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‘Children should eat what they are given’ - Norwich restaurateur defends TripAdvisor takedowns

PUBLISHED: 16:37 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:05 08 September 2018

Mario Luchai, owner of Trattoria Rustica responded to a Trip Advisor review criticising them for not having a children's menu by telling them 'no restaurant in Rome has chicken nuggets' Credit: Louisa Baldwin

Mario Luchai, owner of Trattoria Rustica responded to a Trip Advisor review criticising them for not having a children's menu by telling them 'no restaurant in Rome has chicken nuggets' Credit: Louisa Baldwin

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A Norwich restaurant owner has defended his comebacks to negative reviews and is fed up of customers who wait to criticise until they go online.

Mario Luchai has owned Trattoria Rustica in Princes Street for the last 25 years and puts his ‘heart and soul’ into the business.

But when recent reviews slated the family-run restaurant, Mr Luchai didn’t hold back as the diners questioned the authenticity of his business.

One reviewer called the restaurant ‘tatty and muddled’ and said that the ‘overworked staff are not Italian.’

Mr Luchai was not having any of it and responded on the website.

Trattoria Rustica Credit: Louisa BaldwinTrattoria Rustica Credit: Louisa Baldwin

“This review is discriminatory and inaccurate, my daughter who was serving that evening is a 100% ITALIAN, sorry if her English is not PERFECT, I can assure you that she is not overworked.

“Please let me know if we need to show our Italian ID every time a customer comes in.”

READ MORE: ‘No restaurant in Rome has chicken nuggets’ – Norwich restaurant owner blasts TripAdvisor critic

A later review also hit out at the established restaurant for having ‘no kids menu’ and being told ‘each person had to order a main.’

Mr Luchai again didn’t take kindly to the negative review.

Inside Trattoria Rustica Credit: Louisa BaldwinInside Trattoria Rustica Credit: Louisa Baldwin

“I’m afraid no small family Restaurant can survive on four people sharing one main course.

“We can assure you no restaurant in Rome has a child menu or chicken nuggets.”

Mr Luchai has defended his responses to both reviews and insists that when things go wrong ‘they put their hands up’ but he should be able to reply when the posts are unfair and inaccurate.

“We’re the oldest Italian family-run restaurant in Norwich and we take feedback well and when something is not right we try and make it better without destroying the dish.

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“But when people leave bad reviews it offends my staff, family and customers as we work hard and otherwise we wouldn’t have been open so long.

“When they said we are not Italian it is very discriminatory, I have staff from all over the world and when you go to an Italian restaurant you shouldn’t think that everyone has to be Italian.

“They said my daughter wasn’t Italian just because she has an English accent as she was born here but if they would have spoken to her in Italian she would have done.”

Mr Luchai thinks there is no need for children’s menu as they should just eat the same as adults.

“In Italy we cook one thing in the house and children eat it to, we offer dishes like lasagne and spaghetti and there is no need for a children’s menu.

READ MORE: Norfolk bistro named best local restaurant in UK

“Children should eat vegetables and healthily and not be treated like pets with their own food.

“Lots of stuff parents give to children like chicken nuggets I wouldn’t even give to my dog.

“They should eat what they are given and if it’s too big then they can share it.”

He has also defended the restaurant’s position to require customers to order a main course as they are ‘not a social club.’

“Sometimes we have people coming in as a group of four and sharing one pizza and one time we had a group of 15 ordering 10 garlic breads - it’s a business after all.”

He also wishes customers would address the problem at the time instead of going online.

“When things go wrong we put our hands up but if something is wrong you should tell them in the restaurant - don’t eat everything then post a negative review online.”

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