Not acceptable to verbally abuse restaurant staff: Horgan

'People just being stupid'

Premier John Horgan had some strong words for people who've been verbally abusing servers at British Columbian restaurants.

During a press conference Thursday morning, Horgan addressed a story from Langford's Mr. Mikes restaurant, where staff were reportedly brought to tears over their treatment when they tried to inform a large group they couldn't sit together due to a provincial health order that limits groups at restaurants to six people.

“Most people across British Columbia are horrified when they hear stories like the story coming out of Mr. Mikes,” Horgan said.

“You've got employees that are doing their level best to provide an opportunity for people to come together to share a meal in a safe, comfortable place, and to have idiots come in and be idiots, quite frankly, is not acceptable.”

The restaurant in Langford, where Horgan is MLA, urged potential customers to just stay home if they can't be “compassionate or understanding to this new way the hospitality industry is operating.”

Restaurant staff across B.C., including those in the Okanagan, have been reporting similar experiences with verbally abusive customers who are upset about the new rules. The six person per table rule seems to be the COVID-19 measure that's been causing the most issues for unhappy diners, but back in May when restaurants were given the go ahead to reopen, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the rules are intentionally restrictive to keep both customers and staff safe.

Horgan says the recent incident in Langford is an example of people “just being stupid.”

“There's a whole host of stories that are emerging about bad behaviour during this pandemic and unfortunately they overshadow the extraordinary stories of kindness that are emerging in every part of British Columbia as well,” Horgan said.

“We all have to up our game, we have to be kinder to each other, we have to behave with other people as we would want them to behave with us and it's not acceptable to abuse people when you're going out to have a meal.”

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