Edinburgh restaurateur hits out at diners that are ‘killing the catering industry’ with 'faux' dietary requirements

A Capital restaurant owner has hit out at diners who are ‘killing the catering industry’ false dietary requirements because they are picky eaters.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 12:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th November 2019, 4:23 pm

Vikki Wood, owner of The Wee Restaurant, took to Twitter to publish a list of contradictory demands from a list of diners ahead of the festive period.

On her social media account said: “This is why every restaurateur in the land is on Valium or has become an alcoholic by 25 December.

“They should just write their own menu.”

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Dozens of demands between five diners

The list details the ridiculous demands of five diners on the table with more than a dozen issues between them, with their orders contradicting their specified dietary requirements; with vegans order dairy-heavy creme brulees and those with intolerances to red meat ordering venison.

On the list the first diner is said to prefer vegan food ‘so is happy to go with the vegan starter and vegan main, but is okay with the chocolate creme brulee dessert.’

The second ‘is vegan but not keen on gazpacho and pasta, so will have calamari, butternut risotto and chocolate creme brulee.’

Edinburgh restaurateur hits out at diners that are killing the catering industry with 'faux' dietary requirements

Another diner at the table claims to be allergic to ‘pork products, citrus fruits, unpasteurised dairy, raw or rare seafood and meat, lentils and pulses’ and opts to eat calamari, venison and tarte tatin.

The final two diners are noted to be allergic to gluten, dairy and eggs.

She added: “A very esteemed chef spoke on Friday at an event I was at and said this is killing the catering industry and is our biggest challenge.

“Not the genuine allergies - but the faux dietaries.

“That’s the only folk the hospitality industry have a problem with.”

Frustrated hospitality workers show support

After speaking out on Monday, Vikki has been backed by several other frustrated workers from the hospitality sector.

Chef Jon Fell said: “It makes you intolerant of the people who are actually intolerant.”

One Mile Bakery Hale replied: "That is shameful. Those people have clearly had a funny tummy once and then added to their list of laughable 'allergens.'

"Some are just downright ridiculous - 'I'm a vegan unless I want to eat a creme brulee.'"

Catering company, Marmalade Skies said: “I had 19 dietary requirements on a lunch for 50 off people last week, I feel your pain. Happy to accommodate genuine allergies.”

Delivino restaurant in Crieff replied: “For each genuine customer request there must be at least ten playing at it.

“A dangerous, ridiculous and exasperating game.”

Vikki even suggested that an NHS letter from a GP stating someone’s allergies should be required for them to take the requests seriously.

She added: "We find they know what they are doing. They book then just nonchalantly add their contradictory allergies in at the end. Too late to say you are fully booked.

"It was the same last Christmas. Lots over the year, but it seems to go into overdrive during the month of December. By Christmas Day we have had the life sucked out of us.

"Unfortunately we are not financially able to turn away bookings.”

Vikki and her husband Craig own The Wee Restaurant in Edinburgh and North Queensferry and have been operating since 2006 and have an ethos to serve simple good food and wine in a relaxed atmosphere.