A POPULAR restaurant in Colchester descended into chaos after technical difficulties resulted in some customers leaving without paying for their meals.

Workers at Toby Carvery, in London Road, were faced with disgruntled customers on Wednesday after a technical issue left food and drink orders unable to be processed.

Reportedly, this unpleasant situation led to several customers walking out without paying nor leaving contact details.

One diner, who wishes to remain anonymous, was at the restaurant enjoying a meal at the time of the incident.

Gazette: Building - A photo of the rear of Toby Carvery in Stanway, ColchesterBuilding - A photo of the rear of Toby Carvery in Stanway, Colchester (Image: Google Maps)

They said: “So, I was sitting having a meal at Toby Carvery with my family and about 8pm I noticed some of the staff talking and stating they could not do anything as their computer system was down.

“They couldn’t book food or drinks orders and they couldn’t take payments. We were only aware of the situation because we had overheard the staff discussing it.

“There were a lot of people waiting at the bar, a long queue of people trying to pay for orders and their drinks.”

According to the customer, the situation persisted for some time and staff at the Toby Carvery received little to “no support” when trying to fix the problem.

After waiting roughly 20-minutes for it to be fixed to no avail, it was then decided contact details should be taken from customers waiting so they could be contacted the following day to make payment - which didn't go down well. 

Gazette: Sign - Toby Carvery is a popular eatery in the citySign - Toby Carvery is a popular eatery in the city (Image: Newsquest)

They said: “People were getting disgruntled with the situation and understandably just wanted to pay and leave, they didn’t want to have to leave their personal details.

“Some people started crowding round the bar area and some guys were being a bit confrontational as they were frustrated with the situation and wanted to leave.

“I noticed roughly five people leave, and it looked like they didn’t leave their contact details at all."

According to the diner, they left their details on a napkin which

Despite feeling “uncomfortable” and worrying about their information being "breached and taken by a third party”, the diner left their details on a napkin on a table before leaving.

"The whole situation spoiled what was meant to be a lovely family meal," they added.

Bosses at Toby Carvery have now apologised following the mishap. 

A spokesman said: "We apologise to guests who dined with us on Wednesday for any disruption caused as a result of temporary power failure in our bar area which was out of our control. 

"The issue affected our till and payment systems so it meant we had to process payments manually which takes a little longer than electronic payments. 

"The issue was resolved on the same evening and the restaurant is now operating as usual. 

"We appreciate many guests were very understanding and patient but we were disappointed a small number of guests left without paying and we would hope they would return to put things right.”