Eighteen Chefs Owner Benny Se Teo: Non-Muslim Customers Must Respect Restaurant’s Halal Status

Call me proud , arrogant or whatever … if you insist on bringing in “Non – Halal” food and consume in my restaurants i will show you the way out !!!
I might lose some customers but my Halal status must never be compromise . ‪#‎sibehtulan‬

Complain :
Darren Chua Hi, I’m a loyal customer of 18 chefs and have been patronizing their branches, the ones I commonly go to are the one at NEX and AMK hub, I must say that they have superb service. However, today was my first time going to the branch at Bugis, and I am really truly disappointed by the service there.

Today, on the 26th November 2015, my friends and I were eating at 18 chefs really happily and all, despite the long wait, we were glad that we could find seats. We were about to celebrate our friend’s birthday and we took out a cake (from chocolate origins) to eat it.

Yes, 18 chefs is a halal restaurant, but the cake from chocolate origin is halal but not certified. I understand that by consuming it there it could be inappropriate and spark unhappiness. However, how the staff a handled the situation was really a shocker to me. There was a Muslim lady that approached is first, I didn’t get her name, but she handled it well, we told her we were apologetic, and since we already ate the cake (Without even using your utensils but with tissues and our hands), we would clear it and leave immediately, which we were doing, until a man (assumingly the manager, a rather plum man in his thirties perhaps) made my experience with 18 chefs today a horrid and disappointing one.

He came up to us and told us, “You know you shouldn’t be eating this here.” My friends told him that we were sorry and are already cleaning up, he stopped is halfway and told crossed his arms and said, ‘no.’ No explanation, no listening, just a big no. We tried to explain that we didn’t know and wanted to apologize sincerely, as our Muslim friends were also eating the cake, we thought it was perfectly fine, but he just raised his voice and said no. I got a tad bit angry with receiving such disgusting service from a shop that I really enjoy having my meal at, told him, ‘okay, your staff told us to ask for permission in the future and to clear it immediately and leave. And that’s what we are doing.’ He came up closer than he already is to the table and just said “No.” Again, even louder, practically screaming in our faces. 16 of us, having a meal at 18 chefs, trying to enjoy a birthday celebration, to be ruined by nothing but a no.

I really do understand and am honestly apologetic on the behalf of my friends for being so ignorant and bringing something that isn’t halal into your restaurant. However, I am really disappointed and very sure I’m never going to eat at the branch in Bugis as I really am disappointed and ashamed by such crude behavior displayed by a manager. If that’s how a manager treats their customer by saying no and with no explanation or patience I think that the other service staff is going to be worse. Having a sign that perhaps say ‘ask for permission before brining any outside food or drinks.’ Or ‘outside food and drinks are strictly not prohibited.’ Would be good enough compared to a no.

I strongly feel that we deserve a proper explanation or perhaps and apology for having to experience something that is rather traumatizing from a well known brand for their excellent service. Once again, truly disappointed by that man’s rude, boisterous and monosyllabic attitude and response and I sincerely hope that you can educate your staff members more and such incidents to ever happen again. I do not want to tell my friends ‘No.’ (With no explanation at all) when they ask if I would like to eat at 18 chef in the future. Thank you and I hope you can get back to me.

Darren Chua


Source: Benny Se Teo

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