On Sunday, 5 September 2021, Mentai-Ya Japanese Cuisine posted a video comprising a slideshow of screenshots linking Deon Goh of Ishiro giving Mentai-Ya and other F&B establishments various one-star reviews and nasty comments on their outlets’ Google and Facebook review pages.
Upon further investigation by the marketing agency they work closely with, Mentai-Ya then posted another video on Tuesday, 7 September 2021. This time, a slideshow of screenshots revealing names, mobile numbers, and Facebook accounts coincidentally link them back to being owners/employees of Ishiro.
The boon and bane of the internet, huh? A quick Google search was all it needed to shine a light on the perpetrators. Here’s where it gets intriguing; on Wednesday, 8 September 2021, Ishiro supposedly posted a statement on their company’s Instagram page which wasn’t well-received by Mentai-Ya.
However, a quick trip to Ishiro’s Instagram page will show that they removed that statement and re-posted another statement; apologising to Mentai-Ya and all businesses that were affected by the ‘troll’.
That’s not all, other businesses started coming out on the same day Ishiro posted their statement and called Ishiro out for their unethical doings. Namely, muslim-owned The Social Outcast (TSO).
TSO, previously located at Bedok Marketplace, was a neighbouring stall of Ishiro. TSO posted screenshots of what Ishiro had done to them during their time at Bedok Marketplace on their Instagram stories.
Similar to Mentai-Ya, TSO also faced a slew of rude reviews on Google. Additionally, they were also faced with derogatory remarks like calling TSO’s chef, ‘yalam’—which is ‘Malay’ spelt backwards (for those who’re unaware, ‘yalam‘ is a slur used against people of Malay descent in Singapore). Ishiro also placed bulk orders worth S$100 with TSO two times, only for the food to be returned back to TSO due to a no-show. However, as stated above, there was no food wastage (bonus points for saving the environment, guys).
TSO was also blocked by Ishiro on Instagram minutes after calling them out. Hmm, what’s going on?
We reached out and had a quick chat with Mint (Owner & Chef) and Noelle (Co-founder) from The Social Outcast and here’s what they have to say:
Sonia: How long did Ishiro’s harassment last?
Noelle: To be frank, we didn’t think it would be from any sort of business owners, especially ones from the F&B industry. We were shocked as Ishiro was our neighbour back when we were at Bedok Marketplace and they were right under our noses. It all began about two months ago when we were featured on Oddle Eats’ #HumansOfFnB segment on Facebook. The ‘trolls’ appeared on the comment section of the video and called us really nasty names. Then they went over to TSO’s Facebook review page and went on to “pranking” us on the Grab platform. Honestly, we thought we were the only ones who were targeted and didn’t think much about the ‘trolls’.
S: Did TSO leave Bedok Marketplace due to the harassment faced?
N: No, the relocation and rebranding are a part of our current pipeline.
S: In the comment section of Ishiro’s latest Instagram post, they mentioned that they have reached out to TSO and apologised. Is it true?
N: It is true, we did receive a message from them however, you be the judge if it’s an apology (an image of the apology text will not be included due to a breach of privacy). Also, we copied and pasted their apology into the comment section of their Instagram post but it was removed within minutes.
S: In your opinion, what do you think owners and employees should do to upkeep the peace between businesses especially during turbulent times due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation?
N: A good collaboration network between the businesses will be a great start! I’d also like to add that it doesn’t matter if you’re of the young or old demographic of Grab riders or drivers or business owners because we are all affected during these trying times. I hope we can all work together and give each other as much support as possible to get out of this situation, stronger. For now, we are just focusing on relaunching our outlet at The Grandstand and hope to see all of our kind supporters over the years there!
Moral of the story; karma works in mysterious ways. Be kind—it’s free.
*We also reached out to Ishiro for their comments but they couldn’t get back to us in time for the publishing of this article.
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