'Haha' message on Sheffield restaurant bill shocks diner with food intolerance

The bill, with the offending message underlined in red
The bill, with the offending message underlined in red

A diner has told how she was stunned upon receiving her bill at a Sheffield restaurant to find staff appeared to be making light of her food intolerance.

Billie Geena had enjoyed a pleasant evening with friends at Amigos Mexican Kitchen on London Road, where staff appeared to be very understanding when she explained how her condition meant she could not eat numerous ingredients which she asked to be left out of her meal.

Food blogger Billie Hyde

Food blogger Billie Hyde

But the 22-year-old food blogger says the experience was soured when the bill arrived, with the words 'no onion no garlic no milk haha' printed beneath her order.

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She was horrified, assuming staff had been mocking her complaint, which can cause anything from mild stomach aches to severe cramping and nausea.

The waitress apologised, explaining that the message had been intended as a private joke to the chef about the long list and she had not expected it to appear on the bill.

The restaurant manager has also apologised for any offence caused and told how he gave the employee responsible a verbal warning following the incident, on May 10.

Amigos Mexican Kitchen on London Road, near Sheffield city centre (pic: Google)

Amigos Mexican Kitchen on London Road, near Sheffield city centre (pic: Google)

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Billie Geena said she bore no ill-feeling towards the restaurant but wanted to highlight how distressing episodes like this can be for people with food allergies or intolerances, who are often already self-conscious about their conditions.

She believes better training is needed at restaurants and cafes to ensure people like her are made to feel comfortable wherever they choose to eat out.

"The food was lovely and the service had been excellent that evening until I got the receipt," she said.

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"I've only been on this stricter diet for less than a year and it's been difficult adjusting.

"What happened brought back all the anxiety I'd had about going out for meals, and it's really not on.

"I've spoken to other people with food intolerances who say they avoid eating out because they're scared of something like this happening.

"The restaurant has apologised but I want to raise awareness of just how upsetting this sort of thing can be for people."

The restaurant was last year crowned the best Mexican restaurant in the north, at the annual Food Awards England.

Its manager Khalid Wani said he was sincerely sorry about what happened.

"I apologised personally and spoke to the member of staff, who was given a verbal warning," he said.

"Nobody should make fun of people with food allergies or intolerances.

"I'm satisfied it was not the waitress's intention to make fun of the customer but regardless of her intention this should never have appeared on the bill.

"We always try to give our customers as good an experience as possible and fulfil all their needs, and I'm very sorry about what happened on this occasion."