Littleover Lodge Hotel in Derby has emerged unscathed from a social media maelstrom whipped up by ex-head chef Andrew Lambert, who bragged about feeding animal products to vegans, its owner has asserted.
Lambert outraged vegans across the world when he boasted on Instagram that "his personal favourite is feeding vegans animal products without them knowing". As brickbats flew across social media, vegans campaigned for his dismissal and flooded the hotel's review page with critical comments.
Littleover suspended him immediately while it investigated the allegations and sacked him the following day.
The hotel said in a statement: "We have investigated all accusations against Mr Lambert and found no evidence suggesting that any of these practices have taken place within this hotel. However, due to the comments made by Mr Lambert regarding specific dietary requirements, the company has decided to terminate his employment, which has been done forthwith."
The hotel has since replied to every review posted with reassurances and has asked reviewers to amend or delete their comments. As a result, its Facebook feed is now overwhelmingly positive, with users lauding the management for its professionalism, speed of action and response, and decisiveness.
Owner John Crooks said: "In all honesty it has not done us any harm at all as a business. We have now got even more likes than we had before. People have responded very well because we took action."
Littleover now has plans to launch a new vegan menu under incoming head chef Chris Fagan, who will take up the post next week.
Crooks observed that Lambert is a very good chef, but described his response to being wound up by someone online as idiotic.
Lambert's incendiary remarks came in an emotional spat on Tuesday between the chef and a vegan social media user who took exception to a previous post of his. He has subsequently asserted that he has never laced vegan food with animal products and that his comments were made in anger and in response to a militant vegan saying that he would be responsible for the death of his daughter by feeding her animal products.
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