A diner said he was left ‘close to tears’ after he and a friend were turned away from a restaurant because of their ‘chavvy’ clothes.
David Fulton, 27, from Folkestone, and his pal – who is not identified – say they fell foul of the dress code at Miller & Carter Steakhouse in Maidstone, Kent last week.
The pair had planned a meal to celebrate David’s pal buying a new car but they left with empty stomachs after reportedly clashing with staff over their outfits.
David claimed they had even tried to clarify the company’s ‘smart casual’ dress code before they arrived at the venue.
David, a primary school teacher, said: ‘We’d driven past [the restaurant] a number of times and we like to try out new places to eat out.
‘We noted that they had a dress code and, to make absolutely sure we weren’t in any violation of this, both placed individual calls to the restaurant to confirm this.
‘My friend described his exact outfit and the gentleman on the other end confirmed that it was absolutely fine.’
Convinced they were appropriately dressed the pair arrived at the restaurant just before 6pm on Wednesday [September 9] but didn’t get any further than the foyer.
Wearing a pair of jeans and a top, David said he was left feeling like ‘a second-class citizen’ as staff reviewed his outfit.
David’s friend had donned a pair of shorts and a T-shirt for the meal, which he claimed staff had deemed too ‘chavvy’ for their dining room.
He said: ‘We drove up on the day and got into the restaurant foyer. The woman at the front desk asked if we had a reservation and I confirmed.
‘She then hesitated to give us a menu and called over a gentleman colleague.
‘They both started murmuring to each other whilst physically looking us up and down, paying particular attention to my friends clothing and tattoos.
‘Whilst doing this, the gentleman used the word “chavvy” to describe, I assume, our clothing.
‘The woman then looked at the sign to her left which stated the dress code, looked at me and, patronisingly, asked if I had “read the dress code”, to which we explained we called twice to confirm this.
‘She then murmured to her colleague and then said that we cannot seat you dressed and looking the way we do.
‘This was unbelievably embarrassing and made me feel like an absolute second-class citizen.
‘We had to leave as I was close to tears and my friend helped me out of the restaurant. The response from them has been absolutely abysmal.’
Miller & Carter Steakhouse describes its dress code as ‘smart casual’ with ‘no tracksuits, hoodies sports/work wear’ permitted.
But David insisted the pair were not wearing anything explicitly banned and said he was upset with the way staff treated them.
After the incident he claims he got in touch with the restaurant via email, but was also disgruntled by their response, which explained they are ‘heavily monitored by dress code’.
David added: ‘They categorically refused to address the conduct of their staff and only reiterated their dress code, which did not exclusively prohibit any of the clothing me and my friend were wearing.
‘If I wasn’t working from home and had turned up straight from work in my office, there would have been no hesitation to seat us.
‘I can’t understand why our money, that we were willing to spend, seemed to not be good enough due to our not at all shabby appearance.’
David did eventually find a restaurant nearby – Fido’s Bistro – which he says ‘was very accommodating’ and ‘fantastic’.
A Miller & Carter Steakhouse spokesman said: ‘We’re sorry for any disappointment caused, however we do have a dress code in place at the Steakhouse.’