A Melbourne cafe was forced to close early last week after a member of staff was subjected to an abusive patron.
Lisa, owner of Bob’s Your Uncle Cafe in Doncaster East made the decision to close the cafe early on Thursday, November 26 to support the mental health of the staff member, and says it is not an isolated occurrence.
“Dear customers, due to excessive abuse from a customer today causing the owner and a staff member in tears we have made the decision to close for the remainder of the day to support mental health,” Lisa wrote in a statement.
“We have encountered this type of abuse every day since reopening over minor things like our rice being white and not butterfly pea colour due to us not being able to get the ingredient and other examples like abuse with regards to our policy’s in place to protect you and our team through this pandemic.
“Today’s situation broke us and we are needing today to reflect and rebuild. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you and we hope for your continued support.”
The post brought out a flood of support for the cafe and its staff, with disgusted customers and other members of the hospitality community responding with their own stories of abuse during the pandemic.
Pastry chef Rod Shokuhi heard about the incident and organised a gift hamper for Lisa and her staff from members of the hospitality community.
“I heard about Lisa and the teams mental health closure of their cafe due to a customer conflict that got so out of hand that it forced the cafe to close on the spot and send the staff home due to the mental challenge exceeding the physical and biological readiness. It genuinely broke my heart and I felt sad for them and our beloved #hospitality industry”, Rod posted to Instagram.
“So what do you do in that moment? Be an innocent bystander? A spectator? NO! You call your mates, you rally up some talent, and you deliver some mental goodness to help balance out the challenge of the world with kindness and support.”