Media coverage on Benihana lawsuit

Post by Mark

I’ve tried collecting all the coverage this case has gotten so far and will be updating this post throughout this trial as new sources pop up.

Thank you everyone for your support. It’s just been incredible.

Fake Plastic Souks: Benihana Bashes Bloggers
BoingBoing: Benihana Kuwait sues blogger for $18,000 over bad review
Trying to be Fahad: Defamation or Constructive Criticism?
Catalyze: How not to respond to negative feedback
Snow in Kuwait: 248AM Blogger getting sued
Chicken Nugget: Benihana suing mark from 248am
His & Hers Q8: Being sued for a review
Ansam 518: Mark vs Lawsuit
LWDLK: Benihana suing the blogger of 248am
SuddenlyTwo: Benihana Kuwait #FAIL
Sandier Pastures: Benihana Kuwait sues blogger
oi Nagham!: Benihana vs The People
Lebanon News: Benihana Goes Bananas; Manager Stereotypes Lebanese
+961: Benihana sues one of the most popular bloggers in Kuwait
Who Sane: A Very Unnecessary PR Disaster
Blog 37: Social suicide by Benihana
Desert Girl: Mark at 248AM gets sued by Benihana
Beirut Drive-By Shooting: Shut up!
Irrelevant Combinations: One beef negimaki, and a lawyer please
Mich Cafe: Brand fiasco unites bloggers
SuddenlyTwo: Benihana Kuwait #FAIL
Oman Collective Intelligence: Benihana Kitchen Nightmares!
The Side Talk: Mark & 248AM being sued over honest review
Siouxsie Law: Kuwaiti Blogger Sued Over Bad Benihana Review
American Girl In Kuwait: “BTW, are you Lebanese?”
qEight: Local blogger in Kuwait sued by Benihana
Buzfairy: A really bad move from Benihana Kuwait, suing 248am
BeirutSpring: Benihana In Kuwait is a Terrible, Terrible Place. Stay Away From It.
Electrony: مطعم يرفع قضية على مدونة إلكترونية ويطالب بخمس آلاف دينار وإغلاق المدونة
iBloogle: Bloggers Unite – for the Right to Freedom of Online Speech
Q8HK: نحن معك يا مارك … دعم لمدونة A-Sides
Kuwaits Blog: Mark kuwaiti blogger sued by Benihana
Blog Baladi: Blogger sued over restaurant review
Chaotic pOsha: Benihana suing Mark!
18 Seven: اي شي يا بينيهانا
n3alba7ar: المدون مارك و قضية المطعم اليابانى
Ashish Panjabi: The Benihana Debacle
Desert Blvd: Benihana, Shame On You!
Khaled Rambles: Restaurant sues blogger in Kuwait
Blogger Mathai: Benihana Kuwait sues local blogger for negative review!
Techania: مطعم في الكويت يجن جنونه بسبب تعبير صريح للرأي من قبل مدوّن
Cyrographics: Kuwait’s 248am Blogger being sued by Benihana over a negative review
Hell is other people: #benihanakuw I bet you feel foolish now dont you!
B&D: Everyone’s Outraged as Benihana sues 248am over Bad Reviews
Marketing in Lebanon: The Art of Creating a PR Crisis
The Market Buzz: How much is your reputation worth?
Life in Dubai: Sued for saying he didn’t like his meal.
Life & Beyond: Sued for Writing a Bad Review!
Mind Soup: Benihana: We sue customers to compensate for our bad food
BABBLEQ8: Freedom of speech and its importance…
Roashina: 248am Lawsuit on Wikipedia
4th Ring Road: Order in the Court?
p0ach: Benihana, you ruined my vacation
Ashraf’s Blog: I Sue You!!!
The Identity Chef: Exporting Your “Brand” has New Challenges in the New Media World – Benihana Learns Firsthand.
Ashish Panjabi: Hints, Tips, Reviews – How will Benihana keep track of them?
Mr Qatar: Kuwaiti blogger sued… for a review…
Expat Life Coach: Why an expat blogger is getting sued in Kuwait
Life in Dubai: Benihana Update
MakChicken: Weather: Sunny with a high chance of getting sued by Benihana…
Ammouret Lebnen: Sued for not liking his dinner!
Nimer: Mark got sued because he did not like the food
The Right Profile: Ignominy
Daily Mail: Kuwait blogger sued for restaurant review
America Blog: Benihana suing blogger for mediocre restaurant review
UAE Community Blog: Benihana Kuwait and Justice
Village Voice: Benihana Sues Over Crap Review
Starving for More: Silly Food Lawsuits
KiwiBlog: Cooking up a storm in Kuwait blogging

News Media
DubaiEye Radio Interview
The National
TNW Social Media
Gulf News
CNN iReport
Emirates 24/7
Arabian Business
Emirates 24/7 (2nd)
Kuwait Times
Reputation Online
Honk Kong Association of New Media
Stuff Magazine
Huffington Post
Global Voices
Fast Company
The Atlantic Wire
The Muslim Observer
LA Weekly
The Stir

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175 comments, add your own...

  1. Lord Aymz says:

    well now im disappointed and am going to sue you too for failure to include my carefully worded legalese response in that round up :(

  2. It’s my pleasure to help, Mark. :)

    I’m also gonna mention your case in my Pecha Kucha presentation here in Kuwait on 16 February.

    My hope is that they drop the case and don’t waste any more of your time over this issue.

  3. Yeni says:

    Hehe, the management should seriously consider firing this Mike Servo character. His actions have hurt Benihana a thousands time worse than any negative review could have. What a joke!

  4. Oops. My earlier post should’ve linked to and not

    Would appreciate it if you can make that change and delete this comment. Thanks. :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    @ Lord Aymz … :D freedom of speech agreed… but his posts does get mmm whats that work partial / biased or sort of favoring some companies at times…

    Im still neutral, in fact the review for Benihana if noticed was more positive… than negative…

    Has their market rep been hampered just over on Grilled Chicken Dish which went bad ?? mmm

    Astonishing!!! dont u think so ?

  6. mjkout says:

    Mark: facebook

    and send us your info’s so we can sue you too for eating there in the first place.

  7. Sauce says:

    this mike servo added fuel to the fire, not a very smart man, if he let the review go he would’ve been fine, but now he has really jeopardized the name of BeniHana.

    i know i wont be going ever going there, even if they have great service and great food, principal counts more than anything, and these guys obviously dont have any.

    Mike: next time instead of suing someone for their opinion try changing their mind

  8. suhayl says:

    Ah nevermind- I didnt see the News Media section.

  9. TweeZ says:

    Why do I have a strange feeling that Mike Servo is not a real person at all?

    Come on people, would a real manager do something like that?

  10. Kuwait says:

    Q. What’s the difference between Roger Federer and Mike Servo?
    A. One serves aces and the other serves lawsuits.

  11. DM says:

    Below is the reply I got after emailing Benihana on their website

    Benihana Franchise Sues Blogger

    January 31, 2011 – New York, New York.
    Benihana of Tokyo, Inc. is aware that a law suit has been filed by its franchisee in Kuwait, the Las Palmas Restaurant Company, against a popular local blogger.
    Since we have not read nor received a copy of the law suit, it would be inappropriate for us to make a comment at this time. Until we can review all the facts, there is no way for us to know if the reported legal action has merit.
    Nevertheless, the Benihana organization takes pride in the quality of its food and the showmanship of its renowned chefs. We have been in business since 1964 and have become the largest Japanese themed restaurant chain in the world. All feedback – both positive and negative are taken very seriously.

    • Lord Aymz says:

      thats classic legalese and business-ese.

      neither confirm nor deny ANYTHING.

      end it with an advertisement for yourself.

      there are ways to measure success of a business, financial and nonfinancial. one of the most important nonfinancial measures is Customer Relations, the ability for Customer:
      1) Acquisition
      2) Retention
      3) Satisafion

      will lead to a higher market share, hence more money for them.

      they acquired the customer alright, they will not retain him, and have definately not satisfied him, and as a result, have dissatisfied the blogverse.

      Kuwait is a small country (love it!) word spreads fast, much like Kraft Cheese spread :P

      PS anyone think of finding this GM on linkedIN?

    • Varun says:

      That’s a pretty standard reply.

    • Sara says:

      “we have not read nor received a copy of the law suit” !!! They are the master franchiser and didnt bother to look at the lawsuit yet?? it’s online for god’s sake! it’s on Mark’s Blog!

  12. Paul Atlan says:

    Mark, have started reviewing restaurants in ABu Dhabi in December, because I thought there weren’t enough independent reviews. Had some doubts that it was wise. Your case proves me right, but reenforces the need to do this.
    Best wishes for the case. My twitter and blog are open channels if you need.

  13. chaoticposha says:

    Check out my response to what’s happening ;p

  14. Netguy says:

    Mr.Mark your Damn famous now :D

  15. minnieme says:

    well its about time this guy named mark got his ass whooped ! ! !

  16. vampire says:

    we’re all with you and all type of freedom

  17. Just says:

    Is Subway an Elephant ?!? LOL !

  18. Saud says:

    I am guessing Benihana Kuwait still don’t know what is going on since they have yet to respond to anyone…

  19. How To Conduct Horrendous PR in 5 Easy Steps.
    1-Sue the most popular blogger in Kuwait, who also happens to be in the advertising industry
    2-Shoot self in foot. Repeatedly
    etc etc

  20. Nael says:

    Like what I previously mentioned on the Banihana review when this whole thing started happening:

    “It’s funny how there are lots of people in this world who still don’t comprehend the power of technology and especially blogging, as well as an old customer service term called “word of the mouth”, which can a two edged sword if you’re not careful….


    Add arrogance, and you get a bullet with your own name carved on it. :)

  21. Danni Gomez says:

    They deleted all the facebook posts, except mine.
    And yes, I did the security thing with the “Benihana – Kuwait + Others/Only Benihana – Kuwait/Only Others”

  22. AmonA says:

    This is the stupidest PR any company would do!!
    All the best Mark.

  23. Danni Gomez says:

    :O they deleted everything
    posts AND comments

  24. Daddy0 says:

    Hey Mark – you just made Wikipedia~!!!

  25. michael says:

    i never knew you can get sued for expressing your opinion =/

  26. Daddy0 says:

    Right people, lets not strafe from the real problem, i.e., its not Benihana it self, But Mr.Servo thats been tarnishing the name – World Wide!!!…. its made it to Wikipedia as a new section named “Lawsuits”…

    Check it –

  27. AK says:

    I remember a time when a man fought his own battles. Where is this media attention whoring going? you got sued, deal with it like every other man.
    “Commenting is a privilege not a right. I allow comments on the site because I believe that you can make a valuable contribution but in return I expect that you comment responsibly.”
    Yet you edit out the comments you don’t like then cry when other people or governments do it.
    Just my 2 cents

  28. Hash says:

    You have our best wishes & you will win the case Mark!

  29. G says:

    congratulations mark for becoming an internet celebrity within 1 day.

    Now sign my T-shirt plz :D

  30. Z says:

    The lawsuit story is now on Benihana’s wikipedia page!!

  31. Syed says:

    best wishes for your lawsuit. The internet community is supporting you to the max……

  32. FuGEeS says:

    I wonder how long will it take them till they go out of business because they lost customers after this lawsuit. BTW, are you Lebanese?

  33. Frank Rivera says:

    Reading from Austin, TX. Hope it works out well, Mark! Although, honestly, I can’t imagine it won’t.

  34. CIO says:

    Pretty much all the media that talked about your issue from UAE, it seems Kuwaiti media does not care!

    Extremely sad and shocking!

  35. Somebody needs major damage control and a PR miracle.

    I fully support you and hope they drop the lawsuit with a heartfelt apology.

  36. q8teacher says:

    I still cant believe that Mike the Douche was supported by his company!!?! What a MAJOR mistake!!! Somebody didnt pay attention in his “INTRO to Business 101” classes, on the day they talked about customer service.

    I know many expats who are fans of yours, Mark. We admire your work. You are so informed, so articulate and FAIR! I read your blog everyday, and it has made me appreciate things and places in Kuwait that I might not even know about otherwise; I appreciate that.

    I feel sorry not only for you, but for your family who will surely worry about you during this worrisome time. However, I hope you feel the love from your fans and fellow bloggers :) Everyone has rallied behind you — and that is a true credit to you as a person, and a journalist (and that is what you are!).

    All the best to you, Mark. I support you, as do many other expats. God bless…. Cant wait to hear about the negative backlash all this nonsense causes Benihana’s business —morons.

  37. meh says:

    You should be sued just for saying “you know” 145 times in your radio interview.

  38. Nael says:

    Guys, so I decided to type in “Mike Servo” into google, and the first result is from facebook, lo and behold, Mike Servo himiself!

  39. G says:

    They removed the lawsuit from wikipedia :(

  40. Bud3@iy says:

    is not that i like Mark.. i think that i really dont like marks blogging.. but still he owns his opinion, he’s free. PR Suicide from banihana side, and what a stupid move from the GM when he bashed the Lebanese comment.. R U STUPID is the question!! and again Mr Servo R U Kuwaiti so you would say such a thing!! salute to u Mark..

  41. Babble says:

    you’ve got support from everyone..inshallah they drop the case.

  42. nadalou says:

    It will be interesting to know how many other bloggers now are talking about this subject and supporting you…..

    So what will Benihana and Mike Servo do??? Sue them ALLLLLLLLLLL???????????

    Come on they should, you’re not the only blogger ruining their reputation!!!!!

  43. moudz says:

    Mark, I would like to extend my huge support to you and ask you to be patient and remain calm. It is unfortunate how stubborn and thick-headed some people can be. You should be proud that the whole online community is supporting your case and I would personally stand behind you in court in March (if they do not drop the case) and defend you. Be strong and optimistic; we believe in you! :)

    Here’s my humble post:

  44. Hamad says:

    I don’t see why some people are turning this into a “freedom of speech” issue. Anyone can sue anybody else. On the other hand, I think if Mark is found guilty and has to pay damages, it would be a cause for concern and should be given the amount of attention it is being given. The case has no merit (in my opinion it will be dismissed at the pre-trial stage). The fact that he’s being sued, in my opinion, is not a big deal, any monkey can file a lawsuit for anything, so everyone should relax and keep things in perspective. Mark, you should be fine.

  45. F says:

    Hey Mark,
    Hope all is well…guess not at this moment since the sue thing happening..Well i hv been following ur blog since quite some time now, but never got down to writing to u b4.. just to let u know bro..u got ppl’s support…And bad things happen to bad ppl not good..And i guess u r one of the Mr.Nice guys around…So chill out and let the Benihana manager or the owners keep tryin thr luck…God willing u will win the case and Benihana thought it would be a publicity stun for them and wud give them some name n fame..Wanted free will not even get free customers.Its turning out to go against them u know…

    so all the very best and dont worry u gonna win..


  46. Mentabolism says:

    Mike Servo is training his staff in Kamikaze. He tells them, watch carefully, I’m only gonna do this once!

  47. Mich says:

    Hi Mark… Great coverage.
    You forgot to add SeaBee’s Life in Dubai blog “Sued for saying he didn’t like his meal” at:
    Good luck :-)

  48. Desert Girl says:

    It IS a “freedom of speech thing.”

    I can’t write a TRUTHFUL restaurant review and have it published in a magazine. Why? Because the magazine owners are afraid they will be sued. If my review is negative, no story.

    Have you EVER read a negative restaurant review in a magazine here? The rest of the world feels free to tell the truth: good OR bad. Not here.

    This was a perspective piece on a blog. A truthful personal opinion. They are SUING him for it.

    I don’t understand why some people think it is NOT a “freedom of speech” thing.

  49. FuGeeS says:

    BTW, are you Lebanese? (This should be the joke of the year, lol).

  50. N0FEAR says:

    What a weird lawsuit.. I don’t think theres anything wrong with voicing ones opinion about something they tried and didn’t like. Where did the freedom of speech go? And this is a personal blog, not a commercial website.

    I wish I could help ya and do something in this regard, but anyways.. I hope that inshallah you win this lawsuit quick & easy. GL!

  51. AmonA says:

    FYI, U r on & Huffington Post. You gone GLOBALLLLLLLLLLL :)
    All the best

  52. Ash says:

    They have dug their own grave and by the minute the trench is getting deeper and deeper. Rightly said there they havent activated the damage control mode yet which is very suprising considering the company has other international brands affiliated to them. I would like to term it ”SUICIDE ON BROADBAND” We are behind u Mark.

  53. Daddy0 says:

    Mark, check it…

    Obviously, Benihana inc and Tokyo will have no choice “but” to wash their hands of this crap! It just seems very personal, something vindictive that was done to Mark Makhoul; rather than a strategic decision made by the GM – Mike Servo.
    For whatever its worth, Mark, albeit maybe not the worst as a food critic, should counter sue Benihana for defamation. That would ideally set an example for (some) freedom of blogging – in Kuwait

  54. Aisha says:

    They might aswell close down now. No point of staying open after all of this, even if their food was any good.


  55. ab7ag says:

    Benihana is a bedouin tribe??

  56. Marc says:


    This whole Benihana thing has angered me to the point that I decided to boycott ALL restaurants related to the company who owns Benihana – and I’m not boycotting them for their awful food (which I’ve regrettably tried and hated before reading your review, your review was 100% precise) the real reason I’m boycotting them is the way they handled your situation. There’s nothing I hate MORE in the whole world than taking away people’s freedom of choice and that’s what these idiots did. Instead of addressing the issues with their restaurant and fixing them, they sue you for telling the truth. PATHETIC.

    I hope you win your case and prove to these idiots that they can’t sue people because they can’t accept criticism; criticism which they deserve all too well too.

  57. Mr. Q says:

    I’ve written up a blog post on this over at

    Important they lose so you set precedence.

  58. Yousuf M says:

    Guess what benihana bought:

    to a GUN FIGHT :P

  59. Om Ali says:

    Benehana has the right to do what ever that help to protect thier businisse and reputation
    and what is surprise me the low in Kuwait at thier side
    and that what I’ve just recived :
    الصرعاوي: نخاطب جميع المدونين من جميع الفئات بأن موضوع الحريات هو خط أحمر بالنسبة لنا
    I didnt know exacetly whose freedom is talking about but …. but i think its Benihana :)

    Mark we all with you supporting you but what is needed is to show Benehana our support not only in witing but a real movement asking Benehana to stop suing you.. I think all the fan will think of the best solution

    GoD Help Your Family

  60. Um abdullah says:

    يعني حريه بنيهانا انهم يقدمون خدمة ارف حق الناس!!!! و لازم محد يحتج! أنا قبل شهر ماكله هناك مع اختي.. و المنجر سألني رأيي و جاوبته باكثر من اللي قاله مارك! مو غصب اجامل و أخاف على إحساسهم! و سولفت حق الكل عن الاكل البايت و ريحه الدهن المحروق

  61. Um abdullah says:

    واع! شهالتخلف! صبروا علينا خل نجرب أكلنا الفاسد عليكم و خل جم واحد منكم يتسمم و يموت لين نتمكن و نصير خوش مطعم!

  62. Um abdullah says:

    و مو بس جذي.. لازم نرضى بتعليقاتهم العنصريه بعد!

  63. q8teacher says:

    Yes, you should TOTALLY sue Benihana for causing you “stress” and “defamation of character” and anything else you can cook up. Do it!!! They deserve it!!! Set a presedent!

  64. Um abdullah says:

    لو فيهم واحد ريال او عنده ذره مخ خل يحط اعتذار رسمي بالفيس بوك و الجرائد. لان بنيهانا جرحوا كل الناس و الحريات! بس الظاهر الاكل الفاسد مسمم مخهم

  65. Um abdullah says:

    صج صح صج شي مؤرف و مقزز احس مابي ادش الافينيوز كله بسبت المدخنين و بنيهانا. بؤرة التخلف و العنصريه

  66. Um abdullah says:

    و حرررررررره على قلبكم يا بنيهانا بروح اتعشا بماكي و اطلب بإميه دينار و اربحهم و أنتو قطو فلوسكم على محامي فاشل

  67. Um abdullah says:

    و أزيدكم من الشعر بيت….اختي قالت حق المانجر ليش حاطين موسيقى قديمه مالت ١٥سنه!!! قالها this is buda bar track! ندري بودا بار بس استهلك بما فيه الكفايه
    و يقولون بسوون مركز مالي! شلون و المطاعم تطق الزباين على راسهم اذا تحلطموا!

  68. Um abdullah says:

    اصلا ما اعطي جلبي من اكلهم

  69. whale says:

    I come to show support for you.

  70. Mark, there’s two members of parliament that recently made statements, supporting the freedom of speech, expression, and opinion for bloggers and internet users in general.

    They got your back lol

  71. G says:

    I am going to try benihana today :D

    I’m trying their sue-shi from their special sue-chef lolololol

  72. Realist says:

    I hate eating at many places, but hey theyre packed so who cares about my opinion ? Anyways I hate Benihana now…….. and its empty !

  73. RaZ says:

    Mark at least you keep it open, i remember blushberry had a review on Fondue and i posted that i could not believe a restaurant didnt have a toilet and the service sucked and he refused to release my comment to the post, openness is what makes the blog fun not undue moderation

    • Connection says:

      you mean he doesn’t censor
      his blog? lulz
      Get real, half the comments
      have been erased. If you believe
      in freedom of speech, shouldn’t you
      allow people to speak their minds
      as well?

      • Mark says:

        That’s not a secret, everyone knows I delete comments that are offensive, personal attacks, hateful, racist etc.. There has to be some moderation.

  74. maria says:

    Well, you’re taking advantage of a free publicity stunt. It’s not about community concern though. Otherwise, you wont let yourself be interviewed and announce to the world what you’re facing. Definitely I AM NOT FROM BENIHANA nor their PR Agency. You’re making money out of your blog…

    • Zorbon says:

      He is making money because his blog is popular NOT because he writes food reviews!!!!

      If it wasn’t for his interesting posts, and the fact that a HUGE community exchanges ideas/tips/help etc on these pages, major companies would not be advertising…

      Plus, I am not sure if all of you new people know this or not, but a while back Mark posted a negative review about a company, got contacted by one of its management who was given the space to outline their response, and things got fixed…

      Mark maybe you can refresh my memory with a link.

      One more thing Maria, Mark is facing paying a hefty amount of money. Would you want to get your voice heard if you were in this situation?

  75. me says:

    why u r making a big deal out of it !!??
    they have the right to sue u and u have the right to defend ur self , this is kuwait if u dont know it !
    if u have not done anything against the law of kuwait then u r fine , but if did then they have the right to claim their demands upon the law ,
    so please dont act like an angel and also stop distribute hate against kuwait and accept the result of ur words
    take care

  76. Abdullah says:

    Mark, my support for you and Nat is unconditional.

  77. meme says:

    I can’t believe this…

    it sounds like a joke, I think BENIHANA should close soon!

    They can’t be serious.

    Don’t worry, Kuwait is with you.

  78. Shoxin says:

    You’ve got my support for this and I think I can safely say you’ve got the support of the whole blogging community in Kuwait and the Middle East (at the very least those that are aware of what’s going on).

  79. DKN says:

    Hey Mark,

    This stupid lawsuit has made your blog world famous and will result in a substantial increase in the number of viewers visiting your blog and consequently increase your advertising revenue.

    Once you win the suit or the suit is thrown out for lack of evidence, you can laugh all the way to the bank!!

    Blessing in disguise I guess.

    Good Luck.

  80. John Fernandes says:

    GM of Benihana Kuwait should be sacked for his childish approach.

  81. Zorbon says:

    Speaking of the GM, AGAIN, he mentioned that a jury in Kuwait is 100%. Does Kuwait follow a jury system????

  82. Benihoona says:

    Shame on you Benihana Kuwait.

  83. t man says:

    hi mark,

    your luck u live in kuwait, where the propeiters of benihana are civil individuals, if you were in another arab country you would be deported and strpped of any indivual diginaites that caters you as a human being, you have no right to infringe on peoples hard earned investments with your popular but simple website, your not a food or restratunt critic nor a michelne star chef, the franchise for benihana have no love for me, its the person that wanted to invest to bring an international product to kuwaiat that matters, consider him or her and his investment and family, best regard and wishes,

  84. t man says:

    i support u and your family, and if you do get penalized, iam willing to help you settle the finalcially,

    best regards and wishes
    t man

  85. Bobdair says:

    Jeez Mark lol I closed the radio stream after the 45th ‘You Know’! a pretty connective word these days :p

    reminds me of all these egyptians on aljazeera saying ‘ya3ny…. ya3ny’ on live discussions :D

  86. sooli says:

    who won?

  87. sallom says:

    Mark, it would be funny if you show statistics of how many hits your blog got after the SUE-shi scandal.. !

    • DeQor8 says:

      SUE-shi scandal … now that’s funny LOOL

      Poor Benihana never stood a chance … guess we’ll see what Kuwait’s judicial system thinks about the whole ordeal.

  88. AUK says:

    Check this website/blog and see how students are judging the professors and staff at AUK, American University of Kuwait.

  89. Mentabolism says:

    @tman this is no way to protect or earn more on the investment made. As repeatedly said by many on this blog, they could have taken the criticism in a constructive manner and improved their services. This was a desperate act, uncalled for..

    • TJ says:

      I think this is one of the ways they are protecting their investments. I wouldn’t do what they did, but they do have the RIGHT to do it.

      I dont think they accept any kind of criticism, they seem to think this is our business, we didn’t call for a review nor did we want one. i.e. “your right of free speech is infringing on our rights and well-being.”

      I do feel for the free speech thing, but on the other hand a QUESTION comes to mind:

      What happens when so called free speech hurts other’s livelihoods, rights, and well-being?

      From a business point of view they were hurt a bit, but what they just did this could hurt them even more with the law suit (i.e. PR damage).

      Consider these final points:

      1. the key money (khilo) at the avenues is no less than 200,000 dinars to get a store (according to alqabas), add to that licence fees, staff, and rent before opening, etc… you’ll hit the million dollar mark. Thats alot of money, and alot of hurting :)

      2. Another issue came to mind with the fact that what if some bloggers abuse their free speech in slamming businesses for personal gain? like they had an argument with the business or didn’t get what they want, so they slam it. (not talking about Mark). Happens in our newspapers everyday.

      just voicing some perspective and thoughts. I hope when people write reviews do keep in mind that they might hurt the livelihoods and income of others, and what goes around will come around. (again not talking about Mark)

      Coming back to Mark’s issue, I hope things get resolved peacefully :)

      • cajie says:

        It is not just about investment. The person investing that much of money should have a solid business plan – which SHOULD includes customer feedback (negative or positive) as a core component.

        Bloggers cannot be vindictive and hurt business if the business provides proper service. Such bloggers would be called out for posting fake reviews by people who visited the place.

        • Zorbon says:

          They probably have the “legal” right as of now, since Kuwait doesn’t have specific laws governing blogs.

          From what I read, Mark did not “critique” his experience. He did not rate the food from a quality or overall look. He did not ask poeple not to go there. He compared the video of Chef-Acrobatics to more professional chef’s….

          He said he DID NOT LIKE IT! Simple as that.

          Why is this wrong to say?

          I don’t like “X” bank…They have horrible customer service. I walked into their branch, the employee was rude with me, the manager was smoking, and the branch was dirty.

          Is this grounds for a law suit???

      • Phoenix says:

        Whoever has that much money is probably not having his life-hood “threatened” by an online review as some bloggers have suggested!

  90. esz says:

    God bless you Mark and I hope you will live it through! Whatever happens! We are on your side!

  91. Gilbert says:

    Mark will be giving away FREE Sushi for every supporter If He win this case! Go Mark! :D

  92. AIM says:

    I heard about this all the way in Dubai…good luck on your case…there is nothing to worry about, its sad to see such unreasnable actions (according to my own opnion :) ), an ideal scenario was simply to thank you for your valid comments and work on makng them better by inviting you to free experience, simply would have changed the whole scenario.

    good luck on your case… I am sure its nothing to worry about.

  93. Fatma says:

    Mark.. This is cheap! :/ They r using u for more media coverage!
    They r a company who has a lawyer and he’s paid a salary anyway, so they were like why not sue him.. And u and the other bloggers writing about it is just making their name brighter..

  94. All the best with the lawsuit. Its an absolute farce for this restaurant to do this!

    Good luck for New Zealand!

  95. Jynxy says:

    So funny. Today I wrote a blog about my experience last week at Benihana. And then I was looking at blogs and found out the Kuwait Benihana is sueing you!!! I published mine anyhow :) Added your link as well :)

    I can not believe that guy is so anal. Take the good and the bad and learn and grow from it! My gosh, that gush sounds like a pompous a-hole. Did someone introduce him to a computer and blogging just for this??? As he doesnt ‘get’ it!

    Good luck.

  96. fishma4 says:

    Yes me too- I am most hurt that you didn’t include me in your round up. BTW are you Spanish?

  97. Randiriel says:

    WHAT?! This is just riddiculous, you can’t even write a review – and it’s a restaurant for god’s sake!! A restaurant! “We make crappy food and don’t you dare complain!” …???

    I wish you all luck and the best of outcome, keep your head up high and don’t let them fool you with their dramatic scenarios, you already know you have a lot of backup and I only second what’s already been said: the blogospere is with you!

  98. Ian C says:

    Whats the latest on this? They seem to have removed their Facebook site?!

  99. Rummy says:

    This is just very stupid and silly of them. I even wrote a blog post about the issue in my blog. Wishing you all the luck and strenght in the world and may the outcome end up with Benihana going down the toilet while you are still as high up as you have been.

  100. Saud says:

    Is there anything new about this? Does anyone want to let us know anything?

  101. I’ve just read the whole story with the utmost interest as a legal practitioner, your name already took its place in Kuwaits legal history as you’re case shall mark the accepted level of criticism for professionals as a precedent, and it will one way or the other affect the position of casual bloggers as well, so lets hope for the best and prepare for the worst, I`d assume your case is still being studied and Id like to make it clear here that I totally believe that your right in freedom of speech shall not be threatened no matter what … you’ve expressed you opinion regarding you experience in a decent manner, yet I fear the worst for the part of publicly discussing the matter on your website, for I believe that courts in Kuwait are rather sensitive with it comes to discussing an ongoing case…
    other than that accept my personal, professional support & best wishes to the fullest..

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