Mark Makhoul, a Lebanese software developer and blogger in Kuwait, wrote an unflattering review of the newly opened Benihana restaurant in Kuwait
. Quickly, his blog's comment section filled with clumsy astroturf posts, all sent from the same IP address, purportedly reports from satisfied diners who disagreed with his assessment.
Then it got weirder: the restaurant's manager, Mike Servo, posted a comment accusing the writer of shilling for his competitors, and threatened a lawsuit. A few hours later, he filed a lawsuit (English translation PDF) for KD5001 (about $18,000) against Makhoul, asserting that the review was "fabricated" to gain publicity.
And so, we order the payment of KD5001 as a compensation for the damages caused to the restaurant management and for encouraging large number of customers not to try the restaurant by insulting, doubting the quality and food served by Benihana and using expressions that disgust people from trying the food. The person has caused huge material damages to the restaurant, ethic damage to the restaurant's reputation as an international brand that has chains all over the world as well as hurt the restaurant's potential to expand in Kuwait by influencing all kinds of nationalities not to try a restaurant that offers a specific type of food that is subject to taste preference.
This morning, I spoke with Michael Kata, COO and Executive Vice President of Benihana of Tokyo, who license the Kuwaiti franchise. He hadn't seen the suit yet, and while he said he could not offer specific comment, he confirmed that a lawsuit over a bad review was "unprecedented" in the firm's history. He said that his company's franchise agreement did not give them the authority to order franchisees to sue or withdraw suit, but that they were empowered to terminate the agreement should the franchisee bring the brand into disrepute.
Kata was careful to hedge his words, saying that he hadn't reviewed the case and didn't know whether there was any merit to the (to my mind, obviously absurd) assertion that the claims were fabrications by a competitor. Let's hope he gets to the bottom of things quickly and gets this blogger off the hook before he has to spend too much money defending himself from a thin-skinned restauranteur.
Mike Servo did not return my call in time for this post.
(Thanks, Usurp, via Submitterator)
In July 2012, professional poker-player Phil Ivey won $4.8M from the baccarat tables at Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in 17 hours; on other occasions, he took a total of $9M out of the Borgata: he did it by asking the house to deal Gemaco Borgata cards, whose backs contained minute asymmetries in […]
The five Volkswagen executives who were criminally charged in the USA for their role in the Dieselgate scandal have been advised not to travel to the USA because they are liable to arrest there: they’ve also been told that leaving Germany is risky because they might be arrested and extradited to the USA.
When you open the box for a Storm Trooper snuggie blanket, you’ll discover a card telling you that by buying the blanket, you’ve waived your right to sue the manufacturer and will subject yourself to binding arbitration if your blanket gives you cancer or burns you to death or any of the other bad things […]
One of the best ways to progress a career in project management is through earning recognized certifications. These certifications carry significant clout and don’t require expensive tuition or student loans. This Ultimate Project Management Certification Bundle is a great example of an affordable way to get ahead. It includes training for 9 certifications including PMP, […]
There’s nothing quite like the rush of playing against a real human opponent. But from a developer standpoint, creating fun multiplayer experiences is incredibly complex. Fortunately, the Unity3D game engine has made all aspects of game creation, including multiplayer functionality, as accessible as ever.This Unity Course Bundle introduces all of the necessary elements of creating […]
The 2016 World Series game 7 will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest baseball games of all time. With endless suspense, a nefariously-timed rain delay, and extra innings, it reminded over 40 million viewers why they love America’s pastime – and why all bets were truly off in 2016. Savor the […]