Police called to restaurant as diners refuse to pay bill ‘after waiting two hours for meal to arrive’

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Police officers were called to a Mexican restaurant in Tunbridge Wells after diners refused to pay the bill, claiming the service had been awful.

Staff at Zapata were forced to call 999 when the group of eight diners complained about the bill.

They demanded that it should be reduced by half, however bosses at the restaurant in Kent refused.

One diner, Sam Halliday, 27, said he was with a group of friends as well as his wife Jemma celebrating pal Sam Medlin’s 30th birthday at the restaurant when the incident took place.

Mr Halliday said: “We waited 15 minutes for the menu, 25 minutes for drinks, 40 minutes for starters and another 40 minutes for the mains.

“We didn’t eat together because they all came out at different times and with each one there was something wrong.

“They completely forgot the one whose birthday it was and had to start all over again with him. We left most of our main courses.”

Mr Halliday says bosses at the restaurant offered him a free bottle of wine, but he refused – saying the group would pay for drinks and starters, but not the main courses.

And that’s when the manager called the police.

Officers asked the restaurant manager if he could speak to the aggrieved diners – and Mr Halliday spoke to the police worker and told them about the situation.

He said: “When the police were called, we didn’t want to leave as we didn’t know if we were committing a crime and didn’t want to create a further situation.

“We were sort of hostage and the man we’d been talking to refused to come out.”

Mr Halliday and the restaurant boss eventually agreed to a 20% discount on the total bill.

Writing on the TripAdvisor website, Sam Medlin wrote: “We arrived for my 30th birthday meal as a table of eight and were seated.

“15-20 minutes later we have to ask for a drinks menu. It was busy so this can be forgiven. I ordered a jug of traditional Sangria, 10 minutes later I was informed the restaurant has no fruit?

“So I order wine instead. We eventually had to request food menus. Now, if you are like me and looked online at the menu the question you would ask is where is the rest of the food? Limited is an understatement. Half the menu advertised online is not present, with chilli, burrito, steak, seafood pasta, or fajitas being the whole menu.

“I was hoping for a gorgeous paella but it no longer exists. We order regardless. Maybe the kitchen couldn’t cope with a big menu. About an hour+ later the food comes out here are our thoughts: “Chorizo stater a Lil tough not rendered enough to caramelise.

“Gambas starter frozen prawns lots of peppers in lots of oil “Nachos I think were good yay!

“Beef chilli advertised as super hot – it’s sweet with no heat whatsoever!

“Burrito – apparently it’s chicken as we informed they don’t do beef burritos, and this arrived 15 minutes after everyone elses was served “Seafood fajitas – it’s just prawn and definitely frozen ones. So much for fresh produce and served cold, so much for sizzle!

“Steak and peppercorn sauce – steak average, sauce pretty much cream not much flavour.

“We decided to talk to the manager and we offered to pay for drinks and 50% of the food bill.

“After debating with his aggressive nature he called the police 999 Really? Not sure it’s an emergency. Obviously they aren’t going to come, they have important issues to be dealing with.

“After more deliberation we came to an agreement. I’m tired, hungry and we want to leave.

“All in all save yourself the hassle. You will get more authentic Mexican in a box of old El Paso.”

A spokesman for Kent Police confirmed that a call was made from the restaurant just after 10pm on August 27.

He said: “We received a report of a dispute taking place at a restaurant in Tunbridge Wells, at 10.11pm on Saturday, August 27.

“Police attendance was not required as an agreement was made between the two parties while the informant was on the phone.”

Bosses at Zapata have declined to comment.

News Source MirrorNews

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