Ethical Eating

What if you knew that the owners of the restaurant where you just enjoyed a terrific meal, yelled at and belittled the staff on a daily basis? 

What if they held back tips and made the servers do humiliating things?  What if they told them that under no circumstances whatsoever are they to give away gift certificates as an apology for a spilled drink or mixed-up order and then, in front of a fuming customer, berated them for not giving out a certificate, as if the server was simply being stubborn?  Would you still enjoy or even patronize that place?

We won’t. I can’t tell you the name of the establishment because the satisfaction of writing an expose would be trumped by the inconvenience of a lawsuit.  They also advertise in several media including radio, and I have grown rather fond of eating and paying the mortgage.  However a relative of ours recently worked at this place until she simply couldn’t take the unfairness mixed with humiliation anymore.  And as much as I enjoyed their fare, we will never eat it again.  The place is run like a sweatshop with a howling, stressed-out manager who routinely screams at the servers, “You don’t like it?  I can replace you in a minute!”  She hoards their hard-earned tips and treats them terribly. 

I think that if more people knew how miserably the staff were treated, they would go elsewhere.  One can only hope that word will get around and the place will implode because of its own inner hostility.  I can’t possibly know what it’s like to work at every restaurant we go to but I know about this one and that’s enough to make me stick a fork in the possiblity of ever eating there again.

5 thoughts on “Ethical Eating”

  1. Can you tell us whether it’s part of a chain, or an independent place in London?

  2. Y’know… you could always just pass along the info on those websites that rate restaurants. I’m sure you don’t need to put your full name.

  3. It’s not a chain. It’s a one-off location. Good idea about the ratings. It galls me that these people are so rotten to their staff, who are still so nice to their customers!

  4. There is a restaurant near me that has a similar attitude toward their staff and a poor attitude toward customers as well on occasion. We have been spreading the word by mouth, a great technique for advertising quality or poor quality. Everyone who mentions going out to dinner is informed that a couple of women were asked to leave because they had sat there too long, although the place was NOT busy. All of the staff that we used to know there have found other jobs working for reasonable people and so we continue our non-ad campaign one person at a time and ask them to spread the word. It must be working because a second restaurant by the same owner opened & closed within a few months.

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