Singapore — A restaurant manager lamenting about customers who refuse to comply with Covid-19 safety measures has received sympathy from those in the food and beverage industry who have had the same experience.
On Friday (Jan 1), the man, who identified himself as Mr A, shared his experience on the Complaint Singapore Facebook page.
Mr A said he could not fathom how some people continue to disregard the safety measures in place. “It’s already been almost more than eight months since mask-wearing, and safe entry check-in is mandatory,” said Mr A. “I still don’t understand why until today, there are still people who want to show their ‘sovereign’ attitude.”
Mr A mentioned what he experienced during his shift that day, involving a man in his 60s who walked into the restaurant with his family for dinner.
One of the first steps to entering a restaurant under the Covid-19 safety measures was to conduct a safe entry check-in and to wear masks while placing the order. When asked if they had done their safe entry check-in, the man had allegedly raised his voice at Mr A.
When Mr A explained that he was simply doing his job, the man “tsked” him in a loud tone and “slammed his phone on the table”.
“The uncle unhappily shoved his phone near my face and almost shouted at me,” said the manager.
Mr A added that the uncle “proceeded to take out his mask while browsing through the menu. All his other family members were masked up”.
He proceeded to remind the man to keep his mask on before the food or drinks were served.
“The uncle refused to budge and just stared at me, blankly while giving me a ‘xialan’ smile.”
The manager repeated his request in a more stern tone. “Seeing that he was adamant about not putting on his mask, I then pointed at the exit door and told him, ‘Sir, if you are unable to follow the Covid regulations, I am afraid that we can’t serve you. Please leave the restaurant immediately’.”
The man replied: “Do you know who I am? I am the spending customer, you know?”
It was at this moment that the man’s daughter stepped in to reprimand her father. She offered to cancel the dinner and order delivery instead, should he choose to “be so stubborn and refuse to follow the law”.
“The uncle willingly put on his mask while staring at me,” said Mr A. The daughter also apologised for her father’s behaviour.
The man was not done. He told Mr A: “I tell you ah, I wear my mask is because of my daughter. I don’t care about what law or any of you! None of you is authorised to make me follow any law!”
With more than 230 comments to date, many from the online community and those in the F&B industry stepped up to sympathise with Mr A because they had been in similar situations.
“I totally understand where you are coming from. I work as a restaurant manager. It’s a nightmare to go to work every day when we think of all those difficult customers,” wrote Facebook user CH Mudassar Farooq.
“If I were you, after the first advice and he can’t cooperate, you should insist on chasing him out of the restaurant,” added Mr John Gomez, who also worked in the same industry.
When the Independent Singapore reached out to Mr A for a statement, he wished to request the public to refrain from making the lives of those in the service industry difficult. “Everyone is frustrated or inconvenienced by the safety measures, but we must abide by them as we are bound by the law,” he said.
Mr A also mentioned that he had emailed the government asking for an official notice which restaurants could print out and paste on the walls. This would make it easier to inform everyone or explain to stubborn customers of the rules and regulations, he noted.
“I also want to ask the government if they can remove the responsibility from restaurants or those in the service industry when it comes to strict compliance of the law as not everyone is willing to cooperate.” /TISG
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