Halifax business owner goes public with patron's offensive email
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 7:10PM ADT
A Halifax business owner is blowing the whistle on bad customer behaviour after receiving a profanity-laced email from an unhappy patron.
Liz Smith, the owner of Indochine Banh Mi, says the trouble started when the man verbally berated her staff because he felt he had to wait too long for his sandwich.
Shortly after he left, Smith says she was shocked when she received a nasty email from the customer.
“It took over 15 minutes to make me a f------ sandwich,” the email reads, in part. “When I complained, that tall Asian b----told me she hadn’t forgotten. …And that stupid c--- had the nerve to become annoyed with me because I wanted my money back.”
“Flabbergasted, offended, felt very sorry for staff who this email was directed at,” says Smith of the email.
She says she reached out to the customer, but he was unapologetic.
After talking to her staff, Smith decided to post the email on social media to draw attention to the kind of abuse and harassment she says happens all too often in the food service industry.
“We decided that, in order to support our employees and also to bring attention to the public that these things are still happening, we decided to go ahead and make his comments public,” she says.
Halifax restaurant owner Joe McGuinness has been in the business for more than 30 years. He says mistakes do happen, but that doesn’t give customers the right to abuse staff.
“Employees are the lifeblood of any business, and no customer should, in any way, shape or form, treat them with nothing but respect,” says McGuinness.
The association that represents restaurants in Nova Scotia says business owners do have rights when it comes to dealing with customers who behave badly, whether it’s in person or online.
“Any business, including retail, any kind of business can refuse entrance to anybody, so that’s legal in itself,” says Gordon Stewart of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia.
Smith says she doesn’t plan to take any further action against the customer, but she hopes the incident offers a lesson on how people should treat each other.
“People shouldn’t be treated like this in the workplace, or anywhere for that matter,” she says.
CTV News did reach out to the customer in question. He said it was a personal matter and declined to comment further.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Heidi Petracek