High Peak gastropub owner slams couple who refused to pay

A High Peak restaurant owner has slammed a couple who refused to pay for a meal they had eaten after claiming they didn’t like it.

By Lucy Ball
Thursday, 21st October 2021, 7:00 am

Luke Payne, owner of The Pack Horse, said the incident was unacceptable and upsetting after such a tough time for businesses.

Luke, who has been at the helm of the Hayfield eatery for five years, said: “If we do something wrong I will happily hold my hands up and offer a refund.

"However, this couple decided they didn’t like their food after eating more than half of it, demanded a new meal for free, and when they realised they weren’t going to get that continued to eat the rest of their meal and then left without paying.

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Luke Payne, chef and owner of the Pack Horse in Hayfield, has been left hurt and upset by a couple who didn't pay for their meal

"It’s rude, it’s a slap in the face to the hard work and passion we put in to our food, our business and our livelihood and it’s totally unacceptable.”

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The incident happened on Saturday October, 16 when one of the duo ordered a pork chop.

Luke said: "We know it’s good, we use great suppliers and its one of our bestsellers every week.

“The diner got what she ordered and when the waiting staff checked back she had no complaints.”

Luke said she then approached the bar and said there was nothing wrong with the dish but it was not to her taste.

"She demanded another meal for free and to return her pork chop,” claimed Luke.

"You can’t just return a meal especially a mostly eaten one.”

The staff said she could have another meal if she paid for it which she declined so she sat down and finished her meal.

Since reopening after lockdown the business has had a number of no-shows so asks for people to provide their card details when booking tables as a precaution.

Pack Horse waiting staff said they heard the couple talking about cancelling their card after they refused to pay.

Luke said: "It’s so hurtful and after the tough time the hospitality industry has suffered you’d think people would be more understanding.”

Luke says the card has been charged with the details provided when booking but no money has so far come through.

He added if the card has been cancelled he will be involving the police and the small claims court.

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