The chef bans rude dinners from the restaurant and gives the staff Bill’s money
It goes without saying that wealth does not give someone carte blanche to treat people as they wish, especially those in service positions, but sometimes people need reminders. While bad or permitted behavior happens all too often, a chef called in a group of diners who racked up a high bill at his restaurant but treated a member of his staff poorly.
Lee Skeet is a chef at Cora, in Cardiff, UK, and he recently shared an email he wrote to one of the people in the group. Diners spent $1,200 on the dinner — the most his restaurant had seen — but that didn’t stop him from speaking out for his colleague.
Skeet posted a screenshot of the email in his tweet. “Expensive [redacted], first I wanted to thank you for choosing my restaurant for your meal tonight, and I understand that you had the biggest bill we have ever had on a table here,” he wrote. “Unfortunately throughout the evening I was informed that your group’s behavior was inappropriate towards Lily who runs the venue. She told me that as a 22 year old girl she had been despised, despised and touched in an undesirable way by the members of your group.
The chef didn’t stop there and explained the toll this had on Lily. “I’ve spent the last hour having conversations with her that break my heart, make me feel like a shitty employer and a terrible father, having my own daughter,” he said. Skeet then offered to refund the bill – minus £100 (about $123) which he said should have gone to Lily. Because, to make matters worse, the band didn’t leave a tip.
Skeet makes it clear that he doesn’t want to host this group again. “I would thank you for never coming back to my restaurant. Lily means a lot more to me than money. I also think you should evaluate the people you surround yourself with.
The chef wrote the letter shortly after the guests left. After sleeping on it, however, he decided he wasn’t going to refund their money and instead transferred the whole thing to Lily.
Being in the restaurant industry is hard enough without recent challenges including the pandemic, staff shortages, and supply chain issues. Skeet’s actions are a powerful reminder that people in service positions don’t deserve the bad behavior that bosses, in positions of power, feel they can inflict on them.
People on Twitter applauded Skeet for standing up for her staff. “[I] I’m a cook” one person tweeted. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found one of our foh [front of house] in tears because of such behavior. Cheer. Many forget that this is someone’s child and most likely their first job. Their first job should be the one that sets them up. Not where they were abused.
Chef Lee Skeet of Cora Restaurant has defended his staff member who was treated badly by a group of wealthy diners.
I am not hunting or looking for likes.
I just think we should start calling out the rich who think they can treat people like shit pic.twitter.com/sN5wplXDed
— (@leeskeet) May 4, 2022
After initially offering to refund diners their money (minus £100 for tip which they never left), Skeet reconsidered and gave Lily the full amount.
On reflection, I reacted too quickly and emotionally last night. Sorry, I was a little angry and protective.
I will not refund the customer’s money.
I instead kept it and transferred it to lily x pic.twitter.com/in1rsnNNsQ
— (@leeskeet) May 5, 2022
People applauded Skeet, including other chefs.
Am a chef. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve found one of our foh in tears over behavior like this. Cheer. Many forget that this is someone’s child and most likely their first job. Their first job should be the one that sets them up. Not where they were abused
— Toddy Westropp (@ToddyWestropp) May 5, 2022
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