'Outrageous' moment diners ignore new virus rules in restaurant

An Adelaide restaurant has released video of a customer it claims ignored COVID-19 capacity warnings three times.

South Australia currently has venues capped at 75, and one person per four square metres.

It means restaurants, pubs and other indoors venues in SA can face fines if they don’t enforce the capacity rule.

Sneaky Pickle, a restaurant in Adelaide, posted video to Instagram of a diner named “Amber” at the venue on Saturday. Staff claim she ignored them telling her three times the venue was at capacity.

Sneaky Pickle owner Jeff Griffiths speaks with a group of diners in CCTV.
Sneaky Pickle owner Jeff Griffiths argues with a group of diners he claims wouldn't listen to him as the restaurant was at capacity. Source: Instagram/ Sneaky Pickle

“She still took upon herself to get a table,” it wrote.

“Please don’t be an Amber. We need your help to support the restrictions put in place to keep us all safe.”

‘A complete disaster’

The restaurant’s owner Jeff Griffiths told Nine News “it was a bit of a debacle” which started off with a customer “pressuring” staff for a table and ended up being “a complete disaster”.

“She forced her way into the venue, she wouldn’t take no for an answer,” he told Nine News.

Mr Griffiths claims the woman showed up for a 7.30pm booking on Saturday and he asked her to wait in the hallway because the venue was at capacity.

He said she tried to walk past the queue to get a table only to be again told the restaurant was full.

Sneaky Pickle’s owner told 7News Amber “weaselled her way into the room”.

Appalling service, says diner

Mr Griffiths told 7News he posted the video after the woman left a scathing review of Sneaky Pickle calling its service “appalling”.

The woman’s review on Google claims when she arrived for a 7.30pm booking she and her party were greeted by a huge queue.

“I walked up into the dining area and attempted to explain that we had a table booked and please allocate seating soon as my friend’s 83-year-old grandma was arriving and understandably we didn’t want her standing in the crowded queue,” she wrote.

Jeff Griffiths, the owner of Sneaky Pickle in Adelaide, wipes down tables in his restaurant.
Jeff Griffiths, the owner of Sneaky Pickle, hopes the public will support the new social distancing restrictions in place in restaurants. Source: 7News

She added the owner told her to get back into the queue, “like I was a five-year-old kid”.

The woman wrote another staff member allocated the group a table but the owner “shouted” to her: “where do you guys think you are going?” before another dispute started and the group went to their table.

These are claims Mr Griffiths disputes though.

“We don’t want to see that people lie about our business that way because we know it’s entirely untrue,” he told 7News.

‘People can’t respect the new rules’

On Facebook, where Sneaky Pickle also uploaded a copy of the video, people called out the woman’s behaviour as “disgraceful”, “appalling” and “inconsiderate”.

“The entitlement is strong with this one,” one man wrote.

“Well handled.”

Others called for her to receive a ban.

“How pathetic. It’s beyond me why people can’t respect the new rules in place,” one woman wrote.

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