Newcastle restaurant defends staff attire labelled as ‘revealing’ and 'inappropriate' in diner's review

A Honeysuckle restaurant has defended their staff uniform policy after a diner made a complaint on social media of “revealing” and “inappropriate” skirts. 

Made on Saturday against MoneyPenny, the self-titled ‘contemporary small bar’ on Honeysuckle Drive, the complaint was posted on Facebook while the patron was dining at the restaurant.  

It left owner Paul Davies frustrated and disappointed.

“The fact that people rarely address anything with you face-to-face and go straight to the internet is so disappointing,” he said. 

“But I guess it speaks volumes as to [the] current state of our society.”

The diner’s complaint read: “Maybe you should dress your staff in better uniform, trying to relax with a quiet drink, and staff are bent over in very revealing skirts where you see their business. Very inappropriate. Certainly not professional”. 

It was posted as a review on MoneyPenny’s Facebook.

COMPLAINT: A screenshot of the review.

COMPLAINT: A screenshot of the review.

“Review platforms are provided for people to pass personal critique on their perception of food and drink quality, the level of service and overall atmosphere,” Mr Davies said. 

“Since when has it become acceptable to pass judgment on the physical appearance of one of the staff members and then assign that judgement to the business where the employee works?”

Mr Davies posted a passionate reply on Monday on MoneyPenny’s social media that led with: “The only thing inappropriate here is you publicly slut-shaming someone in 2018...”

He said of the response: “I think it's so wrong that people expect businesses to just lie down and cop it and not stand up for themselves.”

He also defended his autonomous uniform policy. 

“Apart from the chefs in the kitchen who wear the appropriate uniform for safety reasons, the front-of-house staff must wear enclosed, non-slip footwear but are left to be autonomous with the rest of the outfit,” he said. 

“I believe for customers to love a company; your staff need to love it first. For me, I know I feel much more comfortable wearing my own clothes so why shouldn’t they enjoy the same freedoms?

“If I can give my staff a confident mind-set before they have even left the house, I’m already one step of the way towards providing an enjoyable work environment in which people want to spend time in. 

“If I make the start of their day that tiny bit more satisfying by letting them choose their favourite outfits for work, I believe it will go a long way in promoting that positivity in the workplace.”

Ella, 21, an employee of over a year, said the review was “unnecessary comment”.

“We are all confident girls that work here, we really are,” she said.  

“We all encourage each other to express ourselves.

It’s nice to be able to wear what you want to and not have a separate wardrobe for what you’d usually wear.” 

The diner, who the Herald tried to reach for comment, has since deleted the review.