The owner said some people have called and tried to book tables using the name ‘Tommy Robinson’
Monday, 21st January 2019
A restaurant owner who decided to include an anti-Brexit message on his restaurant bills has said he and his staff have been receiving death threats from Leave voters in the days since.
“It has been a horrible few days and our staff feel worried about what’s happening”
Ibrahim Dogus, who last week added a Remain-supporting missive to receipts at his London restaurant, also said he has received abusive phone calls and said hateful, negative reviews of his restaurant have been posted online.
Mr Dogus, who is relatively well-known in politics and whose restaurant, Westminster Kitchen, is popular with politicians thanks to its proximity to Parliament, said employees have been worried about threats of violence.
He told i: “We have been receiving abuse and threats on social media and via phone calls to our restaurant.
“We have been targeted by far right groups who are organised on social media and [it seems like they have been] encouraging each other to attack our business by leaving fake reviews on TripAdvisor, Google Business, and Facebook.
“It has been a horrible few days and our staff feel worried about what’s happening.”
Last week, i reported on Mr Dogus’ gesture. He was aware of a possible backlash, though perhaps nobody could have predicted quite how aggressive it would be.
The receipts at Westminster Kitchen – and at the restaurateur’s other two locations in London – read: “Brexit is bad. Immigrants make Britain great. They also cooked and served your food today.”
‘Booking using the name Tommy Robinson’
The photo of the receipt was widely shared online. We have been sent dozens of examples of the abuse received since.
While the intimidation is unwelcome, Mr Dogus said he will be standing by his words and will keep the note on bills throughout January, as planned. He said he is keen to continue to highlight the importance of EU nationals in the hospitality industry.
However, he has been forced to call the Met police in order to try to ensure his premises aren’t attacked. And he is now hopeful that trade doesn’t suffer as a result of the poor reviews – the volume and timing of which suggest all are fake. The Westminster Kitchen had largely positive reviews before the Brexit message was added to bills.
“Our manager, Maliq Konjuhi, said that he is worried that someone will come and physically attack our premises,” Mr Dogus added.
“When they call they are verbally abusive and sound very violent. Each time they call they say they want to book a table under the name of Tommy Robinson and then they start using abusive language.
“I have reported to the police and an officer will be visiting us soon. We are not removing the message. The message will stay on the bills until 1 February and then we will replace with a different message.”
The Met has been contacted for comment.