Restaurant lashes out at Jewish customer in row over request for pork dish substitution

Customer triggers furious response from restaurant after suggesting it told diners ‘we don’t cater for Jews’


A trendy Manchester restaurant has lashed out at a Jewish customer who asked for a booking fee refund after a request for a set menu pork dish substitution was refused. 

In a letter of complaint, the customer had suggested that District, a Thai restaurant that serves various set menus priced from £40 to £100 per person, amend its homepage to feature the slogan “we don’t cater for Jews”.

The restaurant responded saying: “We will not be bullied or threatened into returning deposits.”

The eaterie said it had offered to serve the dish to another member of the complainant’s group, skip it altogether or allow the customer to transfer the reservation and  £15 deposit to others.

The venue posted a screenshot of the customer's email complaint, which it described as “unacceptable". 

According to the screenshot, the Jewish customer took issue with District's handling of the situation and argued that the restaurant“could have offered something better than missing our course and taking our deposit.” 

The diner also said they had left a note explaining their Jewish dietary requirements while placing their reservation and, identifying themselves as a restaurant owner, stressed they understood the pressures of running a restaurant. 

The venue said it had “worked tirelessly to open this business and have faced an extremely difficult 18 months, along with every other restaurant in Manchester.”

The customer, meanwhile, had said they would speak out on social media unless a refund was issued.

“As a restaurant owner, I won’t suffer fools. To suggest that offering a second portion, or something from the other menu, would wreak havoc in the kitchen is simply ridiculous,” they wrote. 

In a statement to the JC, the restaurant said: "We are absolutely devestated to receive comments that brand us as discriminatory. We are all naturally hospitable people and take great joy in pleasing everybody where possible. This is the whole reason we opened our restaurant.

"We do clearly ask anybody with dietary requirements to please get in touch with the restaurant directly before making a reservation.

"This is because we get a very large number of requests to modify the menu on a daily basis and the very small team can not cater for all of them. For this reason we do not offer alternatives to dishes."

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