French Poutine Restaurant Targeted by Poutine Haters Says It Receives 6 Nasty Calls Per Hour
Earlier this month, a chain of poutine restaurants in France took to social media to clarify its lack of ties to “the Russian regime and its boss”, saying it had received “calls from insults and even threats” from people who thought his name meant he was affiliated with Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin translates to Vladimir Putin in French, as both spellings were adapted from Russian Cyrillic spelling.
MTL Blog spoke to La Maison de la Poutine’s director of operations, Paloma Sterzati, about what she called a “disturbing and stressful” experience for staff. Sterzati also provided an update on the current situation.
Can you tell me more about the insults and threats received by the restaurant?
“[We got] telephone threats that we did not take seriously – up to six calls per hour for our restaurant at 11 rue Mandar in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. It’s just annoying and stressful for teams to be interrupted mid-duty by negative and unnecessary calls. There were also people shouting at the staff from the street,” Sterzati said.
She said people who called and yelled at staff would make ‘disparaging remarks about the name of the restaurant, which they thought was sincerely linked to the Russian dictator’ and some people even insisted they change the name of the restaurant as soon as possible. .
“Feedback from our teams [who were working in the restaurants at the time] was a little shocking. We did not expect to be victims of such a misunderstanding. After all, poutine has been Quebec’s signature dish since the 1950s and this is very clearly explained in our restaurants,” said Sterzati.
Did your post on social media help you? How are you now ?
Sterzati said that in addition to posting a clarification on social media, they also posted the message at the entrance to their restaurants. Since then, she said things have calmed down.
“[The insults and threats] really diminished and the teams are reassured. Our main objective was to reassure and protect them, because they are the ones who live with the incivilities of the people who make the connection with the Russian dictator on a daily basis,” Sterzati said.
“We finally received a lot of good feedback and support after posting the clarification message. […] We did not expect so much love and understanding. A huge thank you to the people who took the time to be positive towards us.”
The cover image of this article was used for illustrative purposes only.
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