A café owner’s very unconventional approach to customer service has left people vowing to fly to Ireland just to visit his venue.
Paul Stenson, proprietor of The White Moose Café in Dublin, took to Facebook at the weekend to shame two people who had allegedly walked out without paying for their breakfast at the hotel venue.
After threatening to upload CCTV footage of them, the unnamed couple phoned the restaurant to settle the bill, claiming that they had thought it had been included in the price of their overnight stay at the adjoining Charleville Lodge.
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Paul Stenson, proprietor of The White Moose Café in Dublin, took to Facebook to shame two people who had walked out without paying for their breakfast at the hotel venue
He threatened to post CCTV of them on his Facebook page and a subsequent ‘public roasting’
When they phoned up and paid for the bill over the phone, he continued his online attack of the couple
But Paul insisted they were fully aware it was an additional cost and launched a further attack on the unnamed customers on the venue’s Facebook page.
He said: ‘In many ways it’s a pity they called. Could you imagine the amount of fun we could have had for the sake of a lousy €31.70? They were also very rude to the staff so I was actually looking forward to roasting them publicly. You wouldn’t believe how p***sed off I am right now.’
He initially faced a backlash from some Facebook users who felt he had been unfair on the couple since they had ‘realised their mistake’ and paid – starting a sequence of further posts which have caught the attention of thousands online.
And it has resulted in a surge of support for the venue, with people saying they want to visit just because of the Facebook posts – and some don’t even live in the same country.
In response to criticism, Paul wrote: ‘Lots of people saying I am a p***k for having a go at these people who made a “genuine mistake”.
‘Lads, to clarify. When these guys checked in, they were told breakfast was not included. When they booked, their confirmation said that breakfast was not included. On departure when they were asked did they have any extras, they said no.
Many people have expressed an interest in visiting The White Moose Café in Dublin (pictured) just because of Paul’s colourful posts
He insisted that the customers were fully aware that breakfast wasn’t included in the price of their overnight stay, even though they claimed that was where the confusion lay
Paul then hit out at the Facebook users who had criticised him over his response to the situation, calling them the ‘professionally offended’
Paul said his posts were a great way of filtering out ‘miserable’ customers from the cafe (pictured). He said: ‘You see, this page is a great way of filtering out sad people from happy people. We only have 35 seats so we need to ensure that these seats be occupied by positive, happy people who can have a laugh, at all times’
‘I can understand that some of you don’t have the intelligence to distinguish chancers from people who make genuine mistakes. But read my lips. These were CHANCERS.’
Paul then went on to share a message from a woman named Erin, who told him his posts were putting people off from visiting the venue.
It read: ‘Maybe they did know breakfast wasn’t included, and maybe they did just decide to run out on the bill, and not that isn’t right…but regardless of whether it was a mistake or not, you may have almost lost a whopping €31 if they hadn’t rang to pay.
One of those who felt Paul went too far was Erin Brennan, and Paul singled out her comments in another post
He then launched an ‘online poll’ asking people if they would still visit his venue despite his comments – and, his results gave an overwhelming ‘yes’
‘But you have now potentially lost a whole lot more money as I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say nobody that has read any of your posts on this is ever going to bring any business to you…How you are ever going to run a successful long-term business with this attitude is beyond me.’
Not stopping at sharing and replying to the post publicly, Paul then ran a ‘poll’ based on Erin’s points – asking whether or not his comments had put people off visiting his cafe.
Before revealing the results, he wrote: ‘Yesterday evening Princess Erin of Erindalle proclaimed that “nobody that has read any of your posts is ever going to bring any business to you”.
Paul then said that a man had rang the cafe saying that his daughter had suffered online abuse because of his comments and had threatened to get the police involved
‘While I found it very hard not to take offence to the grammar (misplacement/absence of apostrophes in particular) in her proclamation, I chose to be amused, rather than offended, as I am not a miserable b*****d.’
He said the results showed 1,372 people would still visit the venue and 31 wouldn’t.
Paul added: ‘This has been a very worthwhile exercise, as it means the staff in the café will be spared of 31 miserable people forevermore.
‘You see, this page is a great way of filtering out sad people from happy people. We only have 35 seats so we need to ensure that these seats be occupied by positive, happy people who can have a laugh, at all times.
There has been an influx of support for the White Moose Cafe and owner Paul Stenson on Facebook
‘The type of people who whinge and moan incessantly on this page (who voted no) are the type of people we’d prefer not to have to put up with. Could you imagine the petty kind of s**t they’d complain about if they ever actually came here?’
He later revealed that he had received a phonecall from the father of a woman – thought to be Erin who was ‘crying about the abuse she was getting on Facebook’ and had reported him to police.
But the continuing online spat only seemed to serve in attracting new customers if the wave of comments are anything to go by, with one even citing a visit on his ‘bucket list’.
Kathleen Haviland wrote: ‘My husband and I are going to be in Dublin for our honeymoon next month, and I’ve already mapped out our route to The White Moose – BECAUSE of your posts. Can’t wait to go!’
Eric Napier wrote: ‘I would come to the cafe BECAUSE of the posts.’
Ron Kennedy said: ‘On the bucket list to come to your place…never would have said that without your posts…and that’s an understatement.’
Geri Johnson commented: ‘So glad to hear you’ve weeded out those 31 grumpy-butts. That means I’ll have to spend less time in line waiting to get in if I ever come see ya’ll.’
However, there were a large number of critical comments as well.
But other people felt Paul had gone too far in his posts – with one saying he would cancel a booking
Karl Tracey said: ‘You come across as actually worse than the customers. It would seem you are desperately trying to write one of these clever complaint rebuttles, but you have just put me off ever going to your restaurant. Not so clever, think before opening mouth. No one likes a smart a**e, when they are not very smart in their actions.’
Jeremy Kruse commented:’ So, customers make mistake, realise it and rectify it by phoning and paying. Looks like they acted honourably whereas you make yourself look like a f******d. Brilliant own goal.’
Bernard Gibney added: ‘Disgraceful carry on by a business owner trying to use a clear misunderstanding to gain FB advertising with a clever rebuttal, maybe you should have actually wrote a clever rebuttal instead of being an ignoramus, then to get your buddy/staff to try defend you is hilarious – an apology might save some of your graces at this stage but I doubt it will be forthcoming. You don’t seem to have the respect or manners to do it.’
People from across the world have been following the Facebook spat and a number have even vowed to fly to Ireland to visit the venue
Speaking to MailOnline today, Paul said: ‘I was under no illusion whatsoever that the people who left without paying were chancers.
‘Their suspicious behaviour before leaving, as captured on our CCTV coupled with the fact that they were made aware at least three times that breakfast was not included would suggest that they were without doubt dine and dash customers. The type we don’t want anyway.’
In response to the reaction on Facebook, he said: ‘I guess when people interact with a service business online, they expect the business to bow and genuflect to them. They expect that the customer is always right, even when they walk out without paying a bill.
‘Because I allow logic and rationality to enter the equation, it is no doubt that some of the high horse brigade will find my posts offensive. Even when it’s a picture of a receipt.’
It’s not the first time that the White Moose Café has found itself subject to controversy.
In October last year, the cafe owner came under fire from the vegan community for posting a message on his Facebook page asking customers to give the cafe advance notice if they required special meals.
People then spammed the cafe’s Facebook page with hundreds of negative reviews as a sign of their discontent.