Restaurant owner at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack slams food

Restaurant owner slams amateur food blogger for asking for $100 worth of meals for free just weeks before the establishment is due to close: ‘How is that going to help?’

  • A Melbourne restaurant owner has called out a food ‘influencer’ for freebie ask
  • Katie Marron is the proud owner of Miss Katie’s Crab Shack in the city
  • Devastated by Covid, Ms Marron has been forced to close her restaurant
  • But claims @thebrownkhaleesi asked for $100 free food for a social post
  • The ask was met with derision from Ms Marron given her Covid struggles 

A Melbourne restaurant owner who barely managed to keep her business alive during Covid has hit out at a ‘shameless’ food blogger for requesting $100 worth of free meals in return for social media exposure.

Katie Marron sadly closed the doors of Miss Katie’s Crab Shack on July 29 after nine years, an establishment which gave its thousands of customers dishes like chowder, gumbo – a rich seafood stew – and $1 oysters.

She told her loyal fans that the business would be shuttering on June 14 with a heartbreaking message on Instagram, but that didn’t stop a food blogger who goes by @thebrownkhaleesi – who has since deleted her account – from asking to review the venue before it closed.

‘Hello 🙂 Do you collaborate with food bloggers to come review your venue before you shut down?’ The blogger, who had 10,000 followers, asked Ms Marron.

Katie Marron (pictured) sadly closed the doors of Miss Katie’s Crab Shack on July 29 after nine years, an establishment which gave its thousands of customers dishes like chowder, gumbo – a rich seafood stew – and $1 oysters

In private messages posted to social media by Australian restaurant critic John Lethlean, the restaurant owner asked her what she meant by collaborating (pictured)

In private messages posted to social media by Australian restaurant critic John Lethlean, the restaurant owner asked her what she meant by collaborating (pictured)

In private messages posted to social media by Australian restaurant critic John Lethlean, the restaurant owner asked her what she meant by collaborating, to which the blogger explained: ‘I work with local restaurants and come try some of their popular dishes and create video reels and TikTok content in exchange for a voucher or meals to try.

Ms Marron was seemingly unimpressed by the response.

‘Ok, given the shack will be closing on July 29, could you please explain how this would be beneficial to me and my struggling business that is weeks away from closure due to financial pressure,’ she wrote back.

The blogger replied: ‘No worries, I would be able to ask my followers and promote the restaurant and many people would come. But understand if $100 is a lot [to ask].’

‘After the absolutely crippling couple of years, the hospitality industry has been dragged through, what I would really like to see is people like yourself having a greater understanding for what it takes to put that plate of food on a customer’s table,’ Ms Marron said.

Melbourne endured the world’s longest lockdowns during the Covid pandemic, with no less than six lockdowns totalling 262 days since March 2020.

The blogger replied: 'No worries, I would be able to ask my followers and promote the restaurant and many people would come. But understand if $100 is a lot [to ask]

The blogger replied: ‘No worries, I would be able to ask my followers and promote the restaurant and many people would come. But understand if $100 is a lot [to ask]

The food blogger in question has since deleted her account after receiving backlash

The food blogger in question has since deleted her account after receiving backlash

‘Clearly you’re keen on checking out my restaurant and you’re a fan of hospitality venues so I’d invite you to come and support my business in its final days and pay for a meal in full,’ she continued.

‘Sadly your posts, lovely as they may be, simply won’t pay my bills. Please let me know if you’d like me to book you a table, I’d be more than happy to oblige.’

Plenty of Mr Lethlean’s followers were quick to call out the behaviour, with one saying: ‘Wtf will a review do when it’s shut down? I hate these people.’

 

Ms Marron’s post about her restaurant closing down was received with great sadness in the broader community.

Ms Marron's post about her restaurant closing down was received with great sadness in the broader community

Ms Marron’s post about her restaurant closing down was received with great sadness in the broader community

‘No one could have predicted the rocky road ahead,’ she said in June.

‘Due to the impacts of Covid and rising costs, I have struggled to keep the Shack alive. The landscape of the hospitality industry has shifted and it’s time to re-examine things.

‘I have held on to the Shack for as long as I can as I love her so much, she has served me well.

‘But it’s time for new beginnings. I must embrace change and move in a new direction. It’s time to call it a day.

‘It is with mixed feelings I will be saying farewell to my beloved Crab Shack.’

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Ms Marron for further comment. 

Ms Marron will be back in the form of a new bar called Suzi Cheeks, opening in August. 

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