MILLBRAE, Calif. (KRON) — Earlier this month, Tea Hut in Millbrae received a negative Yelp review from one customer. A user that goes by the name “Nat A.” gave the boba tea shop a one-star review and claimed his drink violated a health code.
However, the Yelp user was proven wrong in his written review after a visit on March 13. Surveillance video obtained by KRON4 shows the customer going into his pocket and dropping lint into his drink.
The unidentified customer then claims on Yelp that Tea Hut was responsible for having lint in a drink they served.
“(This) health department NEEDS to check on this El Camino REALReal location,” the customer wrote in a now-deleted Yelp review (photo below). “The guys who simply gawked at the poor girl working the counter are USELESS!”
At the start of the clip (view in video player above), the customer sitting in the left corner takes a sip of his drink. Around the 13-second mark, he reaches into his pocket for what seemingly is lint. Seconds later around the 26-second mark, you can see him place the lint on the white table.
Before taking a couple more sips, he puts the lint through the lid and inside the drink at the 40-second mark. The customer is then seen taking a photo of the drink visible with lint.
Tea Hut posted on Instagram that the review the business called “fake sabotaging reviews” had been removed from Yelp. The business said this same customer had originally posted two “fake reviews” about its shop. Yelp commented on Tea Hut’s post, confirming those reviews have been taken down.
“We can confirm that our Moderation team has since removed the review/photos in question that were still active. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention,” Yelp wrote in reply.
Yelp confirmed to KRON4 the review, along with the photos, was taken down from the website. They say the reviews violated their terms of service.
The customer ordered a cup of Thai tea around 1:10 p.m., according to Tea Hut owner Aaron Qian.
“Lastly I want to say, as a small food business owner, food safety is our top priority,” Tea Hut owner Aaron Qian wrote in an email to KRON4. “There’s no way that we would serve a product that doesn’t meet our standard. Not just me, even the tiniest restaurant will greatly pay attention to food safety. This is the basis of survival when it comes to operating a food facility.”