A FATHER says he will never return to a restaurant amid claims his 13-year-old daughter was propositioned by a waiter.
Matthew Lengthorn, 33, said his daughter Paige, who was in her Deanes School uniform, was chatted up by a 23-year-old Indian waiter who gave his email address to the teenager in the Aroma restaurant at the Festival Leisure Park in Basildon.
Waiting staff at the restaurant were given a massive dressing down by the shop manager and were warned never to swap personal details with customers.
Mr Lengthorn, of Deneway, Basildon said: “Paige was still wearing her school uniform, and even though she may look a bit older, it was clear she was a schoolgirl.
“What struck me was there were a lot of older women in the restaurant, but he seemed to single her out. He must have known she was here with her parents, but he seemed to wait until she was on her own getting some food at the buffet before giving her his email and telling her to contact him.
“She came back to the table almost white and said I think that man is a pervert, she was quite shaken.”
Mr Lengthorn said he took it up with the restaurant manager, but was not happy when he appeared to make light of it, and so eventually called the police.
The concerned father added: “The manager said something about the waiter liking younger girls, “The police came and spoke to the waiter and gave him a warning, but at one stage they said they couldn’t really talk to him properly because they needed an interpreter, so how can they be sure he understood the warning.
“It makes me wonder if this has gone on before, there are quite a few families who will take their children in there. We definitely won’t be going back.”
Raymond Cheng, who manages Aroma, said he kept all his staff back on Tuesday (oct 16) and warned them not to get too friendly.
He said: “This was a misunderstanding and I gave all staff a strong warning after it happened. I told them never to swap any personal details with customers, no matter what age they are.
“The waiter gave the girl a fake email address but that was misguided and he has been told he shouldn’t have done it.
“He said the girl kept asking for his email address so that is why he gave her a fake one. He was in the wrong and knows it shouldn’t have happened.”
A spokesman for Essex Police added: “Police were called to the restaurant at about 8pm and spoke to this man who was very upset that the waiter had given his teenage girl his phone number, but it was established that she asked for his Facebook details while at the chocolate fountain and he brought it to her at the table in front of her father, and that he thought the girl was 17.
“He was given a talking to by the officer, but he closed the incident and there was no further action.”