Food fight breaks out on Facebook

SINGAPORE - It's a food fight between two industry professionals and the battleground is Facebook.

One claims he was turned away from the other's barely filled restaurant, while the other has accused him of being "bully-like".

It began when Mr Arun Ratnaa, head of marketing at Shiraz, paid a visit to Spanish restaurant Don Quijote on Saturday and was turned away. He sent his feedback to the management.

On Sunday, he received a forceful reply from Mr Ken Lim, proprietor of the Dempsey restaurant. Mr Lim wrote: "In eight words... Who the **** do you think you are??"

A screenshot of the e-mail reply was posted subsequently on Facebook by Mr Ratnaa, and has made its rounds on the social networking site. As of last evening, it had been shared over 300 times.

What was the "feedback" that drew this response? Mr Ratnaa shared the e-mail message he had sent Don Quijote, in which he said he was "disappointed" at the service he received at the door, and that he had been turned away when the restaurant was "far from full".

He also made reference to a "Filipino lady" who, he said, was "less than helpful".

Mr Lim, however, hit back shortly after with a response on the restaurant's Facebook page, in which he labelled Mr Ratnaa's behaviour "bully-like and racist-like".

He wrote: "You posted what you wanted everyone to see and hear, without the full facts, and I wonder how you manage to call yourself a professional of any industry, whether F&B or other."

He accused Mr Ratnaa of failing to mention that the staff member had apologised profusely for failing to accommodate him, and said Mr Ratnaa had signed off with his company's credentials.

When contacted, Mr Ratnaa said he was shocked by the response he had received. He denied flashing his credentials and said he was most upset about how he had been accused of not being considerate towards a member of the service staff.

"To be honest, I work the front line as well, I know how difficult it is to keep smiling all the time, so to say I berated a staff (member) upsets me," he said.

On the other hand, Mr Lim said he did not want to engage in childish banter, and that he had said his piece.

"If people want to run with it, it's the Internet. As far as I am concerned, the book is closed. I have a business to run."

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