UK restaurant says sorry after being accused of refusing Gypsy and travellers bookings
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A UK restaurant has apologised after its staff were allegedly told to refuse bookings from the Gypsy and traveller communities. An employee of El Prado by Martinez, allegedly said in a Whatsapp group belonging to the staff, to cancel any bookings made by the groups.
The restaurant, which is based in Laleston, Bridgend, said sorry in a statement posted on its Facebook page. It said: “After a recent message was brought to our attention via social media, we’d like to make it clear we welcome all bookings from the traveller community here at El Prado.
It added: “We take discrimination very seriously and have a clear zero tolerance policy for all of our team members. We’d like to apologise for any offence that may have been caused, and reassure members of the travelling community that we are dealing with this matter immediately.”
According to the BBC, Report Racism GRT received a report containing a screenshot of the message earlier this week. The group collates reports and supports victims of discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and traveller groups.
In the message, staff were asked to “check your bookings every day and if you spot any Gypsy booking, cancel it straight away. It read: “Just to make you aware, I just had a…family trying to book a table for Father’s Day.
The message also contained the following line, with the word “important” in capital letters. It said: “Always start by entering the telephone number of the customer when using ResDiary to book tables over the phone, this way ResDairy will show the customers are blocked so you could tell them that we are fully booked.”
Describing the message as ‘discriminatory’, Report Racism GRT said the refusal of service is the “highest form of discrimination levelled at the Gypsy, Roma, and traveller communities and this type of rhetoric is not uncommon.”
It added: “However, that said, it is rare that we receive hard evidence of this being a booking policy. Any form of discrimination or racially motivated abuse is unacceptable, and we will challenge it whenever and wherever we see it.”