Restaurants

Wahaca updates policy after waiter is charged for dine and dash

Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca has made changes to its walk out policy after it faced criticism for making a waiter pay part of the bill.

The company has now said staff will not be asked to cover any part of the bill if this happens in the future.

Former leader of Camden council, Sarah Hayward, tweeted the restaurant on Saturday, saying: “Hi @wahaca just eaten in your Kentish Town restaurant for the last time. Ppl [sic] 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.”

She then addressed the company’s co-founder Thomasina Miers directly, ending the tweet with: “Food’s great, company is crap. @thomasinamiers”

Masterchef winner Miers replied: “Guys, It is absolutely not standard policy for waiters to be deducted, only in cases of total negligence which this certainly does not seem to be. We are a company that looks after our staff and I am very proud of this. This waiter has unfortunately not understood the policy…”

Co-founder Mark Selby said the decision to make the waiter pay would’ve been at the discretion of the manager, with the amount generally being 10% of the net bill minus VAT – or 30% of the food bill. However, he added that the new policy would mean no part of the bill would be covered by its staff unless they were found to be “complicit” in the dine and dash.

He added: “This has been an internal communications issue, which we’ve now dealt with and resolved. In no way would an individual be responsible for covering the bill in a situation they had no control over. As a business, we prioritise our staff and do everything we can to ensure our teams are well looked after at work.”

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