe next time I'll try the pizza,” she wrote, before presumably getting on with the rest of her evening. At about 10 PM, she heard a knock on the door, which she didn’t answer, and then a number she didn’t recognize started blowing up her phone.
“A few seconds later, the same call came in. I sent it to voicemail again. This time, they actually left a message,” Callahan wrote. “’Hello, this is [inaudible name], the manager of La Porchetta. I am outside your door. I want to speak to you about your Yelp review.”
She responded as anyone in that situation would: with a “Holy fucking shit” and a call to the local police department. The cops came, took her statement and offered her police protection from the kind of individual willing to have a confrontation after being called out for his mediocre burgers.
Callahan then updated her Yelp review, downgrading La Porchetta to one-star, probably only because you can’t leave a negative star. “How dare you show up at my house! What kind of business are you running,” she asked. “And yes, the police have been notified […] Next time, don't ask for a review, if you don't want the truth.”
She also filed a complaint with Yelp, who acknowledged that what the manager had done was inappropriate and batshit crazy. (Yelp didn’t use those exact words). “We’re sorry to hear about your experience following your review of La Porchetta this past weekend and want to ensure that you know we take these types of issues very seriously,” the company said. “We have elevated the issue with our delivery partner, Grubhub, who has begun an internal investigation into the incident and will take appropriate action, including terminating the restaurant’s contract.”
As of Thursday, La Porchetta is still listed on Yelp. The day after Callahan’s nightmare, a man named Joshua gave it two stars for the “paper-thin” meat on his gyro and “weird” tzatziki sauce. “I would personally like to invite you back to make up for your last order,” the restaurant responded. “I look forward to meeting you and giving us a second chance.”
Listen for your doorbell, Joshua. Just in case.