It all started with what 29-year-old Lydia Cawson (pictured) called a “light peck on the lips” from her girlfriend.
The women were sitting at a table at the Canteen, an upscale, trendy restaurant in London’s South Bank neighborhood.
Moments later, a member of the wait staff approached them.
“I didn’t notice any adverse reaction in the restaurant, myself,” Cawson told London Live in an interview. “Then the lady came over to us and said, ‘Can you stop what you’re doing please, this is a family restaurant.'”
To which, Cawson’s girlfriend replied: “Is it a family restaurant or is it a homophobic restaurant?”
The staff member denied being homophobic. “She wasn’t very appreciative of that comment,” Cawson described. Then she motioned for the woman to sit apart from one another.
“We didn’t feel like we were overly affectionate,” Cawson said.
“The second comment,” she continued, “was that it was a family restaurant and it made me feel; ‘why does that matter? Is it because children are present – not that there were any children present at that time – anyway, why should it matter if it is a family restaurant?'”
The couple then quickly paid their bill and left.
A spokesman for Canteen said the restaurant is investigating the claims, and released a statement that said, in part: “We are very surprised and shocked to learn about this issue, which we have never encountered before. Nonetheless this has been taken extremely seriously and a full investigation has been launched to find out what happened.”
“Something needs to be done,” Cawson told London Live. “I don’t know whether it’s awareness. I don’t know whether it’s a sort of education of what is homophobia. … I don’t think people are fully aware about different comments they make and how they are received.”
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Graham Gremore is a columnist and contributor for Queerty and Life of the Law. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
MEMO TO WAITSTAFF: If you are going to make a scumbag hatefull comment, its best to do so after customer pays their bill and leaves your undeserved tip…
I’m a pretty generous tipper. I tip even on bad service, because I know that servers get taxed on tips whether they receive them or not. But this would be an occasion where I wouldn’t leave a tip.
You don’t have to take crap from a server. Next time as for the manager or the person in charge. Get the bitch fired.
I don’t like excessive PDA’s in restaurants. Do it in private. A public restaurant is not the place to swap spit.
Having said that, I have no doubt that waiters and waitresses would have allowed this kiss in the London restaurant if it were a man and woman doing it.
“Nonetheless this has been taken extremely seriously and a full investigation has been launched to find out what happened.”
But is the restaurant going to fire the staff member as they should for making inappropriate remarks to customers? or does it believe that offering to “investigate” will defuse the situation?
Is it me or is that every restaurant’s excuse? “I’m sorry, this hasn’t happened before, let me try fix it after it has happened and hurt people’s feelings.” Honestly, these restaurant owners are useless piece of sh*t that probably won’t do anything because they are as homophobic as their waiters.
People who are offended by public displays of affection are rarely the subjects of private displays of affection.
Their awfulness explains the former and the latter.
@IcarusD: You actually think servers pay taxes on all their tips? HAHAHAHA most them simply don’t report the tips at all, if it’s in cash it just goes right in their pockets. Of course this was in London so the tip is usually already added to the bill.
@damon459: what restaurants do is calculate a percentage of your total tickets and assume your are receiving tips and calculate appropriately and submit to the IRS. The check you get from the restaurant bailey covers the IRS bill. In other words, the tips are all the money the wait staff sees. The money the restaurant pays goes directly to the federal government.
@damon459: said… “@IcarusD: You actually think servers pay taxes on all their tips? HAHAHAHA most them simply don’t report the tips at all, if it’s in cash it just goes right in their pockets. Of course this was in London so the tip is usually already added to the bill.”
Servers are automatically assumed to receive a certain percentage of the bill in tips, so yes, they are taxed on tips whether they get them or not.
Also, no, the tip isn’t added to the bill in London, they simply pay the server more money so they can live on their salary.
I’m on board with the above tipping discourse, however not all servers are handled this way. Some receive allocated tip income on their W2, some receive reported tip income on their W2. Some have both, some have neither.
I’m not for excessive PDA either, but it didnt sound at all like excessive PDA. A “light peck on the lips” is not excessive. That’s pretty much the extent of my PDA. A light peck on the lips and occasional hand holding is not “get a room” behavior. And yes…had it been a heterosexual couple this wouldn’t have happened. They are better than me because I would’ve asked to see the manager and told him/her about the waitress and told them I wasn’t paying shit.
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