'So angry': Restaurant owner's message for 'rude' dine and dashers

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A family-run Vietnamese restaurant in Adelaide is heartbroken after two patrons allegedly intimidated staff before leaving without paying their bill.

Thy Nguyen, 29, who co-owns Ông Vietnamese said on Wednesday night two “rude” people ran out on the bill after eating an entree, mains and drinks worth $138 while making staff feel uncomfortable with comments about race.

Ms Nguyen told Yahoo News Australia she believes the robbery was “premeditated” after the man and woman came into the restaurant without a booking.

“We have our menu at the front because we like to be transparent with what we offer,” she said.

“They were telling a member of our staff what Vietnamese food should be.”

A man and a woman are pictured inside Ong Vietnamese Kitchen in Adealide.
Ong Vietnamese Kitchen claims these two people performed a dine and dash. Source: Instagram/ Ong Vietnamese Kitchen

She said the diners were rude, made staff uncomfortable and spoke with "racist undertones".

“We’ve got an Iranian person and a Kenyan person on staff and they made comments about their ethnicity,” Ms Nguyen said.

“They then did a dine and dash. It was definitely premeditated and I think they’ve done it before. I looked back at CCTV and the entire time they were giggling and excited and looking around the shop.”

She said the man went to the counter and appeared to distract a staff member before they made a break for it.

Ms Nguyen said she is yet to report them to police.

 Ông Vietnamese Kitchen in Adelaide is pictured.
The owners of the family-owned restaurant have worked hard to make ends meet throughout the pandemic. Source: Thy Nguyen

She wrote on Instagram it makes staff "so angry and upset to know incidents like this can still happen".

She urged people to be kind.

It’s a blow for the family-owned restaurant, which is one of many businesses widely-affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Australia.

Ms Nguyen said she and other members of her family took over in November 2020 after 16 years as her parents struggled to make ends meet. Her husband works as a chef there too.

“Covid has been so hard on all of us and someone doing something like this really does hurt,” she said.

“But there have been so many lovely messages from the community. Some people have even offered to pay the bill. People are so generous.”

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