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to have demanded my money back?

(33 Posts)
DiamondShoes Thu 02-Dec-10 15:55:48

DS (4), is off school this week due to an injury and is very sad about it. So I took him into town to look at shopfronts/choose decorations/get out of the house.

We went into a branch of a food/soup/coffee chain for something to eat. Ordered a hot pie to share, a cookie for DS and a bottle of juice. Paid extra to sit in.

Arranged our bags, coats etc and started forking up the pie. DS pipes up that he needs to go to the loo. He'd just been in the department store, but he's four. I have a look around and can't see one (not uncommon in town), so ask if he can use their staff toilet.

The member of staff says no, against policy. I say that it doesn't matter if its manky, DS is four and really needs to go to the loo. Staff member says no, against policy. I ask what he suggest we do, then, as we have just paid for our food, which is sitting on the table. He suggests we go to the bank next door(?! Banks have public loos?).

I ask if he is offering to watch our bags and keep our food warm and he says no, he's not.

So I say I want my money back. He gets the manager who reiterates the not policy bit and makes a massive massive production of refunding me (triple checks the reciept, counts out every....penny..., won't take back the change from a tenner they gave me two minutes ago and return the note).

But he does, and DS doesn't pee himself, we get our stuff and leave the food on the table and after a frantic scurry down the road we find a cafe which lets us use the loo.

At the time I was all blown up with righteous indignation but I have been thinking today what the staff member would say about it and how it could look to someone else, and wondering if I was being unreasonable?

TrillianAdAstra Thu 02-Dec-10 15:57:01

If they serve food and have a place for you to sit and eat it they really should have a loo.

SuePurblybiltByElves Thu 02-Dec-10 15:57:10

Doesn't a cafe have to have loos if they're sit-in? If it's a chain - complain. Horrible manager angry

BigChiefOrganiser Thu 02-Dec-10 15:58:07

I always assumed eateries had to have a public toilet. I don't think YABU, they left you with little choice.

BangingNoise Thu 02-Dec-10 15:58:52

You were perfectly reasonable to ask for the money back. I thought that all places offering eat-in facilities had to have a toilet.

gingernutlover Thu 02-Dec-10 15:59:07

I dont think YABU, I thought places that served food to eat in had to provide toilets?

Or is this is one of those big shopping centres where the shops/restaurants all "share" the centres toilets?

WingDad Thu 02-Dec-10 16:00:10

What kind of establishment selling food doesn't have toilets for the customers?! That's really weird if you ask me. TBH, I don't think the world would have come to an end if they let you use the staff toilets, but that's all academic now.

Were you right to ask for your money back? I dunno, probably; there are two sides to the argument, you had bought the food and were the ones choosing the leave it there. But on the other hand, for God's sake the lad needs a piss confused

BigBadMummy Thu 02-Dec-10 16:00:36

I would go to your local paper and name and shame this place.

THat is despicable.

I thought that a cafe had to have customer toilets. I would do some Googling if I were you and I wouldnt leave this.


Jumpty Thu 02-Dec-10 16:00:38

YANBU This sort of thing is nonsense. I thought they were supposed to have a loo if they had seats in but even if not, they should have let you use it. As a result of their miserableness they've lost your sale, the product, your future business and you'll probably tell all your RL friends to give it a wide berth.

pjmama Thu 02-Dec-10 16:00:46

I thought that by law anyone serving food to be eaten on the premises had to provide toilet facilities? I could be wrong on that one.

I'd have kicked up a stink too, I think it's despicable to deny anyone of any age access to an available toilet - it's degrading and dehumanising. It was done to me when I was heavily pregnant with twins and I ended up having an accident.

I take it you won't be going back there!

Indith Thu 02-Dec-10 16:00:47

I thought cafes had to have a loo? (unless in a shopping mall which has facilities).

Don't blame the staff member too much for saying no to the staff loo though. The manager was obviously being a twunt in his manner of refunding but as a staff member you can get in big trouble if you heve been told not to let customers use the loos.

DiamondShoes Thu 02-Dec-10 16:01:11

I thought there was some sort of legislation but couldn't remember for sure. It was a pret-a-manger/starbucks/etc type place (though neither of those, but an established chain), in a stand-alone shop with two eating areas.

I've seen them without public loos before but I thought they had to let you use their loo if you asked.

Should I email them to complain (even), further?

WriterofDreams Thu 02-Dec-10 16:01:54

I'm not sure about Britain but in Ireland it's illegal to have a seated area serving food and no toilet. Even if that isn't against the law, surely not having a toilet puts a lot of people off eating in that place? Name and shame so we know which place to avoid.

WingDad Thu 02-Dec-10 16:01:56

Name and shame them on here I say!

scurryfunge Thu 02-Dec-10 16:02:22

Just name the company here so we can all avoid it.

lilyliz Thu 02-Dec-10 16:02:56

quite right and good for you,sit in food premises should have a toilet.Next time go to a burger chain always found the toilets in them very good or maybe thats just my good luck.

ConnorTraceptive Thu 02-Dec-10 16:03:14

My local cafe doesn't have loos but they will discreetly let people use staff ones.

Mind you they are a lovely local, independant cafe who are in general more customer friendly than chain ones. I always try to use them if poss although I did battle with costa coffee last week when they wouldn't let me order some toast for ds as they had finished serving toast 15 minutes ago hmm

SirBoobAlot Thu 02-Dec-10 16:03:57

I don't think you were.

Though I think there is a law which states that if you have the option to eat in there has to be a toilet for public use..? I may be wrong, but I'm pretty certain.

TrappedinSuburbia Thu 02-Dec-10 16:04:53

Terrible, when a child needs to go, they NEED to go!
I also thought you had to provide toilets/hand washing facilities for a cafe.

SirBoobAlot Thu 02-Dec-10 16:05:12

x-posts with a lot of people.

ShanahansRevenge Thu 02-Dec-10 16:07:36

Tell us who it was! I think it's ridiculous that places which serve food and drink are allowed to not have a toilet!

DiamondShoes Thu 02-Dec-10 16:08:14

It was the Eat on the Kings Road in London. No harm naming and shaming I suppose!

It's a shame as I've always liked the company and use them regularly at other branches.

LaurieFairyonthetreeEatsCake Thu 02-Dec-10 16:08:34

I think they should have offered to look after your food/use the toilet

name them please, would like to avoid smile

ItalianLady Thu 02-Dec-10 16:09:42

I was refused the use of the staff loo in Mothercare and Early learning centre for my 2 year old but was allowed to use the staff loo for myself in Hobbycraft.

BramblyHedge Thu 02-Dec-10 16:10:47

We went to a pastie cafe with seating in Bath and just before we ordered (and we obviously were choosing what we wanted) we asked if there were loos (7 mths preg so really needed to go). They replied that 'No' they weren't a 'public loo' - well we went and found a public loo and bought our pasties elsewhere. At least I am an adult - what if I'd had my 4 year old and it was him?

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