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Nathaniel’s Restaurant in Ontario Sparks Online Inferno

Food, travel and the power of the Internet

One thing I love about traveling is eating. I'm not a foodie, by any stretch of the imagination, but diving into local cuisines is what makes travel so intoxicating. Trouble is, it's often hard to know where to eat when I'm in a strange city. How do you find the local hangouts when you don't know any locals?

Our sister site, Restaurantica, has rescued me from more than one dinning disaster - because it's written by people who actually eat at restaurants. No PR double-speak or trumped up claims. It's honest, accurate and gives me the information I need quickly.

Stacy FearnallStacy FearnallThis past weekend Restaurantica has seen an influx of outraged visitors. The owner of Nathaniel's, in Owen Sound, Ontario (it's been on Restaurantica since 2005) fired an employee because she shaved her head to raise money for cancer.

Stacy Fearnall, the 36-year-old waitress, was told she can come back to work when her hair grows back. The owner, Dan Hilliard, maintains this is an internal staffing issue and is shocked at the situation. Nathaniel's, once an upscale and respected restaurant (with great online ratings) is very, very quiet.

Other local restaurants are reaping the rewards though.

"[Hilliard] says he didn't fire her but just gave her a leave of absence for the summer, but her story is that she got fired," says Frank Kosmerly, who owns nearby Captain John's Fish & Chips. "I wouldn't fire [an employee] for giving to charity," said Kosmerly. "I'd encourage it."

Would you visit Nathaniel's after an incident like this? Do you think it's an internal issue or something that restaurant-goers should know about?

If you have an opinion, visit the Restaurantica Blog and leave your comment. Full disclosure: Restaurantica has committed $5,000 to Cops for Cancer in support of Stacey Fearnall over the next 3 weeks.

Talk back, girlfriends and let us know what you think of Stacey Fearnall and her lay off.

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