Restaurant work is demanding and intense, and the industry is not known for kindness and understanding. So when one steak house in Manchester, England, tweeted a “chin up” message to an employee who made a very costly mistake, social media responded in a big way.
A manager at Hawksmoor Manchester steakhouse and cocktail bar mistakenly grabbed a customer a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001 worth more than $5,000, when the customer had ordered a bottle that cost about $290, according to the tweet. The manager gave the bottle to the server, who poured it for the table. The two bottles had a similar look, if you kind of squint.
Restaurant co-owner Will Beckett tweeted from the restaurant’s account:
“To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is £4500 on our menu, last night — hope you enjoyed your evening! To the member of staff who accidentally gave it away, chin up! One-off mistakes happen and we love you anyway.”
His tweet got more than 31,000 likes. But when a few people posted replies giving the staff member a hard time, Beckett tweeted again standing up for her, this time IN ALL CAPS:
“THEY LOOK PRETTY SIMILAR OK?!”
In a phone interview with The Washington Post, Beckett said the manager was from another Hawksmoor location and was helping the waitress on a busy night, and erred when picking up the bottle and handing it to the server.
The restaurant figured out the mistake when a different manager walked by the table and looked at the wine. At the end of the meal, the customers learned they did not get the wine they ordered, but the management did not reveal to the table how costly the error was.
As the restaurant owner, Beckett, was immediately aware.
“When they told me about it I thought, ‘Oooh that is an expensive mistake,’” Beckett said. “At the same time, I thought it’s the same kind of I’m-not-concentrating thing I would do. It’s just an unfortunate human error.”
He added: “The restaurant industry is a place where you can get hammered for making mistakes, and we don’t want to be that place.”
He said the manager who grabbed the wrong bottle for the server is mortified, but that hasn’t stopped Beckett from “the most gentle teasing” of her. He called her an otherwise “brilliant” employee.
Restaurant workers far and wide responded to Beckett’s tweet, cheering on Hawksmoor for a level-headed response, especially because it’s so easy for tempers to flare in the kitchen.
And in solidarity, lots of people confessed their own unrelated workplace slips ups, turning it into a bit of group therapy.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that it was a restaurant manager who grabbed the wrong wine bottle and was forgiven, not the server.