Restaurant owner bans customers who ‘disrespected’ waitress and gives $1,200 bill they paid to her

A chef has banned a group of wealthy diners from returning to his restaurant after they disrespected and harassed one of his employees.

Lee Skeet, the owner of Cora restaurant in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, shared screenshots of the email he had written to the rude customers on Twitter.

His post, which has garnered 14.3K retweets and 132.3K likes, said: “I’m not clout chasing or looking for likes. I just think we should start calling out rich people who think they can treat people like cr*p.”

Chef Lee Skeet, owner of Cora restaurant

Scribbling out the addressee’s name in the letter, Lee wrote that the diner and his group ran up “the biggest bill we’ve ever had on one table here.”

While that was a good thing for his business, Lee learned that it was a different story for Lily, the employee who served them.

“Unfortunately throughout the evening I was made aware that your party’s behavior was inappropriate towards lily, who runs front of house,” the chef said.

Lee Skeet and Lily

Lily, 22, had told him she was “talked down to, disrespected, and touched unwantedly” by the members of the group.

“I have spent the last hour having conversations with her that break my heart, make me feel like a s**t employer, and a terrible dad having my own daughter,” he continued.

He asked the diner for his bank information so he could refund their entire bill of £1,000, deducting the £100 that Lee believed they should have tipped Lily because they actually didn’t leave her anything at all.

Lee Skeet's email to the rude customer

Lee also asked them to never come back to the restaurant.

“Lily means a lot more to me than money,” he concluded. “I also think you should assess the people you surround yourself with.”

People on Twitter praised Lee for being a good employer, with some suggesting that he shouldn’t refund the money.

Upon reflecting, Lee realized they had a point. He made a follow-up tweet the next day to explain that he “reacted too quickly and emotionally.” With that, he decided not to refund the customer’s money and transferred it to Lily instead.

Lee’s tweet included a screenshot of a bank transfer of £1,000 to Lily, whose full name is Elisabeth Griffin.

Lee Skeet's email to the rude customer

If you aren’t familiar with Lee, he is a renowned chef who has worked with Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing, and Tom Aikens. Cora, which opened in January this year, is the first restaurant he has owned.

In February, he managed to raise £30,862 on Kickstarter to buy a commercial kitchen for the restaurant. Lee previously used domestic equipment to whip up meals for diners, including “a small oven held together with duct tape.”

“I have an incredible, very small front of house team consisting of the excellent Lily who’s just 21 and runs the show, myself when I have a spare moment to serve, and we’re sometimes helped by my incredibly supportive partner Hannah when she isn’t at her full time career!” he wrote on the Kickstarter page.

You may have also heard about Lee a few years ago in the news. In 2017, he was almost killed in a hit-and-run accident involving a truck carrying a crane.

The dining area of Cora restaurant

“By the time I saw the lorry coming at us I could pretty much touch it,” he told Wales Online. “I just panicked and pushed my son as hard as I could. He was on wheels, luckily, before the lorry hit me. It just completely wiped me out into a wall.”

The driver sped away but was arrested hours later and pleaded guilty. He lost his license due to the crime.

Lee’s son, Jackson, suffered minor injuries, but his dad’s leg was completely crushed. But through rehabilitation, Lee was able to walk again.

Kudos to Lee for being an excellent and compassionate employer! His workplace is indeed fortunate to have him.

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