Bystanders were shocked by a man screaming profanities at the staff of the Chinese Garden Restaurant in Blind Bay on Aug. 7, 2020. (Amanda Toms/Facebook)

Bystanders were shocked by a man screaming profanities at the staff of the Chinese Garden Restaurant in Blind Bay on Aug. 7, 2020. (Amanda Toms/Facebook)

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

If you can’t be respectful and follow the rules, you may not be welcome at B.C. restaurants.

This is the general message behind a campaign being launched by the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association in response to concerning incidents that occurred recently at several establishments, including the Chinese Garden Restaurant in Blind Bay, where an enraged customer verbally lashed out at staff.

A video of the one-sided exchange went viral on social media.

*This video may be distressing to some viewers*

News of another incident at a Mr. Mikes in Langford, where the restaurant said guests became belligerent when asked to follow COVID-19 policies, prompted comment from B.C. Premier John Horgan.

“To have idiots come in and be idiots is quite frankly not acceptable,” he said. “It’s not acceptable to abuse people when you’re going out to have a meal … People are just being stupid.”

BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association president and CEO Ian Tostenson called what he saw in the video at the Shuswap restaurant “disgusting,” noting such behaviour only exacerbates what is already a challenging time for restaurant owners.

“So we’re drawing a line, we’re starting a campaign… which is basically telling people if you can’t follow the rules then stay home because we’re not at all interested in trying to accommodate self-serving, narrow people that are putting their interests ahead of public safety, and putting business owners and their staff into a stressful environment,” said Tostenson, adding the majority of people are respectful and grateful to be able to be able to dine out or order in.

Though upset by what occurred at the Blind Bay restaurant, South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce executive director Karen Brown called the incident atypical. Brown said she contacted the restaurant’s owner who said they were fine. She added that she and other chamber members would be paying the restaurant staff a visit to show they’re loved.

Brown noted the chamber launched its own campaign this spring, Kindness is Contagious, as a reminder that this is a difficult time for many, and encouraging people to be respectful of one another.

“Let’s just take a deep breath here and follow the words of the provincial health officer, don’t judge, be kind and we’re all going to get through this together,” said Brown. “That’s really what it’s about.”

Brown is proud of the South Shuswap business community’s response to the pandemic, and said everybody is trying their best to keep visitors and staff safe.

Canoe Beach Cafe co-owner Jim Dunlop said they’ve had the odd irate customer over the year years. For some a menu item was renamed in their honour.

“So we’ve had Mr. Cranky Pants burger for a while…,” laughs Dunlop. “The thing is, if I did that this year, I would run out of food options to name.

“Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit; we’ve probably had five or six, as opposed to one or two people who have really lost it.”

Dunlop said he and his wife Joyce have taken numerous steps to meet and exceed COVID-19 health and safety requirements at the cafe as both of them are immunocompromised.

“She’s just a walking miracle, she’s a three-time cancer survivor, she’s down to one lung, so can you ever imagine if we did contact COVID-19?” said Dunlop.

As a result, however, food service can be slow – something they explain in advance to their customers, the majority of whom are understanding.

Though optimistic about the future of the cafe, Dunlop is concerned for other B.C. restaurants that have been struggling under COVID-19.

“That’s why my message to everybody has just been lighten up, take a breath and try to think of what that other party is going through…,” said Dunlop, adding there’s no excuse for the hostile behaviour. Regarding the man hurling hostilities in the video, Dunlop said he hopes it was a learning experience, that he apologizes and gets whatever help he may need.

Read more: Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Blind Bay restaurant

Read more: ‘Just being stupid’: B.C. premier slams abusive customers at Greater Victoria restaurant

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Almost two in three Canadians surveyed recently said they trust COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Northern Health to open 30 COVID vaccine clinics for oldest residents, Indigenous seniors

Health authority says it plans to vaccinate nearly 15,000 people in Phase Two

Alexander Ericksons award-winning piece, The Provider, on display at the Kitimat Museum and Archives (Photo Frieda Design School)
Kitimat Museum and Archives host Freda Diesing school art exhibition

Local Kitimat art exhibition from students of the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art

Security has been stepped up at both Kitimat General Hospital in Kitimat, pictured here, and at the Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace. (File photo)
Stillbirth reaction leads to more hospital security

Staff, physicians facing threats and harassment

Workers at Kitimat General Hospital were presented with a large variety of food packages in appreciation of the last year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The donations came via local Epicurean representative Kerri Weightman who collected money for the purchases. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Hospital workers receive food donation

Workers at Kitimat General Hospital were presented with a large variety of… Continue reading

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read