Chances are you’ve probably been at a restaurant or in a store and had employees mention to you that they would be appreciative if you could leave a review for their services on any given review site.
And while it might be slightly off-putting, it makes sense — better reviews equals a higher chance more customers will come in which generates more money for the business.
But one chain of restaurants in New Jersey is taking heat for allegedly forcing employees to earn a minimum number of five-star Google reviews in order to keep their employment after photos of the policy typed out made its way around social media.
Triple T Hospitality Group, which owns Tio Taco and Tequila Bar and with Tommy’s Tavern and Tap, is under fire after an absurd policy posted at Tio’s location in Edison, New Jersey was leaked which told employees that they would face termination if they didn’t receive a certain amount of five-star reviews.
“Every service employee for FOH is required to get a minimum of 5 Google reviews per month to remain employed at the Edison location starting February 2022. The review must include your first name and five stars in order to count,” the typed out notice said. “We will have monthly Google review contests each month to promote health[y] competition. You must have a minimum of 15 reviews to qualify for the prizes. 1st place winner gets first pick out of five potential prizes and 2nd place gets to choose from the left-over prizes.”
Prizes included two free meals (for $22 or less), an extra day off, gift cards and merch items.
The photo, which was originally posted to Reddit has received over 1,600 comments.
“My bet is they know nobody’s going to get those reviews, so they can use that to threaten and fire at will,” one commenter said.
“The owner or area boss most likely threatened the General Manager’s job over the place’s lackluster reviews, so they responded in typical restaurant manager fashion: sticking an aggressive memo to a wall and threatening consequence,” another suggested. “People aren’t quitting restaurants because the pandemic was bad. They were fed up in 2019. The pandemic was just the last straw.”
Two Taco and Tequila bar currently has three locations in New Jersey (Marlboro and Clifton alongside the Edison location where the sign was posted) while Tommy’s Tavern + Tap has six Jersey locations (Freehold, Sea Bright, Clifton Bridgewater, Princeton and Morris Plains) as well as one restaurant in in Staten Island.
Chief Marketing Officer of Triple T, Andrea Bonfiglio, told My Central Jersey that the notice in the Edison location was posted unwarranted by a general manager and that the policy had not been approved by corporate.
“We did not institute this policy,” Bonfiglio said to the outlet. “It’s an insane policy … We reward people who go above and beyond, but we would never be like, ‘You better get these.’”
Triple T Hospitality Group is owned by Bonfiglio’s father, Tommy Bonfiglio and it is estimated that the restaurant group employees around 1,100 employees.
Thousands of horrible and negative reviews were reportedly plastered across the Google reviews landing pages for different locations of the restaurant chains but have since been scrubbed.
“In the restaurant business, we’re not firing anyone, we’re still trying to hire people,” Triple T owner Tommy Bonfiglio told NJ Advance Media. “It would be an impossible policy. I’d have to fire the whole crew.”
Both the general and assistant manager who admitted that they posted the policy were fired following the incident.