Woman accusing restaurant of racism reveals trick she used to secure table

A woman, convinced she was turned away from a restaurant because of her race, claims to have used a simple trick to secure a table at the establishment.

Fatima Rajina headed to Côte Brasserie in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK, on Sunday but was told by staff the restaurant was operating on a reservation basis only on Mother's Day despite several tables appearing to be free.

But Ms Rajina claims that after an initial gut feeling an employee at the national Parisian chain was lying to her, she conjured up a plan to try and land a table.

"We walked out and [a friend] decided to call 'em up," Ms Rajina wrote on Twitter.

"He calls ‘em and puts on a white accent and asks them if there’d be a table available and we were offered a table within 15 minutes.

Fatima Rajina has claimed a staff member turned her and a friend away because of their race. Source: Twitter/ Fatima Rajina

"He switched back to his normal, working class accent and asked her why this wasn’t offered to him when we walked in just a few mins ago."

Ms Rajina says the member of staff on the phone became flustered and offered the pair a table if they were to head down right away.

Ms Rajina and her friend speculated they had been turned away because of the colour of their skin. The restaurant denied that was the case.

“It’s a lived reality for a lot of ethnic minorities but when it happens it still stings, it hurts," she said.

The restaurant has denied claims that guests are turned away for any other reason than the establishment being booked out. Source: Google Maps

A spokesman for the restaurant told Birmingham Live that they were "saddened" by Ms Rajina's experience but strongly denied that there "is a policy to refuse guests a table on any basis other than the restaurant being full."

“At Côte Brasserie we are proud to be an equal rights employer, counting over 120 nationalities amongst our team members," he said.

“We have a strict zero tolerance policy against any form of discrimination, whether it be amongst our team or towards our guests."

But Ms Rajina's friend, 30, who wishes to remain unnamed, has been left devastated by the incident and has called for a public apology.

The restaurant has confirmed the incident is under investigation and they are taking the matter "very seriously".

Ms Rajina's posts have been retweeted over 3500 times and prompted a series of comments from other users sharing similar incidents of discrimination.