Lee Skeet was horrified when a group of ‘arrogant’ customers ‘grabbed’ his waitress and refused to tip on their £1,000 bill – so he’s paying her the full amount
Image: Kennedy News/Lee Skeet/Twitter)
A restaurant owner has slammed a group of “arrogant” customers who talked down and “aggressively grabbed” his waitress while refusing to leave a tip on their £1,000 bill – and has vowed to pay her the full amount that the group spent to make up for her mistreatment.
Lee Skeet, who previously worked with Gordon Ramsay but now owns Cora in Cardiff, has said he was approached by his waitress on Wednesday night after the incident involving a group of six “disrespectful” diners.
The group reportedly turned up late for their booking, gulped down seven bottles of wine between them before even starting the first course, and were generally rude all evening – culminating in them “aggressively grabbing” the waitress by the arm while complaining about their food.
When Lee, 35, first heard about the incident he was tempted to contact the lead diner to offer them a refund on their food as they’d complained, but after sending off an email – which he has not received a reply to – he changed his mind.
In his initial message, Lee said he would refund the group £900 of their £1,000 bill, with £100 taken off the top to make up for the tip they refused to leave for their waitress – and asked them never to return to the restaurant .
Kennedy News/Lee Skeet/Twitter)
Kennedy News/Lee Skeet/Twitter)
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Part of his message read: “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 behavior was inappropriate towards [our waitress]who runs the front of house.
“She has told me that – as a 22-year-old girl – she was talked down to, disrespected and touched unintentionally by members of your group.
“I have spent the last hour having conversations with her that break my heart, make me feel like a sh*t employer and a terrible dad having my own daughter.
“Please provide your bank details and I will refund your entire bill of £1,000 minus the £100 that I believe you should have tipped [her] – which I will pay directly to her – as you didn’t leave a tip.
“I would thank you to never come back to my restaurant.
“[She] means a lot more to me than money.”
After sending the email, the furious dad-of-two took to Twitter to rant about the situation and encouraged people to “start calling out rich people who think they can treat people like c**p.”
He said: “We had a table of six come in last night. They turned up late and the second they walked in they were just not very nice – arrogant, rich.
“I’m grateful for every customer we get but they were just d**ks to be honest from the second they got there.
“It’s only me and [the waitress] that work at the restaurant and we’re very close. She’s really just like a daughter figure to me – so I’m very protective and could tell something was the matter.
“When [she] came to me after the shift, she was a bit more upset and told me what they were like and that one of them grabbed her by the arm a bit aggressively.
“It really upset me to be honest – I’ve got a daughter.”
Lee also says he’s now changed his mind about refunding them, and will be paying every penny of the £1,000 they spent at his restaurant directly to the waitress.
He explained: She mentioned a couple of things to me throughout the night, about how they were not being respectful and were talking down to her, and that often happens.
“They were just disrespecting her and behaving like they were better than her. They turned up late, talked to [her] like she was nothing.
“I’ve changed my mind about refunding them. Whatever they spent I’m going to give to [the waitress]I’ll give her £1,000.”
After posting about the incident online, Lee was inundated with supportive comments, with some sharing their own shock at how the hospitality worker was treated.
One person wrote: “As a dad of an 18-year-old front of house server – brilliant care of staff from the employer – well done for calling it out.”
While another added: “Well done mate. Donate the fee to charity if you have to but don’t refund it. They’ll just see it as a getting a free night out.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.