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A content creator reached out to a restaurant owner saying she wanted to "try out" his meals in exchange for publicity on social media, and was slammed in a scathing public response.
Food blogger Elle Groves, who runs the food account @twoteaspoons along with her friend Annie Knight, direct messaged John Lethlean on Instagram asking if he was interested in collaborating.
The message read, "Hey guys! My friend and I have a food page together - @twoteaspoons - and saw your restaurant and thought it looked amazing! We would love to come and try it out in exchange for some stories on our personal accounts, and a post and stories on our food page accounts."
"Would you guys be interested in doing this collab? If not, we completely understand. We can't wait to hear from you xxx," Groves added.
He continued, "I've decided to take the high road and explain a few things to you in the hope that you'll learn something and become a better person. Reaching out blind to a venue you know nothing about looking for free stuff is a s****y enough thing to do in the best of times. But it's even worse when Covid is still very much a thing, affecting small businesses like us devastatingly for two years now."
Lethlean went on to share that the message "triggered" him after the pandemic forced him to pick up another job on his days off to ensure his rent and staff were paid.
On Instagram, the owner was praised for the way he handled the situation.
"That is an excellent and reasonable response," wrote one person.
"How good is the response. Words that speak for an industry on it knees. Kudos to whoever penned this," read another comment.
In a statement to the Daily Mail Australia, Groves and her friend Annie said that their page was designed to help small businesses by promoting them further.
"We have never asked companies for free food, it is always left open to them to what they want to offer. We have dined at 99 percent of restaurants featured on our page paying full price," they said.
They added: "We only wanted to offer this professional exchange based off the amazing feedback we received from the companies that approached us. We always have the restaurants interest at heart and have a huge passion for food and the experiences it brings."
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