New Delhi: On Wednesday, a video went viral in which a woman is seen asking an employee at a restaurant in New Delhi whether saree is allowed. Employees at Aquila refused to let her enter inside the restaurant because her traditional attire did not meet the ‘smart casual’ dress code. The video was shared by Anita Chaudhary, an ex-journalist who was there to celebrate the birthday of her daughter. Netizens called the dress code bizzare and discriminatory towards the Indian culture.
Narrating her ordeal, she told IANS that she repeatedly asked the staff standing at the gate to show her the rulebook which doesn’t allow women wearing saree inside the restaurant. She said that even restaurant manager and other staff came outside the hotel and threatened her to call bouncers and police for creating disturbances at the hotel. She said, “Even our table was booked earlier, we decided to leave the venue as they were not ready to allow me inside”.
Restaurant has now issued a statement
After the video created furore on social media, Aquila has issued a statement about the same and has posted a clarification regarding the matter on Instagram. Aquila said that it is a homegrown brand that believes in honouring the Indian community and has always welcomed their guests in all dress codes from modern to traditional.
Refuting the allegations, the restaurant posted videos of several saree-clad women arriving in the hotel. The restaurant further alleged said that the video which has gone viral is misleading as it only shows 10 seconds of what unfolded and also posted CCTV footage of the woman ‘slapping’ the manager.
In its statement, the restaurant said, “A guest visited the restaurant and was politely requested to wait at the gate as there was no reservation under her name. However, while we discussed internally where we could seat them, the guest entered the restaurant and began to fight and abuse our staff. What unfolded after was beyond our imagination, with the guest slapping our manager as you can see in the CCTV video footage attached in our post above. We believe in utmost transparency and are hence attaching snippets of people who have visited our restaurant in a traditional dress code previously.”
Here’s the full statement and the videos: (please swipe)
“To tackle the situation and request the guest to leave, one of our gate managers made a statement on sarees not being a part of our smart casual dress code and our whole team apologies for the same,” the authorities said, adding that there is no dress code for the guests.