Italian Restaurant Owner Suing Waiter for Writing Homophobic Slur On Gay Customers’ Bill

Italian Restaurant Owner Suing Waiter for Writing Homophobic Slur On Gay Customers’ Bill

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A Rome waiter is facing legal action after typing a homophobic remark a the bill he gave a gay couple.

Last Thursday two men, both 21, decided to go to dinner at Locanda Rigatonì in the center of Rome near Piazza San Giovanni. It was their first public outing as boyfriends and, at first, all seemed well: while ordering, the couple asked if they could replace the pecorino cheese with parmesan. When the waiter brought the check, though, they saw it included the line “pecorino no, frocio [fag] si.”

Outraged, the pair complained to restaurant owner Moira De Luca, who allegedly insisted it was a computer error not an intentional insult. After a 30-minute go-around—including the waiter complaining about the couple “for having made a bad impression with the other customers”—De Luca comped their meal but didn’t apologize. That’s when they filed a complaint with Rome’s Gay Center. The incident soon went viral, sparking hundreds of negative reviews on TripAdvisor Facebook and other sites, as well as calls for boycotts. The eatery has faced death threats and has been forced to remain closed since the incident.

Locanda Rigatoni has faced death threats since the incident.

Related: Nearly Half-Million People Attend Rome Pride

“What happened is a very serious matter and was nothing funny,” said Gay Center director Fabrizio Marrazzo. “Unfortunately, every year we receive over 20,000 reports of homophobia.” Marrazzo has asked for Locanda Rigatonì’s restaurant license to be revoked.

De Luca told Il Messaggero nothing like this had happened in her establishment before. She has fired the waiter and told the paper she planned to seek damages from him for the damage he did to her trattoria’s reputation. De Luca apologized and is asking the LGBT community for “collaboration toward a path of tolerance.”

The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, called the incident “very serious” and says her office is investigating. Meanwhile the city’s chamber of commerce has also called for the establishment of a quality seal for public establishments, guaranteeing customers and tourists a “welcome environment.”

Do you think the Rome waiter got what he deserved? Serve up your opinion in the comments below.

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