Chef John Mountain banned vegans from his restaurant, Fyre, sparking online debate and conflicting reviews. The incident highlighted the challenges of catering to diverse dietary preferences.
Celebrity Chef John Mountain Bans All Vegans From His Restaurant
Following a dispute with a furious client that sparked a debate between carnivores and vegetarians online, a chef banned vegans from his restaurant.
Celebrity chef John Mountain, who was born in the UK, wrote the following on Facebook: 'Sadly all vegans are now banned from Fyre for mental health reasons. We thank you for your understanding. xx'
In the Connolly area of northern Perth, Mr. Mountain owns and operates the eatery Fyre. His social media post outlined the reasons why non-meters are no longer accepted.
‘A young girl reached out to me and said she was coming to the restaurant… and asked if there were vegan options,' he said.
'It was my only shortfall… I said I would accommodate her, I said we had gnocchi, vegetables… and that was that.'
Mr. Mountain claimed that he had been preoccupied with catering a private party on the relevant Saturday when the women's request was made.
That night, his sous-chef scolded him for "not telling them about the vegan customer" and was not pleased with him.
The teenager filed a complaint on Sunday.
'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 her complaint via a direct Facebook message, as reported by PerhNow.
'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.'
'I hope to see some improvements in your menu as I have lived in Connolly for quite some time and have seen many restaurants come and go from that building and none of them last.’
'If you don't get with the times, I don't hold out faith that your restaurant will be the one that does.'
It appears that the restaurant paid attention to the woman's complaint.
'As for vegans/vegetarians being a very low minority, especially in the northern burbs' I try to accommodate everyone else,' its response started.
'Thanks for your negative review… please feel free to share your s**tty experience and I look forward to not seeing you again.’
'How very childish.’
'You and all your vegan mates can all go and enjoy your dishes in another venue. You are now banned.'
In a response to a dissatisfied Google reviewer, he reaffirmed his ban in a post.
'But if you beautiful vegans want to join together and slag off my business then good luck, keep going, let's see what my customers think,' he wrote.
'And from now on ALL Vegans are now banned from my restaurant. Thank you for your disgusting review and please enjoy the Currambine. Xx'
These replies sparked a flurry of conflicting one-star and five-star Google reviews from those who were angry at Mr. Mountain's position and those who were in favor of the business.
The unfavorable reviews, according to Mr. Mountain, "really hurt the business."
'F*** vegans seriously… I’m done. At the end of the day, it’s not what I want to do, they can f*** off.'
One review gave a detailed explanation of why Mr. Mountain ought to provide vegan food.
'In today's society, the demand for vegan options is on the rise,' the review reads.
'Providing vegan options is not only vital for catering to individual food preferences but also presents an opportunity for businesses to target a wider market and increase their revenue.’
But a lot of reviewers simply give the restaurant "one star" without explaining why, which provoked a response from Mr. Mountain.
'Oh my. All ten one-star reviews,' he writes.
'Sadly we don't overly cater to vegans although I'd sadly agreed to cater to our customer's needs.’
'But that night I had a huge outdoor catering gig that spoilt their night. The vegan in question decided to be very personal about my 'inabilities' as a chef and for that, I was a little rude to her reply.'
When questioned by another critic, he responded as follows: 'Oh my. I go out of my way on a daily basis to change the menu to suit people's requirements.’
'But when I'm told I'm going to go bust because I don't cater for vegans then we're done. Rude isn't half of how I truly feel.'
There were outspoken backers of his position who consistently awarded the restaurant a five-star rating, helping it to keep its four-star average.
'I'm in love with the food. I especially love the fact that the menu doesn't waste space on a vegan option,' one person writes.
'All the trees saved by this choice lessens our nation's impact on global CO2 levels.'
Others disagreed with the use of "fake reviews" as a weapon.
'Trying to tear a business down with reviews is disgusting as you not only harm the owners but the respectable people who work there and trying to make a living to provide for families,' a reviewer wrote.
'These people are working ridiculous hours and dealing with stupid requests and demands from people like you who refuse to read a menu before dining.’
'If you know you're difficult to cater to then buy a bag of chickpeas, draw a face on them and maybe you will have a friend.’
'I know plenty of vegans who understand that businesses do market research before opening their restaurants in specific areas to cater to the majority. I will be making my booking soon.'
'Seems emotions were high from both sides,' wrote a would-be peacemaker.
'Both sides showed good reasons for this (both were human with emotions, one felt cheated of money and time and one felt personally attacked).’
'I hope you can get all these reviews removed from Google. Minus of course the initial review from the actual disgruntled customer, if one was left.'
After moving to Australia from Britain, where he was a renowned chef who shared an agent with Jamie Oliver, Mr. Mountain has resided here for seven years.
He appeared in the cooking competition shows Chef Race UK v US and The Great British Menu.
Additionally, he has collaborated with culinary trailblazers Heston Blumenthal at the original, renowned Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire, England, and the bold, three-star Michelin Marco Pierre White at the Mayfair in London.