Chef Refunds 'Rich' Customer's $1200 Bill To 'Stand Up' For The Server Who Was Disrespected

The chef stood up for one of his servers, even though his initial reaction didn't hit the mark.

Chef Lee Skeet Instagram

A chef in Wales showed how to run a non-toxic workplace after calling out a group of rich customers for harassing one of his employees. In May 2022, Lee Skeet tweeted out an email he wrote to a customer, claiming, “I’m not chasing clout or looking for likes.”

“I just think we should start calling out rich people who think they can treat people like c-–p,”  Skeet wrote. 

The chef stood up for a 22-year-old server who was treated disrespectfully by a group that ate at his restaurant.

Skeet addressed the customer directly, stating, “I wanted to firstly thank you for choosing my restaurant for your meal tonight, and I understand that you had the biggest bill we’ve ever had on one table tonight. Unfortunately, throughout the evening I was made aware that your party’s behavior was inappropriate towards Lily, who runs the front of the house.”


The party racked up a bill of over $1200 for the meal they shared but continuously harassed the young woman serving them.

RELATED: Customer Leaves A Low Tip For 'Great' Server Because Things Are 'Rough Right Now'

Skeet said that Lily spoke with him, explaining, “She has told me that — as a 22-year-old girl — she was talked down to, disrespected, and touched unwantedly by members of your group.”


“I have spent the last hour having conversations with her that break my heart, make me feel like a s-–t employer, and a terrible dad having my own daughter,” Skeet wrote. 

Skeet then stated, “Please provide your bank details and I will refund your entire bill of £1000, minus £100 that I believe you should have tipped Lily — which I will pay directly to her — as you left no tip.”

The party’s bill totaled over $1,250, yet they declined to tip the server they disrespected.

“I would thank you to never come back to my restaurant. Lily means a lot more to me than money,” Skeet said.

He ended his email to the customer by recommending, “I also think you should assess the people you surround yourself with.”


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Skeet’s followers praised the fact that he spoke out against the harassment the server faced, but many disagreed with his act of refunding the inappropriate customer. Skeet took their comments into account, and posted that he’d “reacted too quickly and emotionally.”

“Sorry, I was a little bit angry and protective. I’m not going to refund the customer’s money. I’ve instead kept it and transferred it to Lily.”

Skeet shared a screenshot of the bank transaction in which he transferred Lily the full $1250. 

His account of what happened to Lily holds value, as it showcases a boss standing up for an employee in an unjust and inappropriate work environment. The service industry in the United States is a challenging place to work, as servers rely on tips to make a living wage, and there are little-to-no safety networks to protect servers like Lily from harassment. 


According to a 2021 research paper out of UC Berkeley’s Food Labor Research Center, "71% of women restaurant workers had been sexually harassed at least once during their time in the restaurant industry.” 

Skeet’s initial response might not have hit the mark, but his willingness to reassess refunding the customer shows his intentions were in the right place. He apologized, taking accountability for his reactive decision, and gave Lily, the person who deserved it, the money in the end. 

RELATED: Server Complains After Tourists Only Leave A 10% Tip On $700 Check After Saying They Were ‘Over The Moon’ About Her Service

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.