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20 January 2020, 15:06
The Michelin Star pub has responded to the backlash after refusing to refund the money for the cancelled reservation.
A grieving man has publicly slammed a popular pub after it allegedly refused to refund him the £660 downpayment on a reserved table he'd been forced to cancel after the sudden death of his dad.
Martin O'Grady gave the Michelin star Fordwich Arms, in Canterbury, Kent, a downpayment of £660 for a birthday meal.
Four days before the New Year's Eve party was due to take place, however, Martin's dad had a serious accident abroad - but when a family member attempted to change the reservation, they were refused.
Shockingly, the pub - which was named the UK's best in 2019 - also refused them a full refund, even though Martin's dad tragically died on the day the meal was due to take place.
Martin share his experience on Facebook, writing: "We are utterly disgusted by this experience, not to mention £660 worse off, and just feel compelled to share this horrifying story with anyone ever considering making a reservation at this establishment. There are no words."
Fordwich Arms' head chef Dan Smith has now responded to Martin, saying that he was "sorry to hear of Mr O'Grady's loss".
He added that the money was used to purchase "premium expensive ingredients" for the table, as well as cover the wages of their 16 staff brought in to provide the "best experience service".
Dan added: "This means that margins are very tight as always in restaurants."
However, Martin hit back at his message, exclaiming: "Obviously they are feeling the heat from all the negative attention this has drawn. They are "sorry for my loss"? They didn't communicate that to me.
"It seems that all the negative comments and criticism has pressurised them into commenting. Arrogance at best. Their rationale is just about economics. The human aspect of this seems entirely lost on these people."
He added that he hadn't sought a refund, but wanted to change the date of the meal due to his father's accident, saying: "We were simply requesting a goodwill gesture to allow us to change our reservation to a later date once I had a chance to return to the UK.
"When asked how management view such extenuating circumstances the manager and owners neither cared nor wanted to hear anything about it. Another recital of terms and conditions ensued."
Dan Smith also stated: "The first contact we had with this booking was a phone call on Saturday, December 28, in which we were informed that one of the party's relatives was unwell.
"Once we had heard the news our manager immediately phoned the two tables on the waiting list. However, at the late stage they had already made plans elsewhere.
"Unfortunately, due to the late stage we were unable to fill this particular table. The manager also phoned them on the Monday, which was his day off, to inform them we had not yet been able to sell the tickets and to see if they had any luck.”
Heart.co.uk have contacted The Fordwich Arms for comment.