Food by VICE

Inspiring: This Woman Was Banned from a Restaurant for Complaining Too Much

"It would be appropriate if you would kindly refrain from visiting the restaurant in future,” a letter from a steakhouse to Wales resident Kelly Smith read.

by Mayukh Sen
Apr 11 2018, 12:00pm

Photo © Copyright Ian S and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License.

Kelly Smith was once a frequent patron of the Beefeater steakhouse in Coldra, Wales. She loved the discounts from the chain restaurant’s rewards program. Her eight-year-old son devoured its garlic bread.

But she apparently held the wildly high standards for the restaurant, the South Wales Argus reported last Thursday, because she complained during "six of out seven" visits over the past two months. This habit pissed off the restaurant's staff so tremendously that they banned her outright from the restaurant, delivering the news in a letter politely demanding she never set foot in the premises ever again.

"We believe as the Coldra, Beefeater [sic] are so clearly unable to meet your requirements in terms of the food quality and the level of service provided, that it would be appropriate if you would kindly refrain from visiting the restaurant in future,” the letter from Beefeater's parent company, Whitbread, allegedly read.

It’s unclear when Whitbread sent this letter to Smith; Whitbread did not respond to immediate request for comment via email from MUNCHIES on Tuesday. Smith, who could not be reached for comment, was reportedly in a state of disbelief over being banned.

"I just couldn't believe it, I was livid,” she told the Argus. "Surely, it's my right to complain.” She went on to add that she usually appreciates the kindness of the staff, and she wished they'd conveyed these feelings more directly to her.

Smith's complaints ranged, according to the Argus, from kvetching about the doneness of steaks and burgers to expressing disappointment over the interminable wait times (“once I wanted over an hour for a meal,” she said). Upon receiving the letter, Smith claimed, she called Whitbread’s Customer Relations department, who responded that they’d been “keeping tabs” on her—the rather concerning implication there being that the chain has been surveilling her dining habits.

I'd really like to see this letter in full. Either way, congrats to Smith. Being branded a serial complainer is quite a reason to be banned from stepping foot in a public space ever again. An achievement, really.