Curry receipt marked 'VERY MILD, WHITE PPL'
When Stuart Lynn, a 44-year-old from Northolt, ordered a takeaway from a nearby Indian restaurant in Southall, West London, he decided he'd prefer the Venison curry to be served mild. He didn't think it was a particularly remarkable request, but when he got his order home, he opened the bag and discovered the receipt, with a comment he found offensive.
The server at Valentine Restaurant had marked it with the words: 'VERY MILD, WHITE PPL'. Lynn, who works at Heathrow Airport, was concerned that the note might have been intended to indicate that white people were unable to enjoy spicy food. He told the Daily Mail: "It implies we can't deal with strong curries. I do like a hot curry sometimes. I just fancied a mild one for a change. I thought it was very rude of them."
The restaurant explained to The Mirror that there had been a misunderstanding, and that PPL hadn't meant 'people': it actually meant 'milk'. It was supposed to be an instruction to the kitchen to add a white sauce made from milk, cream, coconut milk and spices - which is what the restaurant does when a sauce is ordered mild. The owner said, however, that he appreciated that it hadn't been clear, and that in future it would say 'with white sauce' on the receipt.
In this instance, therefore, this seems to be the result of an unusual shortening of the word 'milk' and a misunderstanding. However, it isn't the first time that a note on a receipt has caused consternation. We reported back in October last year on the woman in Singapore who waited in line for a takeaway from Pizza Hut, and was shocked to receive a receipt marked as being for the 'Pink Fat Lady'.
A year earlier three woman eating in Stockton, California, hit the headlines, after discovering the word 'Fat Girls' written on their receipt.
In June 2013, a woman in a sports bar in St Louis asked for a single chicken leg as a child's portion - which wasn't on the menu. The receipt came back marked 'F****in needs kids."
And in 2012, a family visiting a Mexican restaurant in Yorkshire were shocked to see an extra item on the bill that they assumed referred to their two-year-old daughter, which was listed as 'littell f***er".
What's even more alarming is not the few receipts that people have received over the years that include insults, but what this shows about the culture of some restaurants, where its considered acceptable to mock customers behind their backs. A study by the University of Texas earlier this year found that 79% of waiting staff will make fun of customers if they're not enjoying serving them.
The same study found that 14% of staff had insulted a customer to their face, 11% had increased the suggested tip, 6% had contaminated their food, and 5% had even threatened a customer.
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