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Chef returns $1,200 after rich diner 'disrespected' his waitress, bans them from restaurant

Lily, a waitress, was left in tears after a group of entitled diners disrespected and touched her unwantedly.

Chef returns $1,200 after rich diner 'disrespected' his waitress, bans them from restaurant
Cover Image Source: Twitter | @leeskeet

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on May 6, 2022. It has since been updated.

A chef has called out a group of rich diners for misbehaving with the waitress and banned them from returning to the restaurant. Lee Skeet, who works as a chef at Cora, in Cardiff, U.K., shared an email written to the entitled diner on Twitter and wrote, "I just think we should start calling out rich people who think they can treat people like crap." The group of diners had racked up the highest bill at his restaurant—$1,200—but it didn't deter Skeet from calling them out and backing his co-worker who was harassed by the group. At a time when employees are leaving their jobs over toxic work environments and bosses, Skeet showed what an exemplary workplace looks like. 



"Dear xxxxxxx, 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 Lily, who runs front-of-house," started the email. "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."



Skeet explained that she was left scarred by the experience. "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 £1000 minus £100 that I believe you should have tipped lily, which I will pay directly to her, as you left no tip. I would thank you to never come back to my restaurant. Lily means a lot more to me than money. I also think you should assess the people you surround yourself with Lee," he concluded.  



Chef Lee Skeet eventually announced that the rich diners didn't deserve to have their bill refunded and decided to give the bill of $1,200 to Lily. "On reflection, I reacted too quickly and emotionally last night. Sorry, I was a little bit angry and protective. I’m not going to refund the customer’s money. I’ve instead kept it and transferred to Lily x," he tweeted. Restaurant Cora serves just 12 guests in an intimate dining room, showcasing the best quality seasonal produce available each day. The guests are served a set tasting menu. Skeet has previously worked for Gordon Ramsay and made headlines in 2017 when he was almost killed after being crushed by a crane. A lorry carrying a crane mounted the pavement and crushed Skeet's leg. The lorry narrowly missed hitting his son who was in a stroller.



The chef was lauded for backing his employee. One Twitter user wrote, "Oh my employer that just touched my heart. Lee, I dont know you, may even never get the opportunity to meet you but know the world would have been a better place if all of us could have been like you." Another chef chimed in praising Skeet. "I am a chef. Can’t tell you the amount of times I have found one of our front-of-house in tears because of behavior like this. Bravo. Many forget that this is someone’s child and it is quite possibly her first job. Their first job should be one that sets them up," they wrote. Another added, "So happy to see an employer stand up so fiercely and unwaveringly for a member of their team. I do hope they had the good grace and respect to do as you asked. I hope Lily is okay after that dreadful experience and if I’m ever in Cardiff I will most definitely come to Cora."

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