Backlash to Edmonton Meals Blogger’s Cheese Board Assessment leaves unhealthy style
EDMONTON – A local food blogger recently had a disappointing cheese platter at a city restaurant, but when he posted his negative review online, he got a bite from the eatery’s owner and other business people.
Leduc Nguyen, who blogs about food as a sideline on his Instagram account “letseatyeg” – and earned him almost 16,000 followers – went to The Common in downtown Edmonton and ordered the cheese platter.
On July 14, Nguyen decided to post about the experience and was personally attacked on social media by business owners in the city. The stack has raised some questions from social media users about how companies should deal with dissatisfied customers online.
People started collecting screenshots of the now-deleted comments and posting them on the Reddit social media platform. The Reddit thread on the incident has over 500 comments. Many were dismayed by the commentators’ words, including those of the restaurant owner.
“I sat in these photos for a while not sure if I wanted to post them,” said Nguyen in his post. “That was probably one of the worst meals I’ve had in a long time.”
He went on to describe his disappointment with the “thick” cauliflower crumbs, unwanted pita chips, and what he said tasted like canned strawberries.
“I didn’t expect any backlash or anything like that,” he said. “My whole existence as a blogger is just giving honest feedback. That is the purpose of my page, that is my opinion. “
As a longtime fan of the restaurant, Nguyen also said the quality of the food has deteriorated.
Response from local business owners, the owners of The Common and others (mistaken for friends of the owner by Nguyen) has been quick. Comments have been made attacking his credibility as a blogger, work at a children’s hospital, and loyalty to the city.
“Stay with sick children,” wrote Katy Ingraham, owner of Cartago, a restaurant in South Edmonton. Nguyen does not work directly with patients at Stollery Children’s Hospital; he told StarMetro during an interview that he is a clinical genetics technologist there.
The exchange also included comments from The Common co-owner Kyla Kazeil, which she has since deleted.
“Where is your job? I would love to come there and give my non-professional opinion, ”Kazeil wrote.
The Instagram post itself contained hundreds of comments, from people disgusted at the business owners’ reaction to some who staunchly defended local Edmonton restaurants.
Nguyen said he sees both sides and has nothing against Kazeil, who he has spoken to since then, adding that they worked out their differences.
For her part, the owner of The Common said in a written response to StarMetro that she apologized for her actions.
“I let my passion cloud my judgment and made a mistake by reacting negatively to the review,” wrote Kazeil. “I have chosen to take the feedback personally and I apologize for my actions as they have had a bad impact on our business. I would also like to sincerely apologize to my partners, employees and loyal customers for failing to maintain the professionalism that we strive for every day. “
Kazeil also said she wished Nguyen had shared his concerns with employees instead of posting them online.
“The understanding is that when they are local, whether they are good or not, you have to blindly support them,” said Nguyen of the local business culture. “I don’t necessarily agree, but I understand why people feel so strong because it’s true, they are local and have families.”
Nguyen said he understood his account and his healthy following gives him some responsibility to be careful about what he posts as it could affect someone’s livelihood.
However, the impact of the post goes much further than leaving some people upset.
Nguyen received an anonymous email chastising him for criticizing the cheese platter, and the author said goodbye with a single sentence that he thought was threatening and threatening.
“Your friend (her full name) should be ashamed of your post,” said the writer, who identified only as Peter.
Nguyen said it was an indication of how quickly things can get out of hand on social media.
Another comment from an account of the local clothing company Suka Clothing was interpreted as racist by Nguyen.
“Caramel Big Mac B — s”, it said.
However, Alisha Schick, owner of Suka Clothing, said in an interview that it was not her intention to be racist. When she realized that her comment had been interpreted as such, she deleted it. She said she did not know the race or gender of the person behind “letseatyeg” when she commented on it.
“It was in no way intended to offend anyone by any race or anything,” she said.
“More comments have been carried over to large corporations and grocery chains, as well as people who support those grocery chains.”
Schick said she is now questioning her actions on social media and doesn’t know if the cheese platter is a hill worth dying on.
“Everything was just over the top, but no, I would never comment on it again,” she said. “I’m over it, I’m done with social media. I’ll just keep quiet and spend more time being creative with my backlash.
Ingraham did not respond to requests for comment on her remarks on Nguyen’s job at the children’s hospital.