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Thorpeness: Police called to food fight at cafe

PUBLISHED: 10:12 01 June 2011

The Beach House, Thorpeness

The Beach House, Thorpeness

Archant

A food fight broke out at a Suffolk cafe after enraged customers waited more than an hour for their order – and police sent three squad cars to deal with the messy confrontation.

The incident happened on Monday afternoon in The Beach House Cafe and Bistro, Thorpeness, at about 3pm when a table of four customers and two members of staff fell out with each other with fish, ketchup and mushy peas.

According to a spokesperson from the restaurant, the customers – a table of four – were warned they would have to wait an hour for their food because it was full.

The spokesperson said: “Two fish and chips and two burgers were taken to the table and one of the male customers started abusing the waiter saying he was greedy and doesn’t know how to run a business.

“He apologised but said he wasn’t going to take that abuse. At that point the whole table joined in. The lady member of staff tried to withdraw the food and it went everywhere.

“The male member of staff got mushy peas down his back and ketchup was in the lady member of staff’s hair. Food was all down her white shirt.”

The spokeswoman said customers did not have any food spilled on them and were given a full refund.

However, a diner at the next table claimed she saw the female member of staff spill a plate of fish and chips down one of the diner’s backs.

She said: “You don’t expect to see this in sleepy Thorpeness. We walked into the courtyard area of the restaurant and sat down and realised there was something going on at the table next to us.

“From what I could gather, the people had been waiting for over an hour and were still being asked to pay full price. A female member of staff was saying: ‘If you wanted fast food you should have gone to McDonald’s’.’’

“She put down a plate of fish and then grabbed it back and put it down a customer’s back. The next thing I knew food was flying. It was a big kerfuffle.

“The female member of staff had a streak of ketchup down her face and I had to snatch a little girl out of the way who was standing near the table.”

The observer’s husband attempted to manage the confrontation but this was not appreciated by staff.

She said her husband made a comment to staff and they were both asked to leave.

The restaurant’s spokeswoman said staff also asked the table of four to leave.

She said: “We were within our rights to do that. If they didn’t want to wait for food they should have gone to Burger King.”

Suffolk police received a call about the incident from one of the diners at 3.45pm, a spokesman confirmed.

He said he wanted a refund for his food and was aware it was a civil matter but he wanted police there.

Three squad cars attended the incident and spoke to both parties.

Neither side made any criminal allegations and the matter was resolved at the scene.


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