The owner of a pub in Derbyshire has criticised a group of customers who allegedly refused to pay for a meal they had 'mostly eaten'.
The Pack Horse, situated in the Peak District village of Hayfield, was reportedly visited by a group who didn't flag any problems with their food when staff checked in with them, but chose to complain when they'd already eaten most of the meal, staff said.
They allegedly tried to demand a new dish – which was refused – and eventually left without paying their bill.
The pub takes card details at the time of booking in case of no-shows or walk-outs, but the group said they would cancel their cards, meaning The Pack Horse were not paid.
Owner and chef Luke Payne claimed that one member of the group winked at him as they left and said that the situation was “immensely frustrating” for him and his staff.
He told the Manchester Evening News: "They were perfectly pleasant to begin with and then everything just changed.
"After they'd eaten about 70% of the food, a lady brought her plate up to the bar and said it wasn’t to her liking, wasn't what she expected, and could she swap to another meal for free?
"To which I said 'No', because she'd eaten most of it and we can’t give food away for free when it’s just personal preference. That's not really how it works."
Payne’s small team had already checked in with the group of customers and there were no complaints made about their food, he said.
Once they threatened to not pay their bill, Payne said he told the group they were “given the opportunity to say there was something wrong”.
He said: ”If they'd flagged it up in the check-back we could have done something to rectify it.”
The Pack Horse is one of the north west's leading and most respected gastropubs, earning itself a place in the Estrella Dam Gastropubs list.
Payne said that he had noticed “more stressed-out people with shorter tempers” over the past few weeks, adding: “I know that there's a lot of hard times for people at the moment, but it doesn’t take much to be nice to others.”
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