Czech restaurant chain apologizes to Romani musician for refusal of service
The management of the Potrefená husa chain of restaurants has apologized to Romani musician Ida Kelarová for refusing to serve her and a group of children at one of their branches. An apology letter from the manager of brand concepts for the Staropramen Brewery company, which owns the chain, has been shown to Romea.cz.
"I would like to assure you that Potrefená husa is open to all who want to spend time in our restaurants and have good food, beer or other beverages. Choosing customers in the way you describe, or the non-acceptance of a customer on the basis of race or any other characteristic, is absolutely unacceptable," reads the letter from manager Jan Trochta, who also says he investigated the incident at the branch of the chain in the Dejvice neighborhood of Prague.
Trochta said the manager of the shift was to blame for the incident. "He assessed the situation poorly with respect to the capacity of the establishment and the reservations and did not serve you, even though the staff could have dealt with you at that moment. His communication with you was also unfortunate. Generally speaking, the situation was not addressed by him in a manner corresponding to the standards of Potrefená husa. The management of the restaurant will discuss the situation with him and take appropriate action," the letter said.
On Saturday, 22 May, Kelarová entered the Dejvice branch of the chain in Prague with a group of children. Despite the restaurant being almost empty, with a "reserved" sign on just one of the many empty tables, the shift manager refused to serve them and claimed that all of the tables were reserved.
Kelarová did not receive an answer to her repeated letters sent to the branch manager, Tomáš Černý, asking for an explanation of the entire incident, until she posted about it to her Facebook profile. Černý later backed the shift manager and rejected the idea that the incident was associated with racism.
A similar case also happened in a branch of that same chain inside Prague's main train station in June 2017. News server Romea.cz. also reported on that case.
Romani customer Andrej Krišta and a friend of his invited several visiting relatives to dine there prior to their undertaking their return journey to Slovakia. The manager, however, refused to let them into the restaurant, justifying the decision by saying one of their party was not dressed appropriately.
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