Planted takes high road after mask policy ‘review bomb’ of Hamilton restaurant


Published September 30, 2020 at 5:57 pm

One of Hamilton’s most popular plant-based restaurants has been receiving negative reviews online as of late. Not because of the quality of the food or friendliness of the staff, but because Planted in Hamilton enforced the mandated mask by-law.

The eatery, located on John St S, took to social media to address the negative reviews Tuesday (Sept. 29).

“Y’all, these are crazy times,” posted Planted on Facebook. “There’s been a flurry of activity across multiple platforms leaving us negative reviews regarding our mask policy.”

According to the restaurant, there was only one incident in which a customer was not allowed to enter the building without a mask.

“Since we’ve only had one conflict regarding this, it all seems to stem from that one interaction but the internet is an unforgiving place and people who have never entered a restaurant can still leave it a one-star review predicting and wishing for your failure.”

Planted reiterated that anyone over the age of two who enters the restaurant must be wearing a mask in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Comments that accompanied negative reviews included calling Planted “discriminatory” for its mask requirements. The restaurant denies the allegations and claims they’ve always been accomodating.

“If you’re unable to wear a mask we offer curbside pickup and are on two delivery apps. We are more than willing to work with you if there’s any potential accommodation we can make to serve you safely,” added Planted.

“People can accuse us of discrimination all they want, but when these reviews are coming from Facebook accounts calling out ‘sheeple’ for falling for the ‘hoax’ that is COVID, it feels like you have an agenda other than advocating for accommodations for those with disabilities.”

Negative reviews were also left on Google.

“The audacity every refusing someone because he didn’t have a muzzle on their face shows your IQ if your business survives all the power to you, but if it doesn’t you remember how much money you threw away by your ridiculousness,” was written by one reviewer.

Another reviewer said, “It’s pretty much dog food”

Planted decided to spin the negatives into a positive. Surely inspired by the “dog food” comment, the restaurant says it’s hosting a virtual dog food drive.

“Donate to a local animal rescue… send us a screenshot of your donation receipt and we’ll send you a $10 e-gift card that you can use to order pickup or (safely) dine in,” wrote Planted on Facebook.

Those looking to take part and email their receipts to [email protected].

Planted supporters, meanwhile, have done their best to drown out the negativity with reviews of their own. The restaurant currently boasts a rating between 4.6 and 5 stars depending on where you look.

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