Diner Appears To Put Hair In Own Food Before Writing Bad TripAdvisor Review

“We all have short dark trimmed hair, and this was a strand of dirty blonde curly hair," the restaurant's co-owner said.

It’s enough to leave a bad taste in the mouth of any restaurant owner: A customer intentionally puts a hair in the food and uses it as an excuse not to pay the bill. Then the customer attempts to blackmail the restaurant by threatening a bad review on TripAdvisor.

Such an unappetizing encounter reportedly happened Saturday night at Casa Nostra Ristorante, an Italian eatery in Brisbane, Australia.

A customer at the restaurant claimed there was a hair in her pasta and demanded the meal be comped, co-owner Sarah Biuso told However, the waiter noticed the hair didn’t match that of any of the employees, she added.

“We all have short dark trimmed hair, and this was a strand of dirty blonde curly hair,” Biuso said. “The pair threatened to post a bad review [on TripAdvisor] if the meal wasn’t taken off the bill.”

The woman lived up to her promise and wrote a bad review on TripAdvisor.

But based on surveillance video posted by the restaurant on Instagram, it looks as if the complaining diner has dirty blonde, curly hair ― and is putting it into the pasta.

The Customer Is Always Right hey?????? Look what we, and other food business owners have to deal with on a regular basis. We work hard every single day to give our customers an amazing experience in our restaurant and then you find people like this who decide to try and blackmail us for a hair in their meal. As you can see, she put her own hair in the plate, stirred it around and insisted the waiter remove it from her as she was so offended. FYI they tried to pretend it was a man and woman, but it was two women and both wrote a review. We could see 101% it was the customers hair and that is the reason why we did not remove this dish from the bill. Because we did not remove the dish from the bill, they told us explicitly that they would post bad reviews on Trip Advisor, which they did. Trip Advisor has a no blackmail policy for reviews and if you inform them in advance, they say they will not post them. Ummm no, we emailed them on the night this happened saying the customers threatened us with these bad reviews and we gave them easily identifiable information. Yep, you guessed it, the reviews are posted on Trip Advisor for all the world to see. Once again Trip Advisor publishes whatever they want for the world to see with no regards to the blood sweat and tears of business owners and our complete inability to control or withdraw fake and blackmailed reviews from these sites. Trip Advisor have been sued successfully in the past over similar incidents. Any other business owners have similar experiences and have had enough? We are in talks with our lawyer in regards to pursuing a case for defamation. Please share as much as possible to show the world what's going on.

A post shared by Casa Nostra Ristorante (@casanostraristorante) on

In its Instagram post, the restaurant noted that TripAdvisor has a “no blackmail policy for reviews” and complained that the review was “posted on Trip Advisor for all the world to see.” 

But the review was later removed, and Casa Nostra Ristorante has a 4.5 star average based on 67 reviews.

TripAdvisor has since released this statement to media: 

“We take very seriously any allegations of blackmail or threatening behavior by guests against business owners.

It is absolutely against the terms and spirit of our site to use TripAdvisor’s name to try and claim discounts, compensation or freebies that would not be available to other guests. We strongly encourage owners who have experienced blackmail to proactively report such threats before a corresponding review is submitted by using our free Management Centre.

When reporting such threats, we advise owners to provide as much information as possible to aid the investigation efforts of our fraud detection team. They will then be able to take action to stop those reviews from ever reaching the site.”

Looking for a way to check if the TripAdvisor or Yelp review is legit or written by a person only pretending to be disgruntled? HuffPost blogger Teresa Bitler offers some good tips here.