A chef who gave the proceeds of a £1,000 bill to a staff member subjected to “inappropriate behaviour” from a table of rich diners says the last days have “been hell”.
Last week Lee Skeet, who runs Cora in Cardiff, called out the rich party of six who racked up the largest bill seen at the restaurant.
Once they left staff member Lily O'Connor, who runs the front of house, revealed how she had been “disrespected, touched unwantedly and talked down to” by the group, WalesOnline reports.
Mr Skeet, who trained under Gordon Ramsay and previously worked at a Michelin-starred restaurant in London, sent an email to the group making clear his disgust at their behaviour.
The chef says he and his staff member have "been through hell"
He initially offered to refund them the £1,000 they had paid for their food and drinks, keeping £1000 as a tip for his staff member for putting up with them.
He has now decided she should keep the entire bill.
Posting an update on Instagram he wrote: “Bit of a whirlwind few days and definitely the hardest of my work life by a million miles.
The email sent by Lee Skeet to the diners
“Since our drama at the restaurant [she] has hit the news all over the world, rightly so. It’s been hell for us both but I couldn’t be more proud of how [she] has handled herself.
"She’s talked confidently and with class to countless journalists on TV and radio, whilst not missing a minute of running the restaurant to the highest level. I’ve just hidden away and cooked.
“This has all happened because of her class and integrity and I’m in awe of the young woman she is.
Mr Skeet emailed the diners
Mr Skeet sent Lily the money
“You are literally an inspiration to so many people.
“Well done mate.”
Huge support has been shared online for Mr Skeet and his restaurant’s response to the incident over the past few days.
One person wrote: “Well done guys. It must have been tough for you but you have done the right thing and made a stand for honesty and integrity.
Mr Skeet returned the largest bill his restaurant has ever received
“Massive respect and admiration for both of you.”
Meanwhile another poster wrote: “Good for you! Shame on the arrogance of the wealthy, privileged, ignoramus behaviour. No matter who you are with, however much money you may have, stay humble and treat people with respect.”
Mr Skeet revealed last week such behaviour from wealthy diners who look down at others is something that he has encountered before.
He added: “Before I had my own restaurant I worked in quite a lot of high-end restaurants and rich, higher-class, or perceived higher-class, people would come in and act the same,” he said. “I don’t want it in my restaurant. I’d rather be empty than cater to that.
“I don’t work this hard to be around people I don’t like."