It looks like we’ve found 2022’s boss of the year. When the head chef of the restaurant Cora in Cardiff, Wales, discovered one of his employees had been mistreated by a group of rude and privileged diners, he acted quickly — and publicly.
Lee Skeet, who once worked for Gordon Ramsay, said front-of-house staffer Lily told him she had suffered a horrible experience serving a six-strong group of patrons. Although the diners had racked up the largest bill the establishment had ever seen — £1,000 or approximately $1,200 — Skeet would have none of it and reacted swiftly by offering the group a refund and warning never to return to his eatery.
He uploaded the ensuing email in a tweet on May 5, 2022, which read:
“Dear xxxxxxx, I wanted to firstly thank you for choosing my restaurant for your meal tonight, and I understand you had the biggest bill we’ve ever had on one table here. Unfortunately throughout the evening, I was made aware that your party’s behavior was inappropriate towards Lily, who runs front-of-house.”
He continued: “She has told me that as a 22-year-old-girl she was talked down to, disrespected, and touched unwantedly by members of your group.
“I have spent the last hour having conversations with her that break my heart, make me feel like a s**t employer, and a terrible dad, having my own daughter. Please provide your bank details and I will refund your entire bill of £1000 minus £100 that I believe you should have tipped lily, which I will pay directly to her, as you left no tip.
“I would thank you to never come back to my restaurant. Lily means a lot more to me than money. I also think you should assess the people you surround yourself with.”
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The Twitterverse rallied around the chef who wrote “we should start calling out rich people who think they can treat people like crap.”
“Managers/Landlords (pub) like yourself are worth the weight in gold. Nothing means more, working food or bar service, than knowing you’re working for someone who has your back,” one tweet read.
“Well done, Lee. The people saying not to refund are missing the point: rich people like that think their ££ buys them the right to trample on others. Lee is saying no, some things are far more important than money and refusing to be bought,” another user commented.
However, a host of responses urged Skeet not to give the refund and direct the money somewhere more deserving. “This is good but honestly this person will just laugh at how you gave them a free meal, shame only works on people with a soul,” one user wrote.
Skeet told “Talk TV” host Trisha Goddard that “to have Lily, who I care about, (go through such an experience) on my watch, I was angry. I was just upset.” He also admitted he “reacted emotionally and said I’ll give their money back and I didn’t want them in the restaurant again, but then I calmed down a bit the next day and I gave that £1,000 to Lily instead.”
Meanwhile, a top law firm in Cardiff is under investigation over the incident after it surfaced that the nasty patrons were allegedly their senior lawyers.
As for Lily, Skeet had only praise for his treasured staff. He wrote in an Instagram post:
“This has all happened because of her class and integrity and I’m in awe of the young woman she is. Well done mate. You are literally an inspiration to so many people.”
What a boss! What did you think of Lee Skeet’s actions? Have you ever had an employer that appreciated you this much? Let us know and pass this on to all the good bosses you know.