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Case 203 - Department store restaurant refused to cut a baguette in half as their knives had been removed on health and safety grounds

Issue

The enquirer and a friend went to a restaurant in a Department store and decided to share a baguette between them. When they asked for the baguette to be cut in half to share the assistant told them they were no longer able to do that because the store had taken away all the knives on health and safety grounds.

Panel decision

There is no health and safety legislation which would prevent the use of knives in this environment and it is reasonable to expect that the person would know how to use knives safely. This is an example of poor customer service hiding behind the health and safety excuse which the store has subsequently recognised. It has apologised and will be advising staff that the service can be provided.

2013-08-13