A RESTAURANT owner has divided opinion after dishing out a savage response to a diner complaining about a late pizza – but who was in the right?
The incident occurred in Italian restaurant Franco’s at Thorpe Park in Leeds, with the customer left shocked.
2The restaurant owner divided opinion after bellowing at the customerCredit: MEN Media2Samuel mentioned how Franco shouted at him after he raised a query about his billCredit: MEN MediaSamuel Porter politely queried the bill after believing he had been overcharged for his pizza which had also arrived 20 minutes late.
But he was blown away by the savage reaction he received from the boss of the pizzeria.
Samuel claims that Franco Pardini, 80, bellowed at him to “Shut up for a minute!” after he asked the question, leaving him “rudely silenced”.
The expectant customer had rung up the restaurant on Thursday night, made his order and was told it would take 30 minutes.
But Samuel arrived 35 minutes later at the venue to see a “hurried atmosphere” with waiters darting everywhere.
He finally managed to speak to a member of staff who told him his order would take further 10 or 15 minutes – which was going to make him massively late for his trip to the cinema.
Samuel debated whether he should leave it and go but decided to stay to see how the eatery dealt with the situation.
Initially, he said he was not offered an apology with Franco presumably under the impression he wanted a discount before shouting at him to “shut up”.
Samuel claims that Franco said that prices had been changed that morning before flinging the menu down on the counter and saying “just give him the price he wants”.
He added: “I am not the type of person who will tolerate rudeness and if someone is rude, I will address it. So I calmly told Franco that he’d provided the worst customer service I’d ever experienced, which was true.”
But he added that Franco then “sort of half-apologised about it – but not really”.
The customer added that Franco attempted to chuckle it off, saying something along the lines of “I am known for my rage. There’s a sign up on the wall which says ‘Franco throws out!’.”
In the end, Samuel did receive his pizza which he described as “average” with the manager charging him £2 less than what he was supposed to have paid.
However, Samuel did say that he had no quarrel with the chefs who had put a lot of meat on his Gargantua pizza as well as a large portion of fries.
Samuel later spoke to Franco’s son, who goes by Franco Junior, over the phone. He emphasised the busy night they were experiencing, the “honest” human factors at play and his father’s unwavering passion for his restaurant.
Franco Jnr, 33, said: “I’m sure you saw the restaurant was very busy that night. When you arrived, I’m sure they said: ‘I’m sorry, the restaurant is very busy, it will be a few minutes before it’s ready.”
In regards to the overcharge, the owner’s son said that it was likely to be due to the new menu but almost £4 seemed “a little high, I can only assume an honest mistake was made”.
“He cares about what he does, his staff, his customers and the food that comes out.”Franco Jnr, 33
He spoke with his fondness of his father’s long history in the restaurant industry and “passion” – which he says results in an explosive service at times.
Franco Jnr said: “If he wants to throw you out, you’d be on the list of famous people he’s thrown out in his time. He’s 80 years old, he’s been doing this a long time, ever since he opened the Flying Pizza.
“He cares about what he does, his staff, his customers and the food that comes out.”
Later in an email, he added: “I have no doubt he told you to “shut up for a minute”, and in fact, if that’s all he said during all this, I think you got off pretty lightly!
“He’s 80 years old, he works seven days a week, hasn’t had a holiday in about three years and hasn’t taken a day off since last Christmas.
“The man is passionate, cares about his business and at his age doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks anymore. Is he perfect, no, would we change him, not a chance. It’s who he is and he’s not going to change at his age.
“In all honesty I’m pretty impressed you got an apology out of him. He must be mellowing. I think anyone who works like he does at his age is allowed a little freedom of expression.”
TripAdvisor gives the restaurant a 4.5 star rating, with most reviews rated excellent.
However, it currently has 15 reviews which state they received “rude” services either from the staff or Franco.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk