VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A social media post is damaging business at a Virginia Beach restaurant, but the owner and loyal customers say there’s been a mistake.
The photo causing the stir shows a man cutting meat on the ground of a parking lot behind a shopping center.
Turns out, the photo doesn’t depict the Virginia Beach restaurant at all.
On Sunday, a Facebook user posted the photo, alleging it was taken at the Jade Garden on General Booth Boulevard. As people began rapidly sharing the post, loyal customers noticed something about the photo was very wrong.
“As soon as I saw it at 8 o’clock in the morning the other day I was like, that doesn’t look like our shopping center,” said Kent VonFecht, the owner of Lendy’s Sports Bar in the same plaza. “I saw a gas line coming up out of the ground, there was a dumpster up close to the building and none of that matches this shopping center.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the misleading post had almost 6,000 shares and counting.
The owner says it’s caused business to drop by 50 percent. And as the shares go up, the damage gets worse.
“We got a lot of phone calls from customers really frustrated and upset and we got yelled at,” said Zhao Guang Chen, the owner of Jade Garden. “They just call and don’t even listen to us for explanation and this really impacts our business really bad.”
After more than three decades serving this community, Jade Garden has an army of loyal customers.
They’re fighting back.
Some amateur sleuthing reveled the picture came from a news article about a restaurant in Georgia.
“If I saw anybody talking about it, I hit them with the proper link,” VonFecht said. “Look, this is where it is, either delete or correct yourself.”
Loyal customers also called 10 On Your Side.
“I called WAVY 10 because I figured they would be able to do something about it and set the story straight instead of letting the false information keep circulating,” customer Steven Browning said.
“Whoever posted it, shame on you. Hopefully you can provide an apology to them. And anybody out there, just because you read it on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s true,” said VonFecht. “Just check the information you see before you share it, make sure it’s true.”