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B.C. premier, pub owner speaking out about abusive customers angry about COVID rules

"We understand the frustrations we are all feeling, but, as Bonnie Henry says, just be nice."
Restaurant owners and even the Premier of B.C. are speaking up about customers abusing staff about public health orders. Photo: Getty Images

As the pandemic drags on and COVID-19 measures at B.C. restaurants become routine for some, others have been taking out their frustrations on servers and hostesses.

West Kelowna Kelly O'Bryan's owner operator Brad Shave took to Facebook Thursday exasperated over how his staff has been getting treated by some patrons.

"Please be aware of something, we are all stressed. Further, we don't make the rules. There is no reason to accuse staff of being 'unreasonable' for following the rules that they have no control over," he said.

The six-person per table limit, set by the government, has been one of the largest point of friction between staff and customers. 

"If you have six people plus a baby, guess what, that's seven," adding he's also not able to let people get up from one table to visit another.

"We are doing all we can to stay open at limited capacity... we are only trying to follow the rules so we don't get closed."

Shave's social media reminder comes the same day as Premier John Horgan shared some strong words for people who disrespect servers in the province.

“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," he said. 

While Horgan was speaking specifically about an incident at Langford's Mr. Mikes restaurant, he says he has heard stories about restaurant staff being mistreated throughout the province.

“There's a whole host of stories that are 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,” he said.

“We all have to up our game, we have to be kinder to each other, we have to behave with other people as we would want them to behave with us and it's not acceptable to abuse people when you're going out to have a meal.”

Brad Shave is also urging any customers of West Kelowna's Kelly O'Bryan's who have issues, to contact him personally rather than take it out on his staff.

"Please, please, be nice to the staff who are working so hard to make your experience great, with the restrictions we are bound."

Shave adds: "We love you all and understand the frustrations we are all feeling, but, as Bonnie Henry says, just be nice."

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