Customers turning violent with pub and restaurant staff

A SURVEY shows that 30 per cent of hotel, restaurant and pub staff have been attacked by customers an average of three times. In pubs nearly 50 per cent of staff are victims of violence.

One-third of restaurant managers have been attacked by customers and 13 per cent of staff have been physically abused by a work colleague, according to the survey for the current edition of Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine.

It also warns that attacks are on the increase. Men are twice as likely to be attacked as women, but one woman in five has been physically abused. The same proportion claim to have been sexually harassed at work. One in 10 pub staff claim to have been attacked 10 or more times and one barman said he had been attacked 30 times. 'I was stabbed twice in one incident and had a bottle smashed over my head,' he told the survey.

Punching and kicking are the most common forms of assault, but a Somerset pub manager was bitten as he tried to eject a drunk. A Kent pub worker needed 12 stitches after being hit with a hammer and a Cumbria hotel manager was butted in the face by a drunk.

One kitchen worker reported: 'A customer disappointed with his meal stormed into the kitchen . . . and grabbed me by the scruff of the neck. I know this attack wasn't very severe - but it was scary none the less.'

Women customers are getting more aggressive, the report says. A Surrey chef said: 'A drunk woman complained the service was not good enough. When I tried to explain she took her shoes off and threw them at me.'

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