A MEMBER of staff at a Windermere restaurant was subjected to verbal abuse by a member of the public in the latest case of mistreatment of hospitality staff in Cumbria.

The San Pietro Restaurant, in Windermere, which is currently closed for a short time, has experienced several incidents of abuse from customers, mainly via email and over the phone.

Restaurant owner Jason Turner said his wife was subjected to both verbal and racial abuse by a couple who arrived at the restaurant with their child.

The incident happened to be witnessed an off-duty police officer who then reported the incident to Cumbria Police.

Jason said: “It’s not a very nice thing, but thankfully it’s not a common thing. But it does happen.

“It’s not just us. Lots of businesses around here are getting the same thing.

“It’s the aggression over the phone and via email that we’ve been getting from people we can’t get in.

“It’s not in person as much but it has happened.

“It’s the way society has changed that people are becoming a little more aggressive and a bit weird when they don’t get something.

“It happened two or three weeks ago, but a couple arrived with their child and asked for a table. My wife politely explained that we were fully booked.

“They began being very demeaning to her and then began using abusive language, swearing and even some racial language.

“My wife is a very strong person and she brushed it off. She is adored by our staff and the customers. She runs a great restaurant.

“Luckily a woman witnessed it and emailed us saying she would act as witness for us if we needed it.

“It turned out she was a member of the police so she got in touch with Cumbria Police who came to visit us the next afternoon. We have a strict no abuse policy where any aggression will be asked to leave.”