Seafront tearoom urges customers to "be kind" after staff face abuse during pandemic
A popular tearoom has asked that customers “be kind” after staff have faced abuse during the pandemic.
While most customers at Love Lily in Roker are understanding of the difficulties of operating a hospitality business during the pandemic, others have abused staff when they haven’t been able to offer their usual service.
Staff have been left in tears after being verbally abused by passing people who couldn’t get through on the phone line or pick up a takeout when they haven’t pre-ordered ahead.
It’s become such a problem that owners Helena and Gemma Ganley have issued a statement urging customers to please “be kind.”
They said: “Every day now, and I mean every day, we get several nasty messages, people swear at us, shout at us from outside the tearoom because they are unable to get through on the phone when we are busy.”
The hospitality industry has been brought to its knees by the pandemic and like all involved in that sector Love Lily, which also has a bakery in Pallion, has had to navigate and adapt to 10 months of ever-changing restrictions.
After the country went into a third lockdown, they took the decision to no longer offer a walk-in service, and people must pre-order their cakes and coffee by telephone only.
But some people passing on their daily exercise are still wanting to walk up for a takeout and, when they can’t, have abused staff.
It’s also a problem that’s been raised by neighbouring business Fausto who’ve closed their doors for the time-being after staff received complaints when they introduced a click&collect service.
Many coffee shops have set up a pre-order service only to limit queues and ensure the safety of its staff and customers, because many patrons were trying to walk in without wearing masks.
"We understand this system isn’t ideal,” said the Love Lily statement. “But it is the only way we can keep our business open throughout a global pandemic safely.
"Many of our neighbouring businesses have had to close their doors and make redundancies. We have been incredibly lucky that we have able to adapt our business, stay open and keep our staff in employment.”