Wahaca waiter ‘won’t pay eat-and-run bill’


Wahaca restaurant sign

Image caption

Wahaca has 25 branches across the UK

A customer has claimed a waiter was “made to foot the bill from his wages” by a London restaurant when a table left without paying.

Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca said it only makes servers cover the bill of customers who leave without paying in cases of “real negligence”.

Wahaca said this was “very rare” and not the company’s “standard procedure”.

The bill would not be deducted from the waiter and it would be clarifying the policy internally, it added.

Sarah Hayward, a former Labour leader of Camden council, tweeted that she was eating at the company’s Kentish Town branch in north London when she witnessed the eat-and-run incident.

She was told this was “company policy”, she added.

Wahaca co-founder Mark Selby said an individual would only be held accountable for an unpaid bill in cases of “real negligence” where they saw and allowed a customer to leave, knowing they had not paid.

He added this was not applicable in this case and the company was speaking with the management team to ensure the policy was communicated internally.

In response, Wahaca’s co-founder, Thomasina Miers tweeted: “We are a company that looks after our staff, and I am very proud of this.”

She added that, in this case, the waiter had not understood the policy.

The Wahaca chain was founded by Ms Miers, the 2005 MasterChef winner, in 2007 and now has 25 branches across the UK.

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