Is this Britain’s most unfriendly cafe? Customers ‘insulted’ and disabled girl ‘told to sit outside’


A cafe owner described as “the most aggressive and rude woman” ever has dismissed her critics saying they are rude, uneducated and she does not need their money.

Iranian-born Anne Giffard has run Cafe Crepes, in Epsom High Street, for the past five years, serving fresh crepes, omelettes and drinks.

Two weeks ago, an appalled Gretta Dempsie, mother of Game of Thrones and Skins actor Joe Dempsie, contacted the Epsom Guardian to complain about the treatment of her disabled daughter, Lauren.

Mrs Dempsie said she and her husband had taken their daughter – who had moved to Epsom that day to start living in a specially-adapted cottage – to Cafe Crepes for lunch, but had been refused service unless they sat outside.

She said: “I pushed my daughter in and the owner behind the counter had an expression to say ‘what are you doing in here?’.

“We said we wanted some food. She said ‘not in here, you can sit outside’.

“She said that was because of the wheelchair.”

Mrs Dempsie said the family did not want to sit outside because of noise from traffic and that the restaurant was empty.

“She kept saying ‘it’s all booked, it’s all booked’ and then just ignored us.

“I found it hard to believe. Her hostility towards us was palpable,” she added.

“We have never had this before. Usually we get really helpful people.

“I’m just appalled. My daughter was so upset.

“This was our welcome to Epsom.”

Your Local Guardian:

Mrs Dempsie said she and her husband Jim spent months driving around looking for somewhere in Surrey for their daughter to live and chose Epsom because “it had flat pavements and seemed accessible”.

She said her daughter loves crepes and would have been a regular customer to the cafe.

However, the Dempsies are not the only ones to complain about the way they were treated at Cafe Crepes.

All six reviews on website 192.com slate Mrs Giffard for being rude, aggressive and unhelpful.

But Mrs Giffard, who runs the restaurant with help from her husband, said she is not bothered by all the negative feedback.

Speaking to the Epsom Guardian last week, she said: “People come in here and don’t understand.

“They say I am rude to them. They are rude.”

An Epsom resident of 15 years, Mrs Giffard was born in Iran and grew up in France.

She said she has a select group of customers who she loves and who like her food, with people coming from Wimbledon just for her crepes.

Mrs Giffard said the restaurant is too small and narrow for pushchairs and wheelchairs and that there is seating outside for these customers.

She said: “This is a small business, it is not a chain.

“If you’re not happy, don’t come.  It’s not my problem.”

Your Local Guardian:

Her prized customers include Atkins employees who regularly order lunch and a “nice, polite family who come and understand me”.

“They fold their buggy, put it on the side and sit in here,” she added.

“We talk about the news.  They feel at home or that they are in the house of an auntie.

“Others, they come in and provoke me.

“If you’re in Epsom in the morning there are lots of pushchairs. They go and get their benefits and they go from cafe to cafe.

“I prefer to have people with good manners.

“It’s a question of education.

“These types of people have no education or manners. This is about respect.

“This is like my kitchen.

“My customers are happy and I’m happy.”

Mrs Giffard does not tolerate people speaking on their telephones in Cafe Crepes because she said she wants to create a real cafe ambience.

She said people ask her why she wants to turn away their custom, but that she is not desperate for their money: “I am an Iranian.  I am not like this.”

In its latest food hygiene inspection, conducted in March this year, environmental health inspectors gave the cafe a two-star rating which equates to “improvement necessary”.

But like it or loathe it, Cafe Crepes will soon be departing Epsom.

Mrs Giffard said she must return to Iran to take care of family matters and will be selling the shop before the end of year.

She said she has already received several offers.

 “I think I will miss it. Here is my baby,” Mrs Giffard added.

“But I teach everything to the new owner. I teach everything.”

Reviews left on website 192.com:

“This cafe is terrible. They refused to serve me because – terror of all terrors – I had a pushchair with me.” – Gary Puckett

“Do not go here. Not only does this have a poor food hygiene score…The lady tried to verbally abuse me for answering a call whilst looking at the menu.” – Julie Smith

“The woman at this place is the most aggressive and rude woman I have ever met. After various instances of verbal abuse we were ushered out the shop without having a chance to review the food and screamed at for being English.” – Chris Bannocks

“I experienced the most astonishing and aggressively rude and insulting behaviour from the lady owner.  When questioned about her poor attitude, she went on to insult me and, for some unfathomable reason, carried on to insult England and all English people.” – Jerry Rommer

Are you happy or sad to see Cafe Crepes go? Leave a comment below.



Source : http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/11507436.Is_this_Britain_s_most_unfriendly_cafe__Customers__insulted__and_disabled_girl__told_to_sit_outside_/?ref=rss

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