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Owner Of Shimla Cottage Retaliates


Waseem Ahmed and family have run the Shimla Cottage for 16 year

The tough-talking owner of a Coatbridge restaurant has turned up the heat on online critics of his business. Waseem Ahmed and his family have ran the Shimla Cottage Indian eatery on Sunnyside Road for the last 16 years.

But the outspoken restaurateur claims customers leaving negative reviews on popular website TripAdvisor are putting his efforts to provide affordable meals to members of the community in jeopardy.

Waseem has even taken to responding to the claims, calling one “excrement masquerading as a review”, and has accused some of the critics of carrying out “vindictive attacks” on his business.

He said: “It takes a lot to make the restaurant function and these people are leaving nasty reviews online. It’s not like if a customer makes a complaint in the restaurant, when we listen to their concerns, learn from any mistakes and correct them next time.

“These reviews are more like vindictive attacks. People think they can write anything they want and restaurants will hide under a blanket. We admit if we get it wrong and have always apologised when we do, which you can see from other reviews.

“But one of the reviews gave us the lowest mark for value when they’d just had a three-course lunch for £3.50; how can that be justified? It’s just nonsensical.

“There was another example when the same person had left a bad review of our restaurant and a good review of another on the very same day.

“Surely TripAdvisor must realise people like that are just making up nonsense, and the impact this could have on people’s businesses?”

This impact could include a hike in meal prices at Shimla Cottage, according to a frustrated Waseem, who also claims to have the backing of his regular customers.

He said: “We have been here for 16 years and aim to be a community-friendly restaurant where people can enjoy a nice meal without having to spend a lot of money.

“That’s why we offer deals like the three-course lunch for £3.50, as people can afford it. We make up the money with sales of drinks and it makes financial sense.

“But there could come a time when we have to increase prices if these negative online reviews result in a huge impact on our customer numbers.

“Thankfully, though, were are an established restaurant and our regular customers are very supportive. It’s just as well, as if people were relying solely on these review sites, they may be put off coming to us.”