Fighting fire with fire isn’t typically recommended when it comes to online reviews but one Toronto did just that when they recently received some “vicious” criticism.
The review, which has since been removed, featured comments like, “We spent way more than we needed to. And I mean, way more,” and “Restaurants in Toronto don’t stay at the top forever. I will not feel sorry for them when their time runs out.”
For many restaurants and businesses, especially locally owned, online reviews can make or break them – they are critical to the establishment’s success. So when Tobey Nemeth, chef and co-owner of Edulis, saw the harsh criticism, she wasn’t going to sit back and take it. She decided to fire back.
Nemeth took to Instagram to respond to each of the criticizer’s comments. Each response is true and thoughtful, offering insight into a world many customers and diners have never been exposed to. Take a look at her mighty response below.
This restaurant business can be hard. Having a very hard time today. Sometimes it feels as restaurant owners/chefs we do not have a voice when people write cruel things about us. This is my response to one of the most vicious reviews by a guest at Edulis. Can’t shake the terrible feeling it left me with. Sometimes you just want to throw in the towel. It feels like the only thing that would give people like this satisfaction would be to see you go out of business. Perhaps for these online reviewers it’s too easy to forget there are human beings behind every experience. Human beings that are – despite every effort to try to have a thick skin – deeply hurt by negative comments. This affects the psyche of our entire staff. I would also like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the beautiful people who have taken time out of their busy lives to write us kind and beautiful things. Who make our day with their pleasure and positivity. Who literally make us light up when you walk in our dining room. You, also, have no idea how much this means to us.
When it comes to work, it’s hard not to take criticism personally, especially when it’s something you pour your heart and soul into. We certainly respect Nemeth for standing up for her business, something most business owners are afraid to do. And we’re not the only ones who stand with her.
Since posting the response to Instagram, the photo has garnered over 1000 likes and hundreds of comments. Sure, some of them condemn her for firing back at her reviewer but many applaud her. One commenter says:
“What an eloquent response to a unreasoanble [sic] review. I have never heard of your restaurant but I intend to make a reservation in the New Year. You are so passionate about food and your restaurant that I want to give you my money.”
While another comment reads:
“I have only had the pleasure to dine at your restaurant 2-3 times, but each time has been so special and wonderful. The effort that you put into the experience is noticed from the moment you step in. The cozy room, warm light, soft music and the smell of delicious food being prepared is the perfect way to wet ones [sic] appetite. Once seated, it is never too loud and the service has ALWAYS been spot on, helpful and thoughtful without being invasive or pushy. The last time I was their [sic] I was fortunate to finally experience the truffle course. I actually waited for it before going! I knew it would be extra and it was well worth it. I have to admit my pleasant surprise when my dish arrived with such a generous portion. But you know all of this because you spend every day doing just this, giving guest wonderful experiences. Your response was perfect but forget them. There are more lovers than them hence your reoccurring presence at the top of Toronto’s dining scene.”
You can’t win them all but it looks like Edulis has won the ones that matter.
Do you think Nemeth was right to respond to the harsh review? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.