Wahaca has confirmed a waiter will not be charged over a table who fled a London restaurant without paying following a tweet from a former politician.
Sarah Hayward, former leader of Camden Council had tweeted: "Hi @wahaca just eaten in your Kentish Town restaurant for the last time. People 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. Food's great, company is crap."
Co-founder Thomasina Miers was quick to respond. She said: "We'd like to assure you that this is not our standard policy, only in cases of total negligence will a individual be held accountable, which is very rare. This will not be deducted from the waiter and we will be looking into making sure we have clarity on our policy internally."
Miers clarified that the waiter had been charged £3 by a line manager following the walkout, but said this decision would be reversed as she did not judge it to be an example of gross negligence. The group went on publish a policy stating that waiters would not be charged any element of a bill in the case of a walkout.
Co-founder Mark Selby, co-founder of Wahaca, added: "This has been an internal communications issue, which we've now dealt with and resolved. Our policy is in line with industry standards and 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."
The group's published policy stated: "In situations of a walk out, whilst the waiter is responsible for the table they will not have to pay any element of the bill. However if the manager suspects that the waiter was complicit in the walk out then there should be a full investigation which will be taken to the operations manager to decide the appropriate action."
Pictured: Wahaca Soho