Pensioners forced to leave Scottish restaurant after row over deposit

A family had their table cleared and were then forced to leave a restaurant by management after refusing to pay their bill before they had even eaten their meal.

Pat Schofield, 73, and husband Graham, 77, from Bonnybridge, were joined by relatives, who are also pensioners, at the Boardwalk, in Millennium Wheel Drive, Falkirk, on Sunday afternoon.

Mrs Schofield said she and her family had eaten at Boardwalk on a number of occasions previously and had enjoyed the experience.

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However, that all changed on Sunday.

Pat Schofield was shock at the treatment she and her family received at the hands of Boardwalk management

Mrs Schofield said: “I had made a reservation online for five people – my husband and I, my brother, my sister and her husband – at 3pm. I paid a £50 deposit when I made the reservation in November and I can see it has come off my account and been paid to Cawley Hotels.

“However, when we arrived at the restaurant, we were told they had no record of our booking. Fortunately, they were still able to find us a table, and we took our seats and placed our order.

"We did make it clear to the restaurant manager that, while we would of course pay our bill, we expected the £50 deposit to be deducted from the total.”

Mrs Schofield and her family had ordered drinks and just finished their starters when the manager arrived at the table holding a card reader in his hand.

"He took issue with our position over the deposit,” said Mrs Schofield. “He was holding a card reader and said that if we were not willing to settle the entire bill, he would ‘clear the table’.

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“When we told him again we would withhold the £50 I had already paid when making the booking, he told us to leave and, along with some waiters, began clearing the table.”

Mrs Schofield, her husband – who has mobility issues and requires a walking frame – and the rest of her family were then forced to leave the premises.

“The manager stood at the restaurant door to make sure we were leaving,” said Mrs Schofield. “And as we did so, he accused us of being ‘attention seekers’. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Four of our party, including myself, are pensioners and the fifth is approaching retirement. To say we were appalled at our treatment in front of a restaurant full of diners would be an understatement.

We had been looking forward to our meal very much, but ended up being humiliated by the manager, whose behaviour was rude and unprofessional.

"I worked in customer service and if I had treated people the way we were treated at Boardwalk I would have been out the door.”

Mrs Schofield subsequently got in touch with the restaurant to make a complaint at the way she and her family were treated.

Cawley Hotels, owners of the Boardwalk, did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

A spokesperson said: “I am afraid we do not discuss private matters with the press.”

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