'I had to clean up vomit and pay for the privilege'

Rebecca Harnett is disgusted she had to clean up her the mess of her son Levi, and pay to do it.
Rebecca Harnett is disgusted she had to clean up her the mess of her son Levi, and pay to do it. Contributed

A TOOWOOMBA mother is upset that she was forced to clean up her child's vomit at a restaurant - and pay for the privilege.

Rebecca Harnett ordered lunch at The Glasshouse Bistro Montville with her three children.

While they waited for their meals the smallest boy, Levi, became sick.

He ended up vomiting on the floor.

Ms Harnett said she didn't expect others to clean it up and asked for a paper towel.

What happened next astonished her.

Ms Harnett said staff asked her to mop the floor clean, in front of other customers, an allegation the restaurant denies.

The embarrassed mother mopped up, thinking only of getting out of the establishment as quickly as possible.

She said staff brought out a plastic bag and asked her to dispose of the vomit herself, saying they couldn't touch it.

It was when she went to pay that she received a shock.

The restaurant had added $10 to her bill, justifying it by saying someone had to sterilise the mop.

Ms Harnett said she was appalled by the behaviour.

"I did it all and still got charged to do it."

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Ms Harnett said she had never experienced a similar situation before.

"My aunty owns a coffee shop and it's not the customer's responsibility.

"They have a service of duty and they didn't do it.

"I was taken aback.

"I've spoken to my family and they think it's ridiculous.

"I don't think we'll be going back to that spot."

Ms Harnett said she believed a request like that would not be made in Toowoomba.

"I cleaned it all up.

"They could have shown a bit of compassion."

A spokesman from the bistro said: "It was an unfortunate set of circumstances for the customers and their child and the embarrassment that it would have caused them.

"It was an unfortunate set of circumstances for us too.

"The incident caused us a loss of income because that section for the restaurant wasn't able to be used for a period of time.

"We thought at the time that our nominal charge of $10 was fair considering we had to allocate a staff member to clean up the mess to our satisfaction after they left - to make sure the area was properly sterilised.

"The staff member who was designated to do that then had to sit outside because they felt ill afterwards.

"The cost to us was far greater than $10.

"If we were given that set of circumstances again, we probably wouldn't charge $10 but just accept it as our lot."



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