News

Aloi Thai staff abused after customer refused temperature check

By Madi Chwasta

A Shepparton restaurant manager felt disrespected after she copped a barrage of verbal abuse from a customer who refused to get his temperature checked on Saturday night.

Aloi Thai acting manager Kelly Tranter was "disappointed" by the behaviour, and said all dine-in customers were required to have their temperature checked to make sure it was below 37.5°C.

Diners’ names and phone numbers must also be recorded for contact tracing, as per the requirements from the Department of Health and Human Services.

“It's not because I want to personally enforce these things — we're trying to keep the community safe,” Miss Tranter said.

Miss Tranter said she was in the kitchen when the man entered for dine-in, and her staff member requested to check his temperature.

But the man refused, swore at the waiter, and sat down at a table.

The waiter called Miss Tranter out, who saw that the man had written "Donald Duck" in the space where he was meant to write his name.

Miss Tranter told the man it was restaurant protocol to take everyone's temperature and name before they dined in.

The man refused again, claiming it was a breach of his "human rights".

“I have business rights too, including keeping my staff and the rest of my customers safe,” Miss Tranter said.

“I told him: there's the door, or I'll get you removed.”

While the man was angry at being asked to leave, he eventually did, and Miss Tranter did not need to call police.

But to create awareness, Miss Tranter posted the story on the restaurant's Facebook page, and has since received overwhelming support from the community.

“It's a really hard time for everybody, and we don't have control over the situation,” she said.

“But we’re not doing it (enforcing COVID-19 requirements) to torture you — we’re doing it for the safety and wellbeing of diners and staff.”

Under the Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, restaurants are required to record the contact details of customers who dine-in for longer than 15 minutes for contact tracing.

Restaurants can refuse service or right of entry to people who decline to provide their details for contact tracing, as well as diners who reside in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire.

The News understands not providing contact details is not a breach of the law under the Victorian Chief Health Officer's directives.

● A Victorian police spokesperson said if any member of the community felt threatened, unsafe or required immediate police assistance, they were encouraged to call 000.