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Minor - right to refuse service

(8 Posts)
casper91 Wed 10-Oct-12 01:45:55

Hoping someone can help me here because Google is mostly providing US law. (I'm in UK). Will try and make this as short as possible without drip feeding.

I work in a bar which is part of a chain. We have a regular customer who has always caused minor problems (loud, rude, jumps the queue etc) and who we are pretty sure deals/ takes drugs on premises but haven't been able to catch him. Just in case it's relevant, we have had a new manager and new area manager in last few months.

Last week, this customer came up to the bar, got right in my face and shouted at me, telling me "I'm just warning you, you're pissing the wrong people off with your attitude. You're supposed to work here" etc etc. I told him he would be straight out the door if he threatened me again (I realise he didn't actually threaten me but my guard was up because of his body language and I jumped to conclusions) and asked what I was meant to have said. There had just been a minor incident with one of his friends regarding not having a specific glass clean, but I said nothing out of order. Spent the rest of the night worried for myself and DP who was also in there, as more and more of the customers friends came in. Other member of bar staff, when told, said he would have a word and then changed his mind and said he would leave it to manager to sort out next day.

Also just remembered customer was actually supposed to be on his last warning before a life ban before all this for smoking on premises the week before.

Next day, customer is in the bar when I come on shift. Comes to bar, I tell him I won't be serving him, he storms off muttering to himself. Another group of customers then actually complained about him to the manager for something else, manager went to speak to him and they ended up rowing. Manager brought up the night before, told him not to intimidate staff again and learn some respect etc. (Customer also said his friends the night before had wanted to take my dp outside and "batter him" but he held them back - no idea why).

In again on Sunday, again refused service by me to which he just said alright and got somebody else to get his drink. No problem really, other than him slagging me off to other customers which I Ignored. Had a bit of a go at other bar staff for "grassing him up about the smoking" and also nearly got caught (we believe) taking drugs in toilet.

Have now heard tonight that manager has been complaining because I have refused service, and until he is barred I have to serve him.
Very, very sorry for the ramble, it was a long shift and I'm annoyed now, I feel like my manager is not backing me up even though I no longer feel safe with this man on the premises.

Just want to know, because I know I'm going to get a bollocking, whether I am within my rights to refuse service? Or is that only a managers privilege?
Thanks for staying with me and thanks in advance for any advice

casper91 Wed 10-Oct-12 02:01:33

Just to clarify, I mean I won't serve him personally, he is obviously quite welcome to go to another member of staff.

olgaga Wed 10-Oct-12 09:04:11

I think you need to speak directly to the manager about this, and have a proper discussion rather than hearing things second hand.

This customer is obviously an unpleasant individual and I'm not sure why the manager doesn't just bar him, especially if he is acting in an aggressive, threatening manner, smoking on the premises etc, especially if there have been complaints from other customers. The manager has a duty of care to the staff and customers.

Ultimately if you or any other customer (including your DP) is threatened by this man, either on or off the premises, you should make it clear to your manager that you won't hesitate to call the police.

suburbandweller Wed 10-Oct-12 09:37:51

I agree you need to speak directly to your manager about this. The right to reserve service is discretionary and will usually be implemented via the manager, rather than individual staff. That said, your manager should absolutely be supporting you in circumstances where a particular customer has been threatening or abusive toward you - when I worked in a bar there's no way my manager would accept that sort of behaviour (in fact he actively intervened to throw someone out for swearing at me). You have a right not to be subjected to that sort of behaviour while you're at work - point that out to your manager and ask for his support.

casper91 Wed 10-Oct-12 15:16:47

Thank you. I feel so let down. The only bit I've heard second hand is that the manager now wants a word with me, so I will wait till he brings it up and then discuss it. Thanks again

olgaga Thu 11-Oct-12 12:32:29

Good luck, hope it goes well.

Convert Thu 11-Oct-12 12:41:38

If you want to take this up then you need to speak to your manager and tell him that you are not willing to serve this man again, after being threatened by him and as he is on a last warning then he should be barred.
If you manager refuses or tries to insist that you serve him then you can tell him you would like to speak to the area manager/area ops manager (depending on brand of pub) and put in a grievance against your manager.

casper91 Sun 14-Oct-12 01:43:43

I will consider it, not too sure how far it would get me though. Manager has had several complaints made about him already, both customer and staff. Tbh I think it would just make work environment awkward? I think you're right though, that's the only option really isn't it? Cheers again for the support, I know its not a major issue in the grand scheme of things but its stressing me out!

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