Takeaway in London fined £1,000 for serving customer a burger – at 10.04pm
A takeaway has been slapped with a £1,000 fine for serving a burger to a customer at 10.04pm, four minutes after the newly-imposed curfew on hospitality businesses.
The burger joint in Ilford is one of three businesses in East London that have been issued fines by the Met Police for breaking Covid-19 laws.
Redbridge MPS posted details of the fines on social media, with one business fined for handing a customer their food order at 10.04pm – just four minutes after the government coronavirus curfew came into force.
According to police all three fines were handed to the businesses in the Ilford area on Thursday, October 1 by a “multi-agency team”, reports My London.
Bim’s Burgers on Ilford Lane in Ilford, which also runs a store in Walthamstow, was deemed to have breached the rules by having one customer in its store waiting for his takeaway meal.
When the customer’s receipt was inspected it showed the customer was served at 10pm “on the dot” and “staff were not handing the customer his food until 10.04pm.”
The owner’s of Bim’s burgers said that the incident “was made in good faith” and with new rules regarding Covid-19 being “made thick and fast” it sometimes it isn’t “clear exactly how they should be interpreted”.
In a statement from Bim’s Burgers, a spokesperson said: “We very much regret that our staff unknowingly breached the Government’s 10pm curfew. A customer entered the restaurant a few minutes before 10pm, just as we were shutting up for the night. He was the only customer on the premises at that time.
“We began processing his food order before the curfew and his final receipt was printed at 10pm. Our staff were under the impression that if an order was placed by 10pm it could still be served. The food took less than four minutes to arrive and he left at 10.04 pm.
“Our staff were then shocked to be informed that they had breached the new laws by a matter of four minutes. New rules regarding Covid-19 are being made thick and fast and sometimes it isn’t clear exactly how they should be interpreted.”
In at attempt to defend its actions, the takeaway owners said that staff had not let anyone in after 10pm and the customer was on the premises prior to that time.
The business argues that it would have been insulting to the customer if he had been asked to leave.
The spokesperson added: “This was a very minor mistake, but it was made in good faith. Under the circumstances we think it would have been reasonable for us to receive a verbal warning as opposed to a £1000 fine.
“Had we served a customer at 10.15pm or even later then without doubt this fine would have been fully justified. However, we will not be complaining about the police operation and our staff will obviously take greater care in future to abide by the law.”
The supervisor on shift was issued with the fine on behalf of the owner.
Fireaway Pizza on Ley Street, Ilford, was also fined for breaching coronavirus rules.
According to police two people were inside the premises at 10.20pm having just placed an order with the company.
The two customers were then both sat waiting for their food on stools inside the store and not wearing face masks.
The multi-task agency issued the manager with a fine for £1,000.
The third takeaway that broke curfew rules was Spice on High Street, Ilford.
Police said the store “breached Covid-19” and was issued a “£1,000 fine for subsequent breaches.”
Government rules introduced on September 24 set out that businesses selling food or drink must be closed between 10pm and 5am, including takeaways, however delivery services can continue after 10pm.
MyLondon contacted Spice and Fireaway Pizza for comment on the fines issued but did not receive a response.
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