A diner said he was left ‘near to tears’ after he and a friend were turned away from a restaurant because of what they were wearing.
David Fulton, 27, from Folkestone, Kent, and his pal unknowingly fell foul of the dress code at Miller & Carter steakhouse in Maidstone.
David, a civil servant, and his friend had planned the meal to celebrate his pal buying a new car, Kent Live reports.
He said they had even tried to clarify several times what the company’s dress code was before they arrived by calling to ask how they should be attired.
David 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.”
However when the pair turned up excited and hungry on Wednesday they didn’t get any further than the foyer.
David was wearing a pair of jeans and a top and said he was left feeling like “a second class citizen” as staff reviewed his outfit.
But his friend had donned a pair of shorts and a T-shirt which he claimed staff had deemed too “chavvy” for their dining room.
David 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.
Miller & Carter describes its dress code as “smart casual” with “no tracksuits, hoodies sports/work wear” allowed.
But David says the pair were not wearing anything explicitly banned and was upset with the way staff treated them.
After the incident he got in touch with the restaurant via email, but was also disgruntled by their response which said they are “heavily monitored by dress code”.
“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,” David said.
“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.”
The pair ended up dining out at Fido’s Bistro, which David said “was very accommodating” and “fantastic”.
A Miller & Carter Maidstone spokesman told Kent Live: “We’re sorry for any disappointment caused, however we do have a dress code in place at the Steakhouse.”