Kolkata Restaurant Mocambo Causes Outrage for Refusing to Serve Customer & Her ‘Roadsider’ Driver
Park Street in Kolkata is famous for being a hub of several fine dining restaurants. Mocambo is one of the oldest establishments in that area. On Saturday, Dilashi Hemnani decided to have dinner in the restaurant with her driver, but was shocked when she was told that he wouldn't be allowed inside. She wrote about the incident on Facebook, which has been shared over 7,800 times since.
A Marketing Manager at Tata Motors, Dilashi wrote:
"How shallow and inhuman have we become ?
Last night being my last day in Kolkata decided to try out this popular restraunt called Mocambo' at Park Street .I decided to go with my driver -Manish bhaiya here whose great service and care throughout my stay in Kolkata for a week was excellent . (Also yesterday afternoon he missed his lunch because I forgot to tell him to go for lunch - uncertain about the time it would take me to finish the meeting -he missed his lunch).
Guilty of my mistake. I decided to go out for dinner with him.
As soon as I reached Mocambo at around 8:40 PM, I asked the staff to give me a table for 2.
Staff: There is a waiting of 15 minutes .
Me: *As excited I was to try out this popular joint* happily agreed
Staff: *By this time they observed I was with Manish bhaiya* walked up to me and said it will take 45 minutes for the table to get ready.
Me : *Little confused by time communicated earlier* now eagerly asked, but you said 15 minutes?
Staff : Yes the table was going to get empty, but they ordered for more food.
Me : *Peeping through the glass windows* but I can see some empty tables inside.
Staff : They are four seaters. Today is Friday we cannot give that table.
After waiting for 10-15 minutes, when I see people who came after me getting the table.
Me : Why are you not giving me the table?
Staff : Maam we can't give you a table.
Me : But why?
Staff : Who are you with?
Me : Subtly pointing towards Manish bhaiya.
Staff : Aahhh....Maam he is not properly dressed .
Me : *He was cleanly dressed in a cream trouser and a shirt tucked out .. And floaters*
I asked what is your dress code?
Staff : We don't have a dress code .
Me : Then??
Staff: No No he is not properly dressed it's a fine dine resturaunt.
Me : *Agitated by now* What's wrong with his dressing tell me and is there a written dress code he is not following?
By this time Manish bhaiya understood parts of the conversation in English and by the daunting looks of the staff -walks up to me and says - 'Didi hum Nahi Khaenge aap Khana Kha lijiyega na '
Me : *Hurt with his innocence and inhuman inconsiderate behaviour of the staff at Mocambo*
Me : Call your manager give me a valid reason why he cannot come in.
Staff : Goes and calls another person.
Me : Sir why can't he come in?
Staff : Because he is drunk
Me : *Furious and baffled with the audacity of the staff* How do you know he is drunk?
Staff : Because my other colleague told me he is so.
Me : On what basis due you make such assumptions . Did he drink in front of you or did you even go near him *they were standing 2-3 meters apart* He is driving me around since 8 o clock in the morning leave apart being drunk he is not even had food.
Staff : But I know he is drunk.
Me : Prove it then.
Me : What's your name?
Staff : I can't tell you my name.
Me : Why?
Staff : No No I can't it's just I can't let you in with him.
Me : I don't want to get into your racist restraunt walks away with Manish bhaiya with deep grief in my heart on how Inhuman and shallow the world has become.
Manish bhaiya is one of the finest human beings I have met in a long time he took good care of me and did his duty with all his heart. He is a simple man make Rs275 a day for 12 hours of driving, and sends more than half of the money back home. He has a difficult life, still he laughs a lot, shares a lot of stories, and is more human and empathetic than any I know.
To Mocambo staff and restaurant at Park Street Kolkata which doesn't consider human as human and differentiates, discriminates and stratifies them into classes just because he doesn't fit into your description of a perfect customer (doesn't own a iPhone maybe doesn't talk in English ), I m sorry you don't deserve a fine human like Manish bhaiya sitting and eating in your racist restraunt."
Vagabomb reached out to Mocambo for their side of the story. We asked them if they have a dress code, or if the driver was misbehaving in any way, to which the management had this to say,
"The driver was very indecently dressed... Just wearing one pant and shirt, but he was not in proper state. He was having roadside food and just standing, not in proper state of mind. He was not acceptable in our fine dining restaurant. We told her (Dilashi Hemnani) we cannot give her driver a table, but we can give her one. We've such high standard guests coming here, it's a fine dining restaurant, we cannot have such a roadsider coming and sitting here.
"We do not have a dress code. But at least a person should be neat and clean. He was having roadside jhalmuri, walking around and grazing people. That is not acceptable. How could you have a roadsider coming in to your restaurant? This is not a dhaba."
From what we understand, neither the driver's clothes and behaviour, nor the fact that he was eating jhalmuri were the real offences. The only reason, which the management at Mocambo kept repeating, he wasn't given a table was that he is a "roadsider" from a less privileged background.