In yet another prime example of Facebook abruptly becoming the natural enemy of a healthy restaurant business, a burger spot in Australia was hit with a surge of negative reviews right after its proprietor made fun of vegan customer online. The “first ever vegan customer” to brave Tuk Tuk in New South Wales made the fatal error of requesting a falafel prepared without butter or sour cream. Co-owner Mark Clews told her the meal might “contain traces of slaughtered animals” regardless because it was cooked on the same grill as beef and pork products, to which the customer assented. “Guess she wasn’t that vegan after all, it’s a funny world,” Clews wrote online.
Never mind that plenty of vegans compromise with meal choices on a regular basis, in this case, it wasn’t even the customer who complained: We know about the exchange because Tuk Tuk mocked her choice on Facebook, ending with a plug for a daily special — it also derided her tie-dye shirt as “made in a Chinese sweatshop.” When challenged by self-identified vegans on Facebook, Clews lashed out. The restaurant said meat-free eaters lacked “physical strength” in a follow-up post, and blamed the dietary choice on trauma. There was also this: “They are single minded and nazi like in there [sic] conviction !”
The brashness is probably par for the course for a place that posted a sign warning that customers thinking of “giving us grief” about orders taking too long to cook will likely result in said customer “being told to p#ss off.” While archived online, the main post and its follow-ups have since been deleted. If it were a publicity stunt, it backfired: The restaurant — which ironically touts gluten-free and vegetarian options — now has more than 1,000 negative reviews on Facebook, including several from meat-eating customers who say they won’t return after Tuk Tuk mocked its vegan customer.