Kuwaiti blogger, Mark from TWOFOURTYEIGHTAM has been served with a lawsuit from the Kuwaiti branch of Benihana restaurant for apparently, writing a negative review on their food. Alexander at Fake Plastic Souks explains what happened next:

So there we go – a bad experience at Benihana gets a bad review from a customer. And there it ended. Or not quite. Nested in the 74 comments (I said it was a popular blog, didn’t I?) are several ‘happy customer’ astroturf comments that came from, as Mark pointed out, the same IP address. And then there’s the comment (linked here for your listening pleasure) from a geezer called Mike Servo, who claimed to be the general manager of the Benihana management of Kuwait and who threatened to sue Mark. A couple of quotes:

“…our rights and name is being used in a wrong way and broadcasting the video without a proper consent from us is really annoying specially Benihana is just opened up its doors to the public. We are seeking and consulting our legal dept. on how we can form a type of law suit against your website to be brought up to the Kuwait authorities.”

He goes on to trill: “We want you to give us your information, your name, your number and your address so our lawyer will take it from there and be sure that you in Kuwait were the jury is 100 % clean and fair.”

And then for some bizarre reason starts talking about elephants: “We also expect that you might be sending people to Benihana to make a play and that is why we have informed the CID about that, In the past we encountered your add in Subway and it is one of our companies franchise, we really didn’t give it any attention, and it very clear now that Subway is an elephant while other competitors are closing down, however this time we will not let it go and we will follow you legally.”

Not terribly nice, in all. He ends the comment by asking Mark if he’s Lebanese!

Would someone please explain why this Mike Servo asked if Mark was Lebanese? Only Lebanese complain about poor tasting food? Is there any way we Lebanese can sue for defamation?

What a load of BS!

I don’t believe Benihana know what they’ve gotten themselves into – check out their Facebook page, they’ve edited the security options so that only their posts show as default but if you click on “Just Others” you will see the backlash they’ve been served.

Benihana Now in Kuwait - Serving Lawsuits with your Suchi (Photo from ads2blog.com)

Benihana Now in Kuwait - Serving Lawsuits with your Suchi (Photo from ads2blog.com)

Update – February 1, 2011: Benihana Kuwait has deleted the negative comments from their Facebook page. They’ve also started ejecting Facebook users from their page in retaliation (you had to Like their page in order to post a comment). Also Mark was on Dubai Eye this morning explaining the lawsuit.

Update – April 27, 2011: Mark has won the lawsuit. Unclear whether Benihana will appeal the judgment.