Montreal institution Queue de Cheval stirs controversy

Is the customer always right?

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Yesterday I came across the story of a group luncheon gone wrong at the Queue de Cheval Steakhouse & Raw Bar. One of the attendees, tv personality, Catherine Verdon-Diamond strongly voiced her disappointment on the establishment's FB page. The luncheon was scheduled as part of the Influence Mtl conference at the Sheraton Centre.

The reply from the Queue de Cheval wasn't apologetic. It shifted the blame on the attendees. Other attendees (including Danièle Henkel) jumped in and the story nearly became viral as it was shared by bloggers and influencers on different platforms. Even with the increasing backlash, the Queue de Cheval owners choose to leave the comment as is.

Is their silence a form of statement in itself? The owners perhaps consider that their well established clientele (after 20 yrs) would not be bothered by the incident and that the social media influence would barely affect them. On the other hand, this is seen as a PR fail and a missed opportunity to attract a different clientele in a city where a new restaurant opens every week.

Customers instantly voice their opinions on social media to congratulate a business or to air their frustrations. The negative reviews are often perceived by small business owners as bashing. Are they right to feel this way? Should they always respond in a politically correct way to these reviews, should they respond at all? 

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