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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
OpenRice

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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