A restaurant owner has got revenge on customers who gave his diner bad reviews online and his way of getting his own back is dividing social media.
Joseph Smith, 33, owns Smokin' Joe's in Guisborough, North Yorkshire.
He recently introduced a rather 'unique' marketing technique to target social media trolls who he believes have left negative reviews without ever actually visiting the diner.
And, he claims the majority of his customers like the strategy.
Smokin' Joe's recently showed off an eating challenge they'd held on social media. But the diner was slammed by people who claimed it was 'impossible' and a 'waste of food.'
It resulted in a war of words between the venue and commenters, with the diner defending the challenge and allegedly mocking its critics by questioning their 'IQs.'
Following the social media spat, Joseph named his weekly burger specials, 'The Dustin [surname removed]' and the 'The Michael [surname removed],' after two people he claims had 'attack[ed] the business'.
He claimed Dustin trolled Smokin' Joe's Facebook posts but Dustin says he was simply pointing out that he didn't like the idea of wasted food. He branded the company's behaviour unprofessional and said that a disagreement about food waste that should never have gotten so out of hand.
Joseph said he then named the second burger after 'Michael,' who he claims also trolled his restaurant's Facebook page, in particular the eating challenge posts.
The restaurant routinely mocks its critics as it hits back against negative reviews, urging those who don't like them to 'stick to McDonalds'.
Joseph, from North Yorkshire said: "I really want to emphasise that we have named these burgers after trolls. They are just internet entities and not real customers that have ever attended the restaurant.
"This is a very important point to make because I would not want to alienate a customer that had a legitimate complaint."
He continued: "I have never been someone who takes things lying down so some of these comments [about our food challenges] I began to reply to, trying to be a bit humorous and tongue [in] cheek with us.
"I know our customer base do like this and we do have a bit of an attitude at the right time. We will always fiercely defend ourselves and promote ourselves.
"But at the same time we are a professional outlet and if someone did have a legitimate complaint, it would be dealt with in the correct manner and we value all feedback we get, good and bad as long as it's legitimate."
He said: "People who have the time of day to sit there to use the internet in a malicious way to target a business, I feel like the people must lack some form of morality and I feel like the tongue [in] cheek manner in which we deal with these kinds of comments and people is very deserving.
"But I would like to stress, these are people [trolls] who haven't ever visited the business and just attack the business because they don't agree with posts.
"When it comes to actual customers, we will go above and beyond to ensure a customer is happy and we are very approachable."
However, social media users are divided by Joseph's approach to dealing with trolls.
While some praised the move and claimed they were eager to visit the restaurant, others were less impressed, with one person writing: "Why would any business behave like this? Irrelevant of what has or hasn't happened, slanging matches on social media is really unprofessional.
"It does a businessman zero favours. It's like watching 13-year-olds arguing. Not the best move really."Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media