Peppered by online criticism over food tantrum

Peppered by online criticism over food tantrum

It was a lunch that left a bad taste in netizens' mouths.

Apparently unhappy with his dining experience at Eighteen Chefs, a restaurant chain that hires former convicts, freelance photographer Roy Chuang decided to take it out on his plate of pasta.

A picture he posted on Friday on Facebook showed the unfinished pasta on the table at the chain's The Cathay outlet, along with his comment: "I just poured food on the table. Worse than dog food."

A screenshot of the post went viral, with netizens lambasting the 38-year-old and saying his actions were "childish".

In response, Mr Chuang yesterday apologised for making a scene and said on his Facebook page: "I do acknowledge that it was insensitive of me to overturn the food on the table, and I apologise for that. It was a build-up of the experience I had at that point in time which triggered this whole episode."

When contacted by My Paper, he declined to elaborate, saying only that "this thing went out of control. It's not just about the food, it's the overall experience. But whatever happened before that, nobody knows and I don't wish to comment on it".

Danny Teo, 48, manager of Eighteen Chefs at The Cathay, said that while the two parties have not spoken directly, he has spoken to the staff involved.

"All I can say is that our staff cleaned up and apologised after what happened. For us, we try to rectify problems as best as we can. In terms of food, it's personal taste, but we try to do our best," said Mr Teo. "As far as we are concerned, we just need to know what happened and we will set things right."

Eighteen Chefs founder Benny Se Teo, 54, said the restaurant takes feedback seriously.

"We've investigated and I don't think we missed anything," he said, adding that the restaurant chain is a "casual and down-to-earth place" that does not levy a service charge on customers.

"But I hope people don't use vulgar language on social media when commenting about the saga," he added, referring to comments made by some netizens.

In response to the incident, William Wan, general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, said: "Kudos to Mr Chuang for apologising, we all make mistakes. But turning the food upside down in a public place is outrageous and unacceptable.

"You've got to have self-control and decorum, we are adults. Even if you're not happy with the service, you register your displeasure and let them explain. In any case, a good restaurant will apologise and replace the food."

The saga has, however, rung up record sales over the weekend at Eighteen Chefs.

Mr Se Teo said: "We had unprecedented sales. Our sales have been extremely crazy. All four branches have seen at least a 10 to 15 per cent increase in sales over the weekend and, these few days, we have had many compliments."

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