Restaurant loses £1k after customers storm out

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Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha restaurant in Maidstone, Kent, is nursing losses of £1,100, after more than 40 diners stormed out without paying on Saturday night. Problems erupted when a customer went into the kitchen to complain about the service. The owner said that if he wasn't happy he could leave - and 43 diners took him up on his offer.

However, it's not the worst customer service nightmare a restaurant has ever faced.


The owner told the Kent Messenger that on a busy Saturday night, a group of 36 people were growing concerned about how long they had waited for their food. One member of the group went into the kitchen to complain, and the owner, Jim Cheng, said he angrily told the group that if they were unhappy they could leave.

According to the Daily Mail, all 36 of them finished their food and drinks, and then got up and left without paying. In the chaos, another table of seven people left without paying - leaving the owner with unpaid bills of £1,128.72.

Another diner on the night wrote about their experience on TripAdvisor saying they: "Had the worst dining experience of my life." Service was again the source of the problem. The reviewer complained: "'The service was absolutely awful....by 10pm, having been in the restaurant for two hours, we hadn't even ordered our main courses." They admitted that the food was nice when it eventually arrived, but it didn't make up for the poor service.

Shocking tales

But this doesn't qualify as the biggest customer service disaster a restaurant has ever faced - because there's just too much competition. Here are six shockers from around the world...

1. Last October two Brighton men were banned from an all-you-can-eat Mongolian restaurant in the town, because they ate too much. The pair had visited twice a week before the owner told them they were pigs and asked them never to come back.

2. At the end of last year there was the cafe in Nice which threatened to charge customers extra if they weren't polite. A sign advertising the rule went viral.

3. Last July, an employee at a Delaware restaurant decided to hit back at customers they felt hadn't tipped enough. They posted pictures of three customers and their receipts on an Instagram account, and hit out at paltry tippers on Facebook. The restaurant owner said they were appalled, and they were investigating who was responsible.

4. In 2009, a waitress in restaurant in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in China showed an impressive dedication to her job. When a customer complained that there was a cockroach in his soup and asked for a note saying the restaurant would pay for his medical bills if he became ill, she ate the evidence.

5. Last January a waitress in the US wasn't tipped by a Pastor, who wrote over the 18% service charge 'I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?' She was unimpressed, so took a photo of the bill and posted it on Reddit. Unfortunately she chose not to cover the signature, so was fired for breaching confidentiality rules.

6. And perhaps the oddest was a case in February in Surrey, where a waiter was sentenced to 14 months in jail for attacking a colleague in a row over who had picked up a tip. He hit him over the head with a burner in the kitchen.