Local Chef: The Customer Is Always Right (Unless She's Fat and Stupid)

Boston foodies spent their Wednesday morning watching the flaming car wreck of a fight playing out before everyone’s eyes on the Facebook page of the restaurant Pigalle, where a disgruntled customer’s rude post about her vomit-flavored pumpkin pie spurred the restaurant’s chef to respond with a string of vulgar insults, the tamest of which included cautioning that she ought not to have eaten the pie in the first place, “judging from your fat face.”

This is one way to get people to engage with you on social media, we suppose. The offending comment came from customer named Sandy who wrote on the Pigalle Facebook page (via We Love Beantown, who took screenshots of the relevant posts lest they be deleted):

Really horrible pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving!! Wow. I don’t have a clue as to why you would think that throwing pumpkin chunks into a cold pre baked pie shell and then covering it with a cream sauce that literally tasted like vomit. { I am very serious!} and topping it off with whipped cream that was runny would in any way be something that can be called pumpkin pie? The whole meal was awful and the one thing thought would be a good ending was the worst part of it all. Spent 200.00 and will never be back. Thanks for ruing my Thanksgiving! I would of rather gave the money to the homeless person outside your front door that waste it on that crappy food. Merry Christmas!

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So if you thought that was a typo-laden bit of Facebook trolling, just wait until you see the comments left by Pigalle’s Facebook account on the post, presumably written by chef/owner Marc Orfaly.  Some of them have since been deleted, but according to We Love Beantown they read, in part:

hey sandy , go fuck your self! if you have any questions on how to proceed please call me at [phone number] marc.

Also

you must enjoy vomit you bitch if you know how much it tastes like

And finally:

Judging by how fat your face looks , you most Likely shouldn’t be eating anymore desserts anyway Sweet pea xo

And just in case he thought his Facebook followers missed this classy display, he posted a separate response that read:

To all Pigalle fans
It would be hard to believe that in this day and age there are uneducated , uninformed ignorant people still eating out on holidays , but this woman proves me wrong .
The way to behave , as most people are aware , is when there is a problem with either food or service to bring it to the restaurants attention so they have the chance to correct it properly.
Not waiting 5 days later to make a weak minded post on face book , not even a email .
We appreciate and applaud the support from all of our followers , and thank you for all the kind words .
Once again ‘Sandra’
We did over 100 people for thanksgiving , 98 left happy , eat pie!
Marc , the dishwasher xo

The best part, of course, is that the post has one “Like” from Pigalle itself, the internet equivalent of high-fiving yourself. Comments from everyone else were decidedly displeased before the post got deleted. A sample:

So, now, thanks to your response, people outside of the US have a really good sense of the kind of customer experience they can expect from Pigalle Boston, should they ever visit. Which is increasingly unlikely.

People are always worried about how kids are conducting themselves on social media, but we’re getting increasingly concerned that adults don’t know how it all works. So here’s a piece of free advice on social media strategy: When you post things on Facebook, other people can see them. You’re welcome!

Update 4:00 p.m.: As you might expect, Chef Marc Orfaly has posted a new update to the Facebook page to apologize. It reads:

Last night a disappointed customer aired her concerns here rather than telling us in the restaurant. I must first apologize for my comments. They were not in the spirit of Pigalle, and nor do I wish for them to reflect on the hard work of my staff and their commitment towards hospitality. I am sorry.

The truth is, I overreacted. While we feel that if a guest is dissatisfied, they should bring it to our attention immediately, there is no excuse for name-calling and foul language. I was wrong.

My hope is that each person who walks through our door has a wonderful dinner & service, but I also hope each person feels comfortable enough to let us know if they are not having this experience. Although, my comments did not reflect this, I truly respect and acknowledge the importance of feedback, good and bad.

Now, I aim to move forward and focus on delivering the best experience possible for our diners. I hope you will come in and let us show you our best.

Sincerely,

Marc