Masterchef star Simon Wood slammed for 'publicly shaming' customer

Masterchef winner Simon Wood slammed for ‘publicly shaming’ customer who made ‘mental’ request for their restaurant reservation

  • Simon Wood, 47, won Masterchef in 2015 as a single father-of-four 
  • Read More:  Parmigiano Reggiano crowned best cheese in the world, while top British offerings is ranked 37th out of 100

Masterchef winner Simon Wood has been slammed for ‘publicly shaming’ a customer who made a special request ahead of her reservation at his restaurant.

Earlier this month, the chef, 47, who owns WOOD restaurant in Manchester, received an email from a prospective customer.

In the message, the anonymous customer started by asking if they could have a table with a ‘nice view’ for the occasion.

After this, they then requested the restaurant give them a complimentary pudding as a ‘surprise’ for their partner.

The full message read: ‘As it’s the first anniversary from me and my husband, would it be possible to give us a good table with a nice view and maybe a complimentary dessert?

Simon Wood (pictured), 47, won Masterchef in 2015 as a single father-of-four and opened Wood Manchester in 2017

Pictured: the interior of Wood Manchester. Simon hit back at a prospective customer who asked for free dessert

‘As I want to surprise my partner. Thanks in advance for your answer.’ 

The email left a bad taste in Simon’s mouth – which prompted him to share a screenshot of the exchange with his 33,000 followers on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The chef – who won the TV series in 2015 as a single father-of-four and opened Wood Manchester in September 2017 – fumed: ‘Unbelievable…

‘Free food for celebrations, that’s why we’re here after all…’ 

 The post has been seen by over 2.3m since it was shared last week – and sparked fierce debate in the replies.

Arguing that Simon needed to undergo some ‘customer service training’, one replied: ‘Publicly shaming a customer that asked for a complimentary dessert on their special day is so ghetto. 

‘She asked nicely and with courtesy. Could have used this to show empathy and score cheap points with it.’

Another added: ‘You seem to forget you’re in the hospitality industry.’

Masterchef winner Simon Wood opened Wood Manchester in 2017. Last week, he posted about his frustrations with this email on X, formerly known as Twitter

In response to this, Simon said: ‘Yes, with a business that sells food.

‘Or have you forgotten that? Hospitality doesn’t mean free.’ 

When another follower said there was ‘no harm in asking’, Simon argued: ‘Pop into McDonald’s and ask for a complementary cheeseburger and see what happens.

‘People need to stop trying to scrounge off small businesses.’ 

Meanwhile, a third said: ‘Your header makes it seem like they’re not wanting to pay at all. They just said free dessert. 

‘You can say no and not expose someone for wanting $7 off. It’s never this serious.’ 

The post has been seen by over 2.3m since it was shared last week – and sparked fierce debate in the replies

However, others were quick to jump to Simon’s defence and argued that freebies should be issued at business’ discretion. 

One fan replied: ‘I don’t get some people. Yes, it’s nice to get freebies but you don’t ask for them!’ 

‘Nothing wrong with mentioning a celebration and asking for a nice table. But that’s where it should stop,’ another added. ‘If the restaurant then want to treat you to a complimentary surprise then that is up to them.’ 

A third said: ‘Asking for the table is definitely okay, asking for complimentary stuff is mental.’ 

What’s more, a fourth joked: ‘Hello Daniel, me and a few friends are looking to celebrate the life of Shane McGowan at your restaurant.

‘Any chance you can throw in a few free bottles of bourbon in his honour?’ 

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