RICHMOND, Va. — What was intended to be a relaxing Saturday evening dinner at Edo’s Squid turned into chaos for Shannon Webster, who was escorted out of the establishment and permanently banned after requesting an ingredient substitution on her entrée.
Webster, 31, came up with the idea for the dinner at the famed Richmond restaurant with a few friends following their weekly group exercise routine. However, according to Webster, the event faced trouble from the beginning.
“We got to Edo’s and didn’t have a reservation, so we had to wait about two hours,” Webster explained, adding that the first 20 minutes were spent waiting for the hostess to acknowledge their existence. “We just held out because Edo’s does have some pretty great food.”
The worst was yet to come, though. After being seated and served a beverage, Webster attempted to order a pasta dish with broccoli instead of the standard mushrooms. “Our server left immediately and then came back a few minutes later with a manager and two of the line cooks,” Webster said.
The staff brought her outside, suggested that she rethink her behavior when it comes to ordering food at restaurants, and then asked her to never return to Edo’s Squid again. One witness noted that the servers took Webster’s driver’s license and scanned it for their records.
This isn’t the first instance of a Richmond restaurant banishing a patron for requesting a substitution on an order. Earlier this year, Rappahannock Oyster Bar made headlines for physically ejecting a family of four after one guest attempted to order a tuna entrée without the listed oven-dried tomatoes. The restaurant defended the decision, claiming that their house recipes are beyond perfect and that any threats of order tampering would be met with proper force.
A representative from Edo’s Squid could not be reached for comment, but a source close to the restaurant’s staff said he wasn’t surprised by Webster’s story.
“The local Richmond restaurant industry has always had a delicate relationship with its consumer base,” he explained. “For some restaurants, 80 percent of the relationship is the patron being ‘grateful’ that they’re even allowed to dine at the establishment, and the remaining 20 is some damn good food. For some reason, the customers usually agree that the sometimes brutal service is worth it.”
“She’s just lucky she didn’t try that at Mamma Zu,” he continued. “That could’ve gotten very ugly, very fast.”