Restaurant manager ‘degraded by a bunch of arrogant diners’ says they tried to humiliate him over his salary

A restaurant manager who was left in tears by a group of ‘arrogant’ diners who treated her ‘like c***s’ has spoken of the ‘humiliating’ incident.

Lily O’Connor, 22, was reportedly told by the group of wealthy customers – who left no tip – that she would have to work seven nights a week if she wanted to earn a ‘living’ wage. And for three hours, she said the group tried to degrade her for doing the job.

Describing the behavior of a restaurant, reception manager Lily told MailOnline: “He used humiliating tactics, trying to degrade me for the job I love to do.

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“He was like, ‘How do you make a living?’ to that and ‘Why don’t you work seven nights a week?’ It was heartbreaking – I had put up with this demeaning attitude while serving them seven courses.”

Lee Skeet, who trained with Gordon Ramsay and manages Cora in Pontcanna, Cardiff, called out the party on social media and accused them of “inappropriate behaviour”. He even offered to refund their £1,000 bill minus the £100 tip which he said should have been left for his employee.

Lee and Lily say only one of the six men at the table is to blame for going after her because she was a young woman. Lily, who worked in the hospitality industry for five years, said she didn’t want to ‘name and shame’ anyone, but that ‘there is a point to be made about hospitality workers and the how they are treated”.

Chef Lee Skeet owns the Cora restaurant in Cardiff

Taking to Twitter, Mr Skeet shared screenshots of the email he sent to the party leader, calling the diners ‘rich people who think they treat people like c ***”. He ordered them to ‘never come back to my restaurant’ after he said they had mistreated the member of staff.

The top chef wrote: “I first wanted to thank you for choosing my restaurant for your meal tonight and understand that you had the biggest bill we have ever had on a table here. Throughout the evening, I was informed that your party was behaving was inappropriate towards Lily, who was running past the house.

“She told me that as a 22-year-old girl, she had been looked down upon, despised and touched in unwanted ways by members of your group. I have spent the last hour having conversations with her that heartbreaking, makes me feel like a *** employer and a terrible father having my own daughter.

“Please provide your bank details and I will refund your full £1000 bill, less the £100 I think you should have tipped Lily, which I will pay her directly as you left no tip “I would thank you for never coming back to my restaurant. Lily means a lot more to me than money. I also think you should value the people you surround yourself with.”

But he later said he changed his mind and gave the entire £1,000 bill to his member of staff. “I don’t really want that money. [My waitress] probably deserves it for putting up with them,” he said, adding that he hadn’t heard back from the restaurant.

The leader’s supporters flocked to support his decision and condemn the behavior. Mr Skeet was trained by Marcus Wareing and Gordon Ramsay and previously ran the kitchen of a Michelin-starred Hedone in London before his cooking career came to a halt for four years when he suffered an accident with hit and run.

He opened his first permanent restaurant, Cora, in Cardiff in January after a series of sold-out pop-ups and supper clubs at his flat in Cardiff Bay. Situated above Pontcanna’s Cafe Milkwood, it has just 12 seats and Mr Skeet hopes he will eventually earn Cardiff’s first Michelin star.

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