A fast-food business that sprang up during the pandemic has been hit by a flood of negative reviews after an alleged incident between a delivery driver and cyclist.
Since the incident cyclists across the UK – and even one in Italy – have posted online reviews slating Wollaton Wings.
The negative comments came after a cyclist claimed the delivery van came too close while overtaking.
It started when the cyclist wrote on his Facebook page: “These clowns decided to overtake me on my bike so closely that I could actually reach out and touch their van.
“30cm max from my handlebars. I complained and was called a w*****. I posted on their page about it and they immediately deleted it.
“People who drive in vans with the name of their small business on the side really should think twice before acting in such a way!”
The post was shared to cycling groups’ pages resulting in fake reviews, even though an apology was issued by Katrina Berrington, from Wollaton Wings, which was set up by her fiancé Pierce Walster and his father Lee.
Miss Berrington, who disputed some of the cyclist’s claims, said: “I issued an apology straight away and said if you don’t mind I’m going to delete this post.
“We’ve worked hard to get the company set up in the pandemic. It escalated from there because he felt it was a half-hearted apology and that I was more bothered about saving the business.
“He put it onto his personal Facebook and it’s had over 300 shares on it and that’s when the reviews started coming in. I understand why he was stressed out but we have issued an apology and there’s nothing more we can do.”
Miss Berrington said she was particularly alarmed by one post telling the cyclist that he could find the van outside a pub where they hire a kitchen if “he’d like to pay it a visit.”
The business, which had previously had nothing but rave reviews for its chicken wings and burgers, has now been left comments such as “Terrible delivery service” and “No care for sharing the road space with cyclists, in fact they dangerously try to intimidate and injure them. Avoid, not a reputable business.”
Pierce Walster, who used to be a chef at the Flour Brewer in Beeston and acclaimed Nottingham restaurants Marco Pierre White, World Service and Hart’s, set up the company after losing his job at the start of the pandemic.
Wollaton Wings now deliver to areas including Beeston, Clifton, Carlton and even Calverton and from Monday will be serving at the Charlton Arms in Chilwell.
Miss Berrington said: “Everybody is entitled to do what they want on their own Facebook but we rely on helpful reviews that are legit. The fake ones can be very damaging to a small business. Some of these profiles have the hashtag be kind but they’ve not been kind to us.”
Genuine customers hit back after the criticism with positive reviews praising the food.
One said: “Always very polite and food is always excellent. Ignore the fake reviews, these guys are great!”
The cyclist has since edited his Facebook post saying: “I genuinely appreciate all the support I’ve received but please keep it sensible.
“I don’t want innocent people feeling threatened because of my actions – it was the drivers that were in the wrong, not the people who own the pub where the company is based or the other employees of Wollaton Wings. I think this has gone far enough now.”
Nottinghamshire Live tried to contact the cyclist but has not had a response.