Restaurant patron banned for complaining too much, asked to 'kindly refrain from visiting' in letter from owners
A woman in Wales has been banned from her favorite restaurant after complaining too much about the food and service.
Kelly Smith and her 8-year-old child loved to frequent the Beefeater steakhouse in Coldra. She said the food was usually excellent, her son was a big fan of their garlic bread, and she liked the discounts available through their reward program, the South Wales Argus reports.
But despite her positive description of the restaurant, Smith apparently complained on multiple occasions to Beefeater staff, which resulted in the company’s owners, Whitbread, sending her a letter asking her to stop coming.
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"We believe as the Coldra, Beefeater are so clearly unable to meet your requirements in terms of the food quality and the level of service provided, that it would be appropriate if you would kindly refrain from visiting the restaurant in future," the letter read, per the Argus.
Smith said she “couldn’t believe it” when she got the note, though she admitted to complaining a “handful of times” over the last few months. “I was livid. Surely, it's my right to complain?” she said.
"I've complained because the steaks weren't cooked as well as I would like, and once I waited over an hour for a meal,” she added. "Another time my son’s burger was too tough for him to enjoy. The staff have always been great and every time they've offered a refund or another meal, it's not something I've ever asked for," Smith said.
One of the reasons Smith loved going to Beefeater was because of the welcoming staff, whom she said never mentioned anything to her about the complaining. Instead, they were “keeping tabs on her” and hanging onto her receipts for reference.
“I don't understand why no spoke to me, rather than just banning me from the restaurant," she said.
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A spokesperson for Beefeater issued the following statement to the Argus: “On the past six out of seven visits Miss Smith has complained in order to receive a refund on her meal. Our team work very hard to provide all our guests with a welcoming and enjoyable experience; however, it has become evident that we are unable to meet Miss Smith’s particular requirements.”