A DISAPPOINTED hotel and restaurant manager has slammed a selfish couple after they reportedly racked up a £100 food bill before making off without paying.

Vicki Hart is the general manager of the Royal Hotel complex, in Marine Parade East, Clacton, which also houses the My Big Fat Greek Taverna eatery.

According to Ms Hart, at about 6pm on Tuesday, a young man and woman entered the restaurant before being seated at a table.

They proceeded to indulge in array of fancy alcoholic drinks, and some of the menu’s more luxurious items, such as the T-bone steak.

But what promised to be a substantial earner for the local business - which is owned by Jason Smedley and housed NHS workers during the pandemic – actually ended up leaving them out of pocket.

Gazette: Royal Hotel complex, in Marine Parade East, ClactonRoyal Hotel complex, in Marine Parade East, Clacton

After racking up their bill, they darted out the front door without paying.

Despite a short, determined chase from Ms Hart, the couple escaped.

“They had eight cocktails between them and two T-bone steaks, totalling £100, but then they ran off straight after eating,” said Ms Hart.

“It is so frustrating given the circumstances because we and so many other restaurants have worked so hard to get the business back up and running since coronavirus.

“So, to then have people go against all our hard work is sad.

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“But we now have new business measures in place to ensure this does not happen again.”

Mr Smedley, who was not in the complex at the time of the incident, said the news of the getaway left him fuming.

He said: “Apparently they were first seen in the Moon and Starfish, but then decided to come over to us.

“They ran up a huge bill and even abused my staff

“It’s rare but still makes you very angry.”

Paul Honeywood, Pier ward councillor, blasted the couple for not thinking about the challenging circumstances facing the hospitality sector.

“I was disappointed to hear about the behaviour of a couple who recently left My Big Fat Greek Taverna without paying,” he said.

“Many of our local businesses are facing difficult times at the moment, through no fault of their own, and this kind of behaviour does not nothing to help any of those businesses or our great town.

“I sincerely hope that the wrongdoers are caught.”