Do you believe the words “The customer is always right”?

These words, no matter how attractive, can give other people the license to be rude to service staff. People in service are already overworked and underpaid in some places so the least we could do as customers is to be kind.

 

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A post shared by Cora (@cora.restaurant)

In a restaurant in the UK, however, a chef refused to give in to the age-old proverb. For him, it’s more than just keeping customers happy. It’s all about protecting family.

Any restaurant would’ve been happy if they closed the night with the largest bill ever.

But not Lee Skeet, chef and owner of Cora Restaurant in Cardiff. Their main concern was a group of rich customers who turned out to be arrogant, and disrespectful.

 

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Skeet narrated the incident on his Instagram account. The text post has since received almost 3,000 likes.

 

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A post shared by Cora (@cora.restaurant)

“I wanted to firstly thank you for choosing my restaurant for your meal tonight,” he began, “And I understand you had the biggest bill we’ve ever had one table here.”

Then, he shared how badly these people treated his staff.

“Unfortunately, throughout the evening, I was made aware that your party’s behavior was inappropriate towards Lily, who runs front of the house.”

Elisabeth Griffiths, known as Lily to her family and friends, went up to Skeet and was more upset than usual. She then recalled to Skeet what happened throughout the night, including an incident where she was grabbed by the arm a bit aggressively.

Skeet, even if he ended up with a £1,100 bill, refused to take the matter sitting down.

“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.” he continued in his Instagram post.

“I have spent the last hour having conversations with her that break my heart, make me feel like a shit employer, and a terrible dad having my own daughter.” he said.

At first, Skeet offered to refund the party.

He made it clear that he’d rather not have them as customers, no matter how rich they were if they were just going to treat other people badly. He also shared that the party didn’t even tip Lily.

Then, he backtracked on his statements and instead gave what he think the party deserved. Afterall, £1,100 isn’t a small amount.

In a follow-up post, he instead kept the money and gave it all to Lily.

“On reflection, I reacted too quickly and emotionally last night. Sorry I was a little bit angry and protective.” he said in the post, “I’m not going to refund the customer’s money. I’ve instead kept it and transferred to Lily.”

Griffiths was thankful for Skeet’s action and admitted that she has come to respect him more. She shared with Mirror that it’s about time that employers stand up for their staff when customers become disrespectful.

The company where the party was from started an investigation.

“The independent directors have therefore initiated a formal investigation. While it is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further.” Ince, the law firm where the customers worked, said to Mirror.

In the meantime, Skeet asked for their party to never come back to his restaurant ever again.

Maybe we should change the proverb into “The customer isn’t always right”.

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