Toronto restaurant faces backlash over vaccine rules


A Toronto restaurant is getting blasted with negative reviews just days after posting on Instagram it will be requesting that unvaccinated diners choose to eat outside.

“We ask respectfully that if you are not vaccinated, that you choose outdoor dining when available,” Oakwood Hardware Food and Drink posted Sunday.

“This is on an honour system, and we would hope that people would understand that the well-being of our staff and clientele combined with the precarious nature of lockdowns have us wary,” restaurant owner Anne Sorrenti wrote.

That has caused a backlash.

“One of our favourite local restaurants is being spammed with bad reviews for encouraging unvaccinated people to sit on the patio when it’s available,” a supporter wrote Tuesday on Instagram.

“They’re not turning people away or encouraging ‘segregation’ as some people are putting it in their reviews. They are literally just asking their customers to make informed choices for the health and safety of the community.”

Restaurants Canada said crafting dining rules is an emerging issue for many members — worried about a future shutdown that could topple their already teetering and damaged businesses.

“They don’t oppose the idea of having different rules for unvaccinated people. It’s just that when it comes to enforcing it, that becomes the issue,” said James Rilett, vice-president of Restaurants Canada.