'Ignorant mistake': Cafe owner blasted over detail on food receipt

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A Brisbane business has landed itself in hot water after a copy of an insensitive message printed on a docket was endorsed by the owner and circulated on social media.

The docket containing food orders for back-of-house staff at popular cafe Froth on Brunswick, in Fortitude Valley, described a pair of customers as "two very annoying Asians" during Friday's lunch service.

Owner, Shay Hayston, who also partly owns No. 5 Cafe and popular LGBTQI venue The Stand, shared a photo of the docket to messaging phone app SnapChat, where it caught the eye of Brisbane local Alec Madara.

According to a screenshot shared to Mr Madara's Instagram, Mr Hayston wrote the words "OMG I love my staff" across the photo of the docket before sharing it to his public SnapChat account. 

Owner and manager at Froth on Brunswick endorsed a cruel description of customers in a post to his SnapChat. Source: Instagram/alex_carthos
Owner and manager at Froth on Brunswick endorsed a cruel description of customers in a post to his SnapChat. Source: Instagram/alex_carthos

"I don't think anyone that is a paying customer should be dealt with in that way, I thought it was very unprofessional. I didn't want to assume he was being racist, but to me it seemed like he was toeing a line that was a little too close for me to walk away from," Mr Madara told Yahoo News Australia. 

"I felt like it was derogatory – if you're upset with their behaviour, their race really shouldn't matter." 

The social media pages for Froth on Brunswick have been made private, while sister venue The Stand has shut down while a "formal internal investigation within the company is completed and resolved". 

Manager of the nightclub, known by staff and some guests as Freddie, issued a statement on Saturday addressing Mr Hayston's SnapChat post, in which he described it "truly unacceptable". 

The picture shared to social media was taken at Froth on Brunswick. Source: Google Maps
The picture shared to social media was taken at Froth on Brunswick. Source: Google Maps

"Many of us know the people involved in this incident. They have in the past done incredible things for our community. However they have made a very ignorant mistake. A mistake they must learn from, apologise and educate themselves on," part of the statement, shared to The Strand's Instagram, read. 

After publicly sharing Mr Hayston's post to Instagram, Mr Madara said he received a barrage of messages from the business owner both insulting him and rejecting his call to take accountability. 

Mr Hayston, according to another screenshot, also sent Mr Madara a message on Facebook telling him to "get a hobby" and "stop pretending [to be] the victim". 

The business owner has since deleted all of his social media profiles besides his Facebook account, and ignored Yahoo News Australia's request for comment. 

"This is just a huge overstep for someone that's a manager and owner of a business," Mr Madara said, speculating the staff member behind the rude docket may not have received appropriate training. 

Alec Madara, who runs the Instagram page Alex Carthos, has condemned Shay Hayston's behaviour. Source: Supplied
Alec Madara condemned Shay Hayston's behaviour. Source: Supplied

"They probably wrote something like that because they heard how he [Mr Hayston] spoke and just thought that was OK because they were quite green professionally."

Mr Madara said the SnapChat was not the first from Mr Hayston to rub him the wrong way, saying former posts had mentioned his dislike for his job and dealing with customers. 

"I don't think people like this should be owning businesses. This behaviour isn't acceptable in general, but it's definitely not acceptable in business," he said.  

Sydney establishment Downtown Brooklyn Penrith was earlier this year forced to defend a Facebook post labelled "racist" after management shared it online ahead of Australia Day to promote a special meal. 

“364 more sleeps ‘til we have to listen to the Invasion Day bandwagoners again," part of the post read. 

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