For one chef, it’s omnivores only at his restaurant now. And he says business is booming because of it.
Fyre—located in Perth, Australia and run by British chef John Mountain—recently announced on Facebook that, “Sadly all vegans are now banned from Fyre (for mental health reasons). We thank you for your understanding.” The post included the caption: “Yep. I’m done.” It also contained the hashtags: vegan, #not, #pleasegoelsewhere, #veganfreezone, and #nomorevegans. After initially seeing reservations fall from his announcement, the restaurant claims to have seen reservations pick up in the backlash to the backlash.
Mountain explained to PerthNow the circumstances that led to the negative review. He said that a young woman reached out to see if his eatery had vegan options. He told her that they would accommodate her with gnocchi and vegetables. When she eventually came into the restaurant, he was catering a private function and forgot about the request. His sous chef scolded him for not informing the kitchen staff. The next day, the customer complained.
“My only option was the vegetable dish… it was okay but not that filling… and I was shocked to see it was $32,” she wrote in part in a direct Facebook message, according to PerthNow. “I think it’s incredibly important nowadays that restaurants can accommodate everyone and to not be able to have actual plant-based meals shows your shortcomings as a chef.”
Mountain wasn’t too fond of her complaint.
“Thanks for your negative review… please feel free to share your s**tty experience and I look forward to not seeing you again,” the restaurant replied. Then, the restaurant saw a flood of one-star reviews online. “We started getting all these negative reviews without any actual comment… which really hurts the business,” Mountain told PerthNow.
However, the tide eventually turned. When news of the vegan ban began to circulate, business drastically picked up. Bookings at Fyre have since “gone through the roof,” Mountain (who can be seen in the Faceboook post above) recently told The Project, according to Insider.
“I usually do half a dozen people in this beautiful restaurant. I have 35 booked for dinner tonight,” Mountain said. “This has been the best marketing that’s ever happened to me.”