Thursday 18 January 2018

Owner of the White Moose Café thanks vegans for 'six-figure sum' worth of publicity after going viral around the world

White Moose Cafe's manager Paul Stenson
White Moose Cafe's manager Paul Stenson
Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

The owner of the White Moose Café has taken to Facebook to thank 'vegans' for the publicity his café has received following his controversial comments going viral around the world.

A status on the page which caused controversy online has resulted in the café being the "busiest it's ever been", according to owner- manager Paul Stenson.

The offensive status drew ire from vegan communities around the world, who began leaving negative reviews of the café on the Page. However, a opposing group formed, supporting Stenson, and they began counter-acting the one-star reviews with five-star ones.

Related: Beware the murky world of online review battles

This fight sent the page - and the comments - viral all around the world, being covered not only in local media but on global sites like Buzzfeed.

In total, the café attracted over 4,000 reviews during the furore, with Stenson gladly stoked with live updates and further offensive comments.

"To put it bluntly, our café never been busier than it is today. What you are doing is working so PLEASE don't stop".

"If you were to put a monetary value on this kind of publicity, you would easily be talking a six-figure sum".

"There aren't many restaurants that can say they have sales reps dotted around the globe the way we have.... we owe you big time".

The offensive status that started the war was one that was posted in August, asking customers who are vegan to give the café advance notice so they could cater to their needs. However, it was the wording and tone that fans took issue with.

"Please do not waltz into our café with no advance notice and look at us as if we have ten heads when you realise there aren't 50,000 items on our menu that suit your idiosyncratic dietary requirements".

The post continued: "Our chef will be happy to prepare a number of dishes for you, but a little heads up in advance would be appreciated. Fair is fair like".

Related: Dublin café owner attracts the attention of angry Irish vegans after banning them from the establishment

Stenson told Buzzfeed News that the post was inspired by a female customer, who came across the status only last week and shared it to a number of vegan communities online. Negative reviews for the café began to flood the page from vegans all around the world.

Stenson updated regularly on the furore, adding fuel to the fire. In one post, he wrote that he was "loving all the negative reviews... posted by seemingly every vegan that lives on planet earth".

"100% of these people have never been in our café and are writing reviews because they chose to take offence".

In another post, he wrote that "all vegans are barred from our café", adding "any vegans attempting to enter will be shot dead at point-blank range".

In a follow-up post, he reiterated his threat and sarcastically added "I am obviously still deadly serious".

"Is your lack of cop-on a result of malnourishment (or) are you simply thick?"

Stenson told Buzzfeed News that he runs the pages of both the hotel and café in a "tongue-and-cheek way... so I can never back down".

He followed the posts with an 'official apology' - ending with 'PS f**k you' and screenshots of death threats received via private message.

"World War V", as Stenson called it, went as far as encouraging people to report Stenson to the Gardaí for "threatening a mass shooting".

"When you call the Garda station and the Garda laughs at you, please remember it's not because you are a vegan, it's because you're a f**king sap".

The controversial café previously hit the headlines when CCTV images were posted to their Facebook Page to counteract a negative customer review.

Read more: 'If you are not happy with your food, DON'T F**KING EAT IT' - Angry hotelier turns tables on disgruntled customer

It appears the café following in the footsteps of parent business Charleville Hotel, which has hit headlines multiple times for comments dubbed offensive by Facebook fans.

Online Editors

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