Chef pays £1,000 bill to waitress after wealthy party 'treated her like cr*p'
An angry chef has hit out at "rich people who think they can treat people like cr*p" after they treated his waitress inappropriately, and transferred their £1,000 bill to her as an apology.
Lee Skeet said the diners had acted inappropriately to his front of house manager, talking down to her, disrespecting her, and grabbing her arm aggressively.
Skeet, who runs Cora in Cardiff, described how the party of six had arrived half an hour late and had drunk seven bottles of wine by the time they had their first course, before going on to complain and behave inappropriately.
In an email to them shared on social media, he initially offered to refund them the £1,000 minus a £100 tip that they had refused to leave, saying "never come back to my restaurant".
But he later changed his mind, deciding to transfer the full sum of £1,000 to his 22-year-old front of house manager, who he described as: "a credit to our restaurant and to herself".
Sharing his initial email on Twitter, Skeet wrote: "I'm not clout chasing or looking for likes, I just think we should start calling out rich people who think they can treat people like cr*p."
In the email, the chef said: "I wanted to firstly thank you for choosing my restaurant for your meal tonight, and I understand you had the biggest bill we've ever had on one table here. Unfortunately throughout the evening I was made aware that your party's behaviour was inappropriate towards , who runs front of house.
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"She has told me that - as a 22-year-old girl - she was talked down to, disrespected and touched unwantedly by members of your group.
"I have spent the last hour having conversations with her that break my heart, make me feel like a s**t employer and a terrible dad having my own daughter."
He added: "Please provide your bank details and I will refund your entire bill of £1,000 minus £100 that I believe you should have tipped **** - which I will pay directly to her - as you left no tip.
"I would thank you to never come back to my restaurant. **** means a lot more to me than money. I also think you should assess the people you surround yourself with."
His tweet went viral, garnering support online, including from celebrity TV and radio host and restaurant critic Jay Rayner.
On reflection I reacted too quickly and emotionally last night. Sorry I was a little bit angry and protective.
I’m not going to refund the customer’s money.
I’ve instead kept it and transferred to lily x 😅 pic.twitter.com/in1rsnNNsQ
— 𝕃𝕖𝕖 𝕊𝕜𝕖𝕖𝕥 (@leeskeet) May 5, 2022
But Skeet later added: "On reflection I reacted too quickly and emotionally last night. Sorry I was a little bit angry and protective. I’m not going to refund the customer’s money. I’ve instead kept it and transferred to lily x."
Sharing a screenshot of his transfer to his employee, with the reference: "Soz m8", Skeet added: "She is a credit to our restaurant and to herself."