Chef Gary Usher hits back at 'ridiculous' complaints over £20 burger

Chef Gary Usher hits back at ‘ridiculous’ complaints over burger costing nearly £20 at his pub restaurant – saying ‘you don’t have to come here’

  • Gary Usher owns the White Horse pub in Churton and shared video response
  • Dry aged beef burger with Comté, mustard, relish, pickle and fries costs £19.50 
  • READ MORE: Pub manager hits back at diner who left a scathing one-star review

A pub owner has responded to ‘ridiculous’ complaints over the cost of his food after he charged nearly £20 for a burger. 

Outspoken chef Gary Usher, who owns the White Horse pub in Churton, took to Twitter to address the backlash saying ‘there’s an option not to buy that burger.’

The business owner shared a video assuring people they don’t ‘have’ to go to his pub, and that it doesn’t make sense to compare his prices to other establishments in the area. 

After sharing the menu on social media over the weekend a few people were quick to comment on the dry aged beef burger with Comté cheese, mustard, relish and pickle with a side of skinny fries for £19:50.

One person wrote: ‘W**k and overpriced, you’re a pub not a restaurant. Should do simple food such as chips etc.’

Another wrote: ‘wish you all the very best, and I hope it’s a big success but there’s very little on that menu I would eat – £19,50 for burger – I’m not saying I’d expect it to be a lot cheaper, but I would certainly be looking at the menus in places like Brunning & Price.’ 

While another said: ‘I personally think that is a lot for a burger, but then looked at all the ingredients, and it makes sense. Think cause it is called a pub, they think of pub prices. That burger is a restaurant prices.’

A fourth wrote: ‘Good luck with the venture pal. But sorry even after explaining this and having worked as a ‘expert’ in this industry I can’t see how a burger can warrant that value. However you have to be confident in your produce and put your own value on it. Good luck.’ 

In a clip, which racked up 1.2 million views, Gary said someone’s suggestion that they should measure their prices against other pubs in their area was ‘just ridiculous’. 

He said: ‘Good morning everybody, I wanted to address a view comments about the burger on the menu.

‘Well let’s start with a couple of comments – we should be comparing ourself with the pub down the road and that’s how we should come up with our prices. That’s just ridiculous.

‘Look, I am not the most confident person, I am quite painfully shy to be honest, but with the business I try not to be arrogant about it, but we have to give ourselves credit for who we are. This pub isn’t our first venture. In fact this is number eight. We are pretty bloody successful at what we do.

‘I have been working my while life in this industry, this is my sector, this what I specialise in. I am an expert at it, we all are, in this business, and to be told things like we should be comparing it to the business down the street, that is ridiculous.

The White Horse pub recently opened in Churton however they faced some backlash for their burger prices

Gary Usher, who owns the White Horse pub in Churton, responded to complaints over the cost of his food after he charged nearly £20 for a burger

After the new pub shared it’s menu online some people rushed to the comments to complain about the price of the burger 

‘To price up a menu we source up ingredients, the very best ingredients. We get all our raw ingredients and add them up and then we work out a percentage that all our costs. So that’s why the burger is £19.    

‘We love looking after people, we’re in hospitality it’s what we do. However, if you don’t want to come that’s also fine. There’s an option not to buy that burger, there’s an option not to come to the pub.

‘Love him or hate him Ricky Gervais has a sketch where he mentions in a town centre a big billboard saying ‘guitar lessons £15’ or whatever. Someone looks at the sign and says ‘I don’t want guitar lessons!”

‘It’s the same with the burger. It’s not for you. If you don’t want it that’s fine. That menu is an advert for our business, take a look, it is up there for your perusal and social media is a great place to voice your opinions, but you don’t always have to.’

The dry aged beef burger with Comté cheese, mustard, relish and pickle with a side of skinny fries for £19:50 on the menu 

However, plenty of people were pretty satisfied by his explanation and reckoned that the burger must taste pretty good

However, plenty of people were pretty satisfied by his explanation and reckoned that the burger must taste pretty good.

One person wrote: ‘I will make it my business to come to your pub next time I’m in the uk because I do trust you. Bravo sir for this video. don’t mind the haters!’

Another said: ‘I fully agree with @GaryUsher I would rather have one quality meal in your pub, than buy a cheap burger in another one that taste like rubber. I had to look at the map to see where you are. Next time, I am near by, I shall visit.’

While another said: ‘Reeeaaalllllly want that burger now – only the small issue of the Irish Sea separating me from it . Common sense – if domestic costs are rising so are business costs . If they absorb them they won’t have a business.’   

Another person pointed out that people wouldn’t go to a car dealership to complain about the price of a car they cant afford. 

They said: ‘Is this the only industry where people complain about the price of something they’re never gonna buy? You don’t see people complaining on an Audi post that their latest car costs 70k or whatever.’  

Gary made headlines in 2018 after a customer complained about the Sticky Walnut’s lack of ‘customer skills’ after staff were asked to go shop for lemonade for a red wine spritzer.

Gary shot down the customer saying; ‘We often nip out for people’s requests. It’s part of great hospitality. We just don’t do it if you’re a rude c***’.

Gary starred in a Channel 4 documentary in 2019 called The Rebel Chef: My Restaurant Revolution.

The documentary follows the opening of one of his crowdfunded bistros Pinion in the Merseyside Town of Prescot. 

In 2020, Usher took aim at a negative review and slammed a customer who said her meal at his restaurant was a ‘rip-off’ in a damning online review.

Emma said the £122 bill for her meal – one course with drinks for two people – was ‘eye-wateringly expensive’, and the price tag was ‘really not worth it’.

But Usher claimed she had misunderstood the pricing, and that they could have ordered a three-course set menu for just £39 each, claiming that Emma and her dining companion were ‘rude’ and wouldn’t allow the manager to explain this at the time. 

The outspoken chef also went viral in 2021 after hitting back at a customer who wrote a scathing two-star Tripadvisor review. 

The review – which was emphatically debunked by restaurant manager Gary Usher – accused the Sticky Walnut of ‘Ryanair-style management’

Gary, who also owns the Sticky Walnut in Hoole, Chester, blasted the review, calling out the customer for being rude and intimidating towards his staff.

In the review titled ‘excellent food let down by Ryanair style service’, the diner had blasted the manager for ‘not giving a toss’ about customer service, which Usher vehemently denied.  

The unsatisfied diner, known only as Rob V, wrote: ‘The good news is that the food here is very, very tasty and deserves a high rating.

‘The bad news is that the restaurant management doesn’t give a toss about customer experience.

‘I ate here on July 9 had a complaint that was dealt with badly enough by the manager that I wrote to the owner.

‘A restaurant that aspires to offer fine dining experience but has lost the ability to empathise with customers and ignores them when they complain? That really is a shame.’

Restauranteur and chef Mr Usher was quick to respond with his own blistering write-up. He replied: ‘For goodness sake Robert. I’m supposed to be in TwitAdvisor retirement so let’s not waste any time. After all, you’ve waited 11 years since joining Twitadvisor to write your first review.  

‘Rob you reserved a table on a Friday evening and agreed to a 1 hour 45 minute time slot. A standard practice, particularly on busy periods, that guests and restaurants worldwide agree to.

‘After your dessert course the Manager, who you said “doesn’t give a toss”, gently reminded you that we would need the table back shortly. You ignored the Manager and proceeded to order another round of drinks.




In his blistering take-down, restauranteur Gary Usher pointed out that the Sticky Walnut has achieved a top 100 position in the National Restaurant Awards in the UK

‘Perhaps if your party had arrived on time for your reservation this could have been avoided.’

He continued: ‘When the Manager came back a final time to politely let you know we needed to clear the table for our next guests you got up out of your seat, towering over the Manager, pointing in their face.  

‘The Manager’s response was “Sir, please can you stop pointing in my face”. You proceeded to tell the Manager that they didn’t deserve to be a Manager and weren’t qualified to be in the position.

‘Your Mother then joined in by adding to the vitriol being directed towards the Manager.

‘That’s when both you and your Mother showed your true colours with the classic “We’ve both worked in restaurants so we know how it works. We should be getting these drinks for free”.

‘You, Rob, then threatened the Manager by telling them that you would be contacting the owner because you know him and that Gary (me) would be appalled to know how you, “my friend”, had been treated.  

‘The Manager politely pleaded with your whole table to just listen whilst they explained. No one did.

‘In a strange turn of events you emailed me, your “friend”, at Sticky Walnut’s email address.

The Sticky Walnut in Chester has a 4.5 star rating out of 5 on TripAdvisor, where it has amassed almost 2,000 reviews 

‘You must have lost my number Rob! Not surprisingly, to either me or the Manager, you and I don’t know each other Rob.

‘Every few months in a restaurant a rude guest will use the “I know the owner!” line to try and intimidate team members and bully them into thinking that they will get into trouble because they didn’t look after the owner’s “friends” well enough.

‘I did read your email. I did “give a toss”, but not about you Rob, but about the way you treated the team. So instead of replying to you we chose to block your number, and your Mum’s, and put a note on our booking system to not accept any future bookings from you.’

Mr Usher concluded his response: ‘With regards to the Manager who “doesn’t give a toss” they have managed Sticky Walnut for the last 8 years.

‘Coincidentally the same length of time that Sticky Walnut has achieved a top 100 position in the National Restaurant Awards in the UK. I think that makes them both extremely deserving to be the Manager and absolutely qualified to hold that position.’

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