‘Pizza like diarrhoea’: Vile reviews that sparked fightback
"Food looks like dishwash". "The lady owner is a rude cow". "Worst cafe ever". "We shoulda gone to Maccas". "Pizza tasted like diarrhoea".
These are just some of the online insults being hurled at Queensland hospitality staff sparking a new anti-abuse campaign.
'Say Don't Slay May' is a month-long initiative asking restaurant, cafe, bar and pub patrons to consider the impacts that harsh web-based reviews can have on a business owner's mental health and turn to personal feedback and kindness instead.
Brisbane hospitality veteran and founder of industry network Mise En Place Bonne Femme, Naomi 'Nims' Zavackas, is behind the campaign and said the culture of customers complaining online had become "horrendous".
"The intensely negative reviews that cut venue owners and their teams to the core are vengeful," Mrs Zavackas said, revealing that many of the negative reviews attacked owners personally commenting on their age and body shape, and had little to do with the food.
"Slaying is an opportunity to vent and forget, with no real understanding of the inherent repercussions personally and professionally to every small business owner."
As part of the campaign, on May 15 hospitality businesses across Australia will restrict public comment on their social media channels for #NoComment day to protest thoughtless reviews and promote customers to have a conversation with venues in person or via email if they have any issues.
Participating operations include popular Brisbane eateries Lady Marmalade in Stones Corner, Montrachet in Bowen Hills, Billykart Kitchen in both West End and Annerley and Hendra's Dandelion & Driftwood.
"I want the public to understand the level of pain caused long after they shut their computers down," Mrs Zavackas said.
"This affects so much more than just the hospitality industry and it's time for everyone to be accountable for the words they type."
The former cafe and restaurant owner also hoped the campaign would help initiate legislative change around online bullying and trolling.
"Clearer definitions around the law surrounding 'reviews' actually being defined as trolling are needed without relying on expensive civil defamation suits to bring justice for the victims," she said.
SOME OF THE MOST LUDICROUS ONLINE REVIEWS
Montrachet, Bowen Hills
2 stars - Honestly kidding themselves trying to charge the prices they do being in that location, the spot has no atmosphere and with the toilet being outside and around the corner.
Billykart Kitchen, West End and Annerley
1 star - Have taken a few woman there for first dates. Those woman were all pretentious and too cool for me. Must be a bad omen
2 stars - When my wife or I walk past these days we notice the large number of 4WDs cluttering the block around what is a suburban precinct, and mostly it's ladies with dollars coming from other suburbs to catch a glimpse of a celebrity chef.
1 star - Didn't end up eating here - went with a bunch of friends and our babies but they don't supply highchairs so went elsewhere.
You Came Again, West End
1 star - The staff can be quite off putting with how positive and friendly they are.
Save your money, you can get better vegan microwave dinners from Coles and Woolworths now.
Cafe O'Mai, Annerley
1 star - To (sic) hot under tin roof, food looks like dishwash.
1 star - Expensive, crowded dining and extremely limited options. Portion sizes tiny. Alright for those who are cashed up with no appetite on a quiet day, otherwise not.
Bare Bones Society, Jindalee
1 star - The prices have been bumped up considerably since my last visit … I'd like to remind Bare Bones you are in a car park of furniture stores, not on James St or Eagle St Pier. The coffee won't give me heart palpitations at Macca's and at least the staff there don't have their head shoved up their arses thinking they are something better than they are. Two words … CAR PARK. Disgusting, snobby service. Such a shame that this place has let its self (sic) become such a way. You aren't in Hamilton, you are in Jindalee. Deal with it.
Little G, Woolloongabba
1 star - It really is the worst pizza I've ever bought, its so bad that even Woolies $3 bakery pizzas are better.
Plenty, West End
1 star - Slow service, no menus, crazy prices, stashed away at the back with the unattractive people.
3 stars - Too cool for me.
Originally published as 'Pizza like diarrhoea': Vile reviews that sparked industry fightback