Why One Restaurant Issued A Heartfelt Statement After A Viral Review

On December 23, 2021, the Ninyo Fusion Restuarant in Quezon Town, the Philippines, posted to Facebook in response to a viral review. The post, captioned, "Here is our official statement in connection to the TikTok post made by one of our customers," went viral. The statement has generated 1,500 comments and 1,600 likes. It's worth mentioning that the page, as of the date of the post, had 60,000 followers. We do not attribute the viral nature of this post to that alone, rather, the humble tone of the letter seemed to appeal to the hearts of followers.

The post begins by objectively explaining the issue, briefly covering it from the moment the video-posting customer entered the premises, to the point they departed. The issue, as per the restauranteur, was that the customer did not get the "Elevations Set Menu" they had pre-booked.

Ninyo, per the Facebook post, reached out directly to the customer when they became aware of the video, offering them the same set menu on the house at a time of their convenience. The restaurant also acknowledged its error in the post, stating, "The truth is we are also imperfect." They then appealed to clientele, asking them to take up issues like these with the establishment in question and allow them to fix problems instead of resorting to platforms like TikTok and posting reviews that are potentially ruinous for business. After all, most people don't know much about running a restaurant, especially the hardships.

How the restaurant's fans reacted

"In a world full of negativities, Let's choose to be kind." was one of the responses to Ninyo's post. It was also the general theme of the 1,500-strong comment string. The prevailing sentiment toward Ninyo was positive, judging by its responses, and the way that the Philippino restaurant handled the review is likely what made the difference.

The global restaurant industry was one of the worst hit sectors during the pandemic, per Global Restaurant Consultant, Aaron Allen. The tolerance shown by patrons of the Quezon Town establishment during this PR crisis may have also been symbolic of the public's sentiment toward businesses that were susceptible to the scourge of Covid. In an interview with Today, CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, Marshall Weston says "They're [the patrons] doing so [supporting their local restaurants] consciously, they don't want to see their favorite restaurants go under, and they don't want to see employees lose their jobs so they're making a conscious effort to go out to eat."

Be that as it may, some showed less tolerance for Ninyo's post. One customer described her experience as "far worse" at the same establishment approximately seven years prior. Another commenter who felt strongly about it summed it up as "Toxic Positivity. Insincere Apology. This is just a pure BS PR Strategy. Damage Control. Gaslighting."

The TikTok that started it all

The aggrieved TikToker starts her video with the words "This is why I will never spend money on Ninyo Fusion Cuisine." She booked her table and meal a year in advance and reserved a spot under the gazebo with a "candle and petal setup" from 8:30 pm to 10 pm. This was all for the celebration of her significant other's birthday.

According to her video, the TikToker had ordered the Elevations Set Menu, which is an eleven-course meal that needs to be prepared at least a day in advance. When she arrived at the restaurant on December 22, 2021, Ninyo Fusion got the table right but her desired restaurant set menu was unavailable, so the waiter offered an alternative, the Paris Set Menu. As the meal was about to be served, per Ninyo's Fusion Restuarant, the woman left the table, and her boyfriend stuck around just long enough to let the waiter know that they wouldn't be dining there that evening. As she elaborates in the TikTok, they put a lot of planning and effort into the event. After leaving Ninyo restaurant they found themselves in traffic, driving around, looking for a place to dine.

Even though the heartfelt public apology by Ninyo's Fusion was well done, it's of no help to the complainant who anticipated a particular celebration there for a full year. It should be noted that, if a very large meal is something you'd enjoy, KFC may offer an eleven-course meal, which you probably don't need a reservation for.