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Restaurant Fines Staff for Swearing, Yawning, Stretching on the Job

Lei Garden in Hong Kong fines servers from $20HK to $100HK for each violation.

Inside Lei Garden
Inside Lei Garden

Restaurant staff are often expected to abide by rules meant to improve service and efficiency, but at one Hong Kong-based restaurant, servers who don't follow the rules are fined. According to the South China Morning Post, Lei Garden — which has a Michelin star — cites and fines servers for actions like yawning, stretching, or failing to accurately tell a customer the price of a dish on the menu. Fines range in cost from $20HK to $100HK, and can even immediately result in the loss of a job.

The restaurant's full list of rules popped up on Facebook earlier this week. Over 20 different offenses — ranging from yawning to serving too much food, resulting in a loss for the restaurant — are listed and each is associated with a fine. The greatest offense? Staff who take from the restaurant's lost and found are fired. Most of the actions are grouped under "indecent" offenses: "yawning, stretching their bodies, using toothpicks, or cutting their fingernails" are including on the list. Cooks who accidentally plate too much food are fined $100HK. If a customer complains about a server, that server is fined $100HK.

SCMP contacted the local labor department. Officials confirmed that "deducting wages from employees on the grounds they have made mistakes in their work was a breach of the Employment Ordinance." They are currently investigating Lei Garden. The restaurant has not responded to requests for comment.

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