High-end downtown steakhouse La Queue de Cheval and owner Peter Morentzos are no strangers to drama, between too much swearing in the kitchen, and creating an advertisement comparing women to cuts of beef. And now — more drama, after the restaurant allegedly dropped the ball while catering to a group of social media “influencers” and other personalities.
To set the stage — a conference called Influence Mtl took place over the weekend, featuring various successful entrepreneurs as speakers, and directed towards budding business magnates, and so-called “influencers” — people with a large social media following, who likely talk about “branding” a lot. Those holding the most expensive ticket (a paltry $1199) were entitled to a lunch at La Queue de Cheval (QDC). Problem is, a number of the 50-odd lunch guests say they never got their lunch, leading one of them — Breakfast Television host Catherine Verdon-Diamond to write the following complaint on QDC’s Facebook.
That’s just the first part — somebody, under the QDC Facebook account (there’s no telling if it’s Morentzos or someone else at the restaurant) wrote a rambling response to Verdon-Diamond, full of excuses and accusations like “YOU DON’T KNOW US”, “WE WERE BUSY”, “WE’VE CATERED TO MORE FAMOUS PEOPLE THAN YOU”, and “YOU’RE ON TV SO YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER”.
The only vaguely reasonable point QDC makes is that it’s hard to accommodate a large group if they all show up late — an hour late, the QDC poster says. Too bad Verdon-Diamond says she was there at 11:45 a.m. — 15 minutes late — and any restaurant that has catered a large should know that the likelihood of every guest being seated and ready to eat at the exact moment of the reservation is practically nil. Presumably, QDC also knew about the lunch group well in advance, and would have had time to prepare, so the “we were busy” excuse seems a little thin.
Verdon-Diamond’s review opened the floodgates, and a variety of others (including guests at the lunch) then jumped in to criticize QDC.
While it’s a little eyeroll-worthy that the tone of some complaints seems to be “how could VIPs be treated so poorly?” (it’s not like this was a royal visit to QDC), flubbing a lunch for 50 people is not ideal, and in this case it’s made worse by the fact that many guests are hyperactive users of social media.
To wrap it all up, former MTL Blog writer Irina Terehova then penned an article full of the nuance and restraint that MTL Blog is known for — “La Queue De Cheval Could Be The Worst Restaurant In Montreal”.
So who comes out of this circus looking worst? Verdon-Diamond’s initial complaint was totally fair, and while others who jumped in might have been a little self-important, QDC loses this one for the “NUH UH, IT’S YOUR FAULT, NO BACKSIES” reply to an angry hornets’ nest of “influencers”.