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The customer ordered a bottle of wine to share with her 19-year-old daughter, while her husband and son both ordered coca cola. However, midway through eating their starters, having already received their drinks, she claims a staff member came over and requested to see the teenager’s ID.
The customer, named only as Nicola on Tripadvisor, told how her daughter did not have her ID with her – but her husband had a photo of the ID on his phone, which was shown to staff.
However, the manager at the Lyttelton Arms in Hagley, Worcestershire, allegedly would not accept this as ID and took the wine away from them. Nicola asked for the bill and promptly left, reports Birmingham Live.
In response, management at the pub has stressed that a photo of ID was not acceptable as a form of ID, but has invited the family to revisit with a bottle of wine for the table, if ID is provided.
She said the situation was handled “really rudely and badly” – and that 16-year-olds can drink alcohol accompanied with a meal if purchased by an adult.
Nicola claimed that the staff “needed more legal training”, but management at the pub pointed out that this rule is at the manager’s discretion, and it is company policy to not serve alcohol to anyone under 18.
The Lyttelton Arms has a 3.5 rating on Tripadvisor – with nearly 1,500 independent reviews.
One recent review described it as an “amazing venue, attentive staff and fabulous food”.
While another said they “had a great time and would definitely visit again”.
But Nicola left a rating of just one out of five on Tripadvisor after her visit.
Her review’s headline said: “Rude staff. Lack of legal knowledge more training needed.”
The review in full said: “On arrival, we were shown to our table and we all ordered drinks and our meals at the same time. My husband and son ordered cokes whilst me and my daughter ordered a bottle of wine to share.
“Drinks arrived first. Whilst eating our starters the waitress returned and asked for ID from my 19-year-old daughter.
“She hadn’t brought it with her but hubby thought he had a solution and asked the waitress to give us a minute as we were eating our starters.
“The waitress left then returned within a minute to take away our daughter’s glass of wine.
“Again my husband asked for five minutes. Then we assume a manager (who did not introduce herself) came over.
“My husband had a copy of our daughter’s driving licence on his phone however this was not good enough.
“We did not make a scene but due to the impatience and they way it was handled we asked for the bill left and have since cancelled another meal that was booked at the Lyttleton Arms for another family event.
“The below attachment is taken from a government website that states that 16-year-olds can drink alcohol accompanied with a meal if purchased by an adult.
“She was 19 but even so they handle the situation really rudely and badly! More legal training needed! Will not be returning!”
The general manager of the Lyttelton Arms, Marc Hyatt, chose to respond to the review.
He pointed out that the law Nicola was referring to is at the manager’s discretion – and that it is company policy not to serve alcohol to anyone under 18.
He added that photos were “not acceptable as a form of ID” so they could not serve her daughter. He apologised for the embarrassment caused, but stressed it was a strict policy.
His response said: “I’m sorry we were unable to serve your daughter alcohol on her recent visit, the law you state for 16 and 17-year-olds to drink is also at management discretion and it is company policy across the 100s of sites we run that we do not serve alcohol to anyone under 18.
“All our staff are trained in this and our due diligence is necessary to prevent underage drinking; to this end like many places we operate a Challenge 21 policy where if you are lucky enough to look under 21 we ask you for ID; this is common practise across the majority of licensed premises not just ourselves.
“Photos of IDs are not acceptable as a form of ID which is why we were unable to serve you.
“We have a strict policy and training in place which I need my team to follow, the same way they follow allergy training or any other health and safety matter.
“I’m sorry if it caused embarrassment to your daughter but please ensure correct Identification is carried for any future visits here or somewhere else to avoid disappointment.
“Please contact me if you would like to discuss the matter further at [email protected] as I would like to invite your back and will happily get you a bottle of wine for the table if ID is provided.”
The Lyttelton Arms, off Bromsgrove Road, has 1,481 reviews on Tripadvisor – of which 788 are rated as “excellent” or “very good”.
One recent review said: “Amazing venue, attentive staff and fabulous food. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, well worth a visit!”
Lisa said: “Absolute amazing experience we’ve had yet again. The service, the food, the drinks as always were fantastic.
“Good quality and plenty of it. Never any rush nice and easy atmosphere. Sammy our waitress as always was amazing attentive and friendly.”
Another diner said: “Great food, great people, excellent service. Cocktails were wonderful and the staff are lovely.
“I had a beautifully cooked steak and have never had a disappointing experience at the Lyttleton Arms.”
While another added: “Visited Saturday evening for another great meal. The restaurant was very busy with nice atmosphere. Food arrived quickly and our server was excellent. Visited this restaurant on a number of occasions always consistent and good night.”
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