A would-be customer of a high-end Tasmanian restaurant has bombarded the owners with abusive texts after their booking was cancelled because of the state’s Covid outbreak.
The Agarian Kitchen Eatery, in Norfolk, 32km north of Hobart, was forced to temporarily close on January 7 due to staff shortages after several workers contracted the virus.
Announcing with a ‘heavy heart’ their business would be shutting for at least six-days, owners Rodd Dunn and his wife Severine Demanet issued an apology to customers, saying the closure would be re-assessed on January 13.
‘We have watched closely as rising Covid cases have resulted in staff shortages all across Australia, not only in the hospitality industry,’ they posted on the restaurant’s Instagram page.
The Agarian Kitchen Eatery, in Norfolk, 32km north of Hobart, was forced to temporarily close on January 7 due to staff shortages after several workers contracted the virus
A disgruntled would-be guest bombarded the restaurant with abusive messages
‘Every couple of hours another restaurant temporarily closes – it has been heart breaking to read and we have been preparing ourselves for this moment…. but it has come much sooner than we expected.’
The couple advised they would be in contact with customers to cancel upcoming bookings and thanked regulars and dinners for their ongoing support.
But while most reservation holders were understanding, one outraged prospective guest slammed the restaurant owners for providing ‘next to no notice’.
In screenshots of the fiery text exchange, posted online by head chef Stephen Peak, the disgruntled would-be guest labelled the restaurant a ‘disgrace’ after being notified about the situation.
Owner Rodney Dunn (pictured) and his wife contacted 240 guests to notify them they had been forced to cancel their reservations
‘That’s incredibly unsatisfactory… I can’t believe you give [sic] us next to no notice when we are travelling to Tasmania for a birthday treat for my partner to go to your restaurant,’ the person wrote to the owner.
‘What are we now meant to do? So much for professionalism in Australian hospitality. This is a disgrace!!!!! And to think you end with the ‘kind regards’ expression.’
After the owners suggested they hoped the person would consider visiting their eatery during more favourable time, the prospective diner launched into another attack.
‘Why would I ever visit Tasmania again? You’re a rude person in the extreme,’ the rant continued.
‘I cannot believe your lack of endeavour and reliance on Covid as a crutch… Australia needs to get back to work. How would you have coped in world war. Not I suspect.
‘I will never darken your door again and will so inform all my friends and acquaintances of which there are many.’
The angry reservation holder labelled the restaurant a ‘disgrace’
Sharing the messages on Instagram, Mr Peak said almost all of the 240 guests whose bookings were understanding and wished the business and sick staff well.
He said the support was much appreciated but it was really upsetting to receive furious responses from some people.
‘No one wants to close. No one wants to risk financial security. No one wants to be without work,’ he wrote over the screen shots.
‘Please be kind! Please treat everyone with respect.’
The post quickly went viral across social media as appalled Aussies slammed the diner’s reaction.
‘This is particularly upsetting given that my partner and I recently had to cancel our trip to TAS – and our booking at AK – super last minute because we both got COVID and the co-founder responded so kindly and didn’t charge us,’ one woman Tweeted.
Others vowed to rally behind the restaurant by booking in once it reopened.
‘This restaurant is now on my bucket list,’ one woman said.
‘What an incredibly unpleasant person. Will make a point to visit the Agrarian Kitchen when they reopen, because I am this petty,’ another said.
The restaurant issued an apology to customers along with this image over their business social media page last week