Restaurants Drop Eat Out To Help Out Program Accusing “Rude” Customers


More than 35 million meals have now been served under the government’s Eat Out To Help Out program, but owners have been forced to question whether it was worth it (Photo: Google)

A number of desperate restaurateurs have pulled out of the Eat Out To Help Out program after staff found it impossible to handle hordes of “rude and empowered customers.”

The government has hailed the program as a huge success, with 35 million inexpensive meals served since the start of August.

However, some staff admitted that the “physical and mental stress” they have been subjected to over the past three weeks has become too much for them to handle.

Kelly Hill, owner of The Tavern Inn in Newquay, told the BBC she pulled out of the show after it brought her “nothing but negativity due to the huge demand” .

She said: “People order big and big meals; they are unwilling to wait for their food; we shout at our staff for not having tables or for the slow service. This puts enormous pressure on our servers and kitchen staff.

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The Westleigh Inn, near Bideford in Devon, also shut down the project, blaming “the physical and mental stress it put on us and all of our staff”.

Kelly Hill, owner of The Tavern Inn in Newquay, said the project brought “nothing but negativity”

A Devon pub made the decision to opt out of the government's Eat Out to Help Out program - because they were too busy.

The owners of the Westleigh Inn near Bideford in North Devon say rude customers have subjected their staff to ‘physical and mental stress’ (Photo: Google)

Owner Steph Dyer said: “The idea is great, but not in August. Do it in October. Everyone I have spoken to is struggling to maintain service standards ”.

The owners of The Heron Inn in Truro also recently took to Facebook to confirm they were withdrawing the offer, writing, “Safety is our number one priority, and with the increase in the number of people visiting us, it us are difficult to manage with social distancing rules in place.

“We have received unpleasant comments and general unwanted behavior from customers when they cannot find a table because we have run out of capacity.”

Meanwhile, the owners of The Paddock Inn in Penally, Wales have revealed that business was good before the program and that they only signed up to make their customers happy – however, now they are considering going. withdraw after it brought their team “nothing but heartache”.

They said, “We are seriously considering bringing this to an end due to the extreme levels of rudeness, lack of understanding and total impatience of some of our recent clients. “

Steph Dyer and Pete Kenwood own the Westleigh Inn and have chosen not to participate in the Eat Out to Help Out program

Owners Steph Dyer and Pete Kenwood told the BBC the timing was wrong

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak places an Eat Out to Help Out sticker in a business window while visiting Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, Scotland.  PA photo.  Photo date: Friday, August 7, 2020. See the story of the AP POLICY Coronavirus Sunak.  Photo credit should read: Jeff J Mitchell / PA Wire

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak places an Eat Out to Help Out sticker in a business window during a visit to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, Scotland (Photo :: PA)

“If you are unable to figure this out, find a table elsewhere. You will probably find that there is also a wait there, as this is natural when working with less staff.

“We are currently discussing among ourselves whether or not to continue with the program because it is just not fair to expose our staff to the type of behavior that we have seen this week.

This comes after a distressed front-line crew member said “My days off are spent healing a broken body and a battered ego.

Hundreds of restaurant and bar workers have also taken to social media to blast “rude and obnoxious customers who think they have a right to everything.”

A person named Alexander Michael Rice wrote: “Eating out to help out is a joke. This makes people more rude and obnoxious who then think they have the right to everything! Getting so much abuse lately is a joke!

While the Eat Out To Help Out program has left many staff demoralized, the government has insisted it is critical to saving the UK economy as the country plunges into the deepest recession on record.

Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday: “Today’s figures show Britain is eating to help – with at least 35 million meals served in the first two weeks alone, the equivalent of more than half of UK participating and supporting local jobs in the hotel industry.

“To rebuild better, we need to protect as many jobs as possible, which is why I urge all registered businesses to make the most of them by demanding their return today – it’s free, easy and pays off in five working days. ”

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