A Melbourne restaurateur, just weeks after her ‘struggling’ business closed, was horrified when a blogger made the shock request.
A ‘shameless’ influencer has been lambasted for asking for free food after he approached a Melbourne restaurant just weeks before it closed for good after struggling to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
Miss Katie’s Crab Shack in Fitzroy is closing permanently on July 29 after nine years in business.
Owner Katie Marron has alerted guests to her devastating decision to end the ‘roller coaster’ of trying to keep ‘the hut alive’ due to financial pressures caused by weeks of lockdown and Covid restrictions .
However, one influencer decided that wouldn’t stop him from asking for a free meal, recently contacting the restaurant to ask for $100 worth of free food.
Understandably, Katie was shocked by the request, asking ‘how this would benefit me and my struggling business’, pointing out that she was only weeks away from closing and her ‘messages won’t pay my bills “.
Attempting to justify her request, the influencer replied, “No worries, I could ask my followers and promote the restaurant and a lot of people would come. But understand if $100 is a lot [to ask].”
The exchange between the Melbourne ‘foodie’ and Katie was later shared by Australian restaurant critic John Lethlean who called out the blogger with the hashtag #couscousforcomment.
“Nice overtures here from an influencer (blocking me, wonder why) contacting @misskatiescrabshack and offering what, exactly? Shame. Shame. Shame,” he wrote.
John’s followers were quick to slam the influencer over the request, calling it “deaf of ears”, but the backlash didn’t prompt an apology, with the account being deleted instead.
“Wtf will do a review when it’s closed? I hate these people,” said one.
“Fury. I hate food bloggers who claim one thing but the reality is another. I am devastated that Katie’s Crab Shack is closing its doors, and we will fully support what we can before you close,” wrote the One. Two.
As another said, “This is disgusting…people have no idea how hard hospitality is.”
Others said the request for free food was “shameless”.
“‘Influencers’ with nothing but boldness,” one said.
“Freeloader was the word I was looking for to describe these ‘bloggers’ and ‘influencers’,” agreed another.
One wrote: “I don’t care how many followers anyone has, they should pay their own way.”
The shock bid for free food comes just weeks after Katie shared an emotional post on social media about the Crab Shack closing.
“No one could have predicted the difficult road ahead,” she said.
“Due to the impacts of Covid and rising costs, I have struggled to keep the Shack alive.
“The landscape of the hospitality industry has changed and it’s time to re-examine things.
“I kept the Shack as long as I could because I love it so much, it has served me well.
“But it is time for new beginnings. I have to embrace change and move in a new direction. It’s time to call it a day.
“It is with mixed feelings that I will bid farewell to my beloved Crab Shack.”
However, John said Katie is “reviving after nine years as @suzicheeks” which, according to the Instagram page, is a local bar serving drinks and snacks.