korean village toronto

Popular Toronto restaurant snaps back at angry one-star Google review

A restaurant that's one of the oldest and most popular in the city had to clap back at a negative one-star review recently.

Korean Village owner Jason Lee posted a negative review to social media along with his response, saying "I took your review so personally, I just let it consume me."

He was so upset with the review mainly because it contains inaccurate information: the reviewer was angry because they said they came on a Tuesday at 1 p.m., then changed it to Saturday at 1 p.m., though both couldn't have possibly been correct since the restaurant is only closed on Mondays.

Korean Village is an anchor of Toronto's Koreatown and has been in business since 1978, and serves classic dishes like mandu, table BBQ and bibimbap.

"Today is the only day of the week that my wife and I can enjoy," reads Lee's caption to his post of the review. "Sadly, we made two trips today due to inventory and buying supplies for the week. We are used to being here 7 days a week."

He goes on to say in the caption that he has camera footage to dispute the hours the restaurant was open, that "people like you are cancers to the restaurant industry" and that "I hope someone buys you a calendar so you know the days of the week."

"The reason why I am posting this is because I let this review bother me, and it ruined my entire day. I actually spent time calling Google to report this review, went back and forth with the person who left the review, and now it's almost midnight," the caption continues.

"I realized that we all have to be kinder and more compassionate towards one another. To the person who left this review, I am sorry for lashing out. I took your review so personally, I just let it consume me, and I was actually thinking of ways to hurt your feelings."

Lee tells blogTO he replies to as many reviews as he can, positive or negative.

"Google reviews are important to small businesses especially restaurants. There are so many options to choose from and people read these reviews and base their decision to visit us because of online reviews," says Lee. 

"I know this because often I ask our guests how they heard about us. It is either word of mouth, passed by and decided to just walk in (very rare), and lastly, reading Google reviews."

Any action he tried to take with Google didn't seem to help much, but Lee is grateful for the support he's gotten following posting the review, with lots of people leaving positive comments on the social media post about it.

"I contacted Google, and flagged the review, but they seem to side with users. Hoping they would help was pointless. I wasted my time calling them and emailing them," says Lee.

"The outpouring of support and love from our other guests has been tremendous. Really touching. I just ask people to be kind to each other. The restaurant industry has taken such a beating. Please try to be more understanding. These reviews have an impact on businesses."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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