Wahaca embroiled in eat-and-run policy debate after forcing waiting staff to pay for customers' food
17 June 2019, 14:44 | Updated: 17 June 2019, 14:47
Co-founder Thomasina Miers insisted that the waiter will no longer have their wages docked due to the walkout
Mexican restaraunt chain Wahaca are facing heavy criticism after a member of their waiting staff was forced to stump up cash when customers left without paying their bill.
Sparking an intense debate, one customer tweeted: "Hi @Wahaca, just eaten in your Kentish Town restaurant for the last time.
"People next to us left without paying and their server is made to foot the bill from his wages. Apparently company policy. Utterly shameful employment practice."
The waiter was previously ordered to pay £3 towards an unpaid £40 bill, but the staff-member has now been assured that they will not have to pay the fine.
Hi @wahaca just eaten in your Kentish Town restaurant for the last time.— Sarah Hayward (@Sarah_Hayward) June 15, 2019
Ppl next to us left without paying and their server is made to foot the bill from his wages. Apparently company policy. Utterly shameful employment practice.
Food's great, company is crap.@thomasinamiers
Wahaca have since tweeted followers to confirm their updated policy, which now reads: "In situations of a walk out, whilst the waiter is responsible for the table they will not have to pay any element of the bill.
"However if the manager suspects that the waiter was complicit in the walk out then there should be a full investigation which will be taken to the Operations Manager to decide the appropriate action."
Another customer tweeted to say they'd experienced a similar situation, with one waiter at the Southampton branch of Wahaca saying their wages will be docked after customers left without paying during a fire alarm.
Wahaca previously made headlines in 2016 when they were forced to close their restaurants after a number of staff and customers were diagnosed with Norovirus symptoms.
@Sarah_Hayward #wahaca Saw your tweet on BBC: I tweeted the same when #Southampton #wahaca staff told me that they’d have to pay when diners fled after fire alarm went off. Seems to be policy. Absolutely disgraceful. @wahaca never replied to my tweet. Shameful way to treat staff— Annner (@annalkwhitt) June 16, 2019