Case 346 – Café refuse to serve customer in outside dining area


A waitress refused to serve the enquirer who was sitting in the outside area of the café because it was raining. The enquirer wrote and complained to customer services who advised that she was not served because on the day of her visit, the outside dining area of the restaurant was not open and the team were not able to allow customers to sit and dine in that area. They stated that for health and safety reasons, each section of the restaurant must be looked after and served by an allocated waiter or waitress. Staffing numbers did not allow for the outdoor area to be open.

Panel opinion

This is a very clear cut example of very poor customer service disguised with the all too easy “health and safety” excuse. If restaurants want to close off seating areas they should put up clear signs to this effect not use lame excuses when someone sits there and they are unwilling to serve them.

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