Premier slams rude Langford restaurant patrons as ‘idiots’

Premier John Horgan has a message for the “idiots” who abused restaurant staff in his home community of Langford.

“Certainly that’s not how I raised my kids,” Horgan said at a news conference in Surrey on Thursday. “And I think most people across British Columbia are horrified when they hear stories like the story coming out of Mr. Mikes.”

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“You’ve got employees that are doing their level best to provide an opportunity for people to come together to share a meal in a safe, comfortable place, and to have idiots come in and be idiots, quite frankly, is not acceptable.

“I’m very disappointed about it.”

The premier was responding to a Facebook post from the Mr. Mikes steakhouse in Langford, which said a group of guests who balked at obeying pandemic-related rules verbally attacked two young staff members “to the point of tears” Wednesday. The patrons were upset that, because there were more than six of them, health regulations prevented them from sitting together. Staff offered to seat them at tables two metres apart, but they became hostile.

“This industry is already hard enough at the best of times and as an owner I need my staff to know I support them, especially at a time like this,” Mr Mikes’ Claire Mackie said in an email Thursday. “This isn’t the first time we’ve been yelled at for something completely out of our hands. Last week we were told we were going to go bankrupt because, again, more than six guests came in and couldn’t sit all together.

“Last night I received a call about a young staff member upset with tears due to an incident involving guests. The post on Facebook was meant to be a generic post to remind people to be kind as we are doing the best we can in this industry with guidelines out of our hands. I know I’m not alone with how I feel as an owner in this business, so please remember to be kind and patient as we all appreciate and need your business and support in these strange times. Stay safe and healthy.”

Horgan echoed that sentiment.

“We all have to up our game,” he said.

“We have to be kinder to each other. We have to behave with other people as we would want them to behave with us.

“It’s not acceptable to abuse people when you’re going out to have a meal — when you’re doing anything, frankly.

“There’s a whole host of stories emerging about bad behaviour during this pandemic, and, unfortunately, they overshadow the extraordinary stories of kindness that are emerging in every part of British Columbia as well.

“I’d like to focus on those moments when people’s better angels are shining forward, rather than those moments like the Mr. Mikes incident when people are just being stupid.”

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