Good on restaurant owner for hitting back at online critics

PUBLISHED: 13:36 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:36 10 September 2018

Columnist Adam Lazzari. Picture: ARCHANT.

Columnist Adam Lazzari. Picture: ARCHANT.


Last week we reported how a Norwich restaurant owner, seemingly fed up with negative TripAdvisor reviews, had resorted to hitting back when diners criticised his eatery online.

Mario Luchai, who has owned Trattoria Rustica in Princes Street for the last 25 years, doesn’t hold back when faced with negative reviews online, telling one diner that they should have gone to Specsavers after they questioned his decor and advising another that “no restaurant in Rome has chicken nuggets” after they slated the restaurant’s lack of children’s menu.

Mr Luchai has since defended his responses and insists that when things go wrong ‘they put their hands up’ but he should be able to reply when the posts are unfair and inaccurate, adding that if something is wrong you should say so in the restaurant, rather than “eating everything” and then posting a negative review online.

And I completely agree. It’s all to easy for people to hide behind a computer screen and we’re seeing more and more of it these days. And whilst of course everyone is entitled to their opinions, as Mr Luchai has said, if you’re not prepared to say something to someone’s face then why is it acceptable to say it online?

There are serious issues with sites like TripAdvisor. It is open to manipulation, with opportunity for people with personal bugbears or even rival restaurants to post negative reviews which can have a real impact on people’s livelihoods.

But it’s not just TripAdvisor. People seem all too ready to criticise others on every online platform there is, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever the latest social media craze is.

Celebrities undeniably bear the brunt of it. TV presenter and former Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt recently declared that she had had it with every aspect of social media after being reduced to tears by twitter trolls constantly mocking her appearance. And she’s not alone. Scores of celebrities have quit twitter in recent years after being subjected to vile and cruel internet bullies.

I’m of course not saying that the disgruntled diners at Mr Luchai’s restaurant are as bad as these vile and cruel bullies, but it’s still this nameless, and indeed shameless, “commenting” that irks me.

If you don’t like the food, raise it at the time, or don’t go back.

Some people create an alter ego for the digital world and find it acceptable to behave in a completely different way online to how they would in person.

It’s a really strange way of behaving and we’re seeing more and more of it in society today.

Now, let the trolling commence...

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