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A US restaurant owner has decided to shut up shop for a 'day of kindness' after staff were left in tears by abusive customers.
Brandi Felt Castellano, who co-owns Apt Cape Cod in Massachusetts, said customers have been particularly verbally abusive this year but one incident earlier this month was the final straw.
According to Felt Castellano, one man completely tore into a member of staff after being told that the restaurant wasn't yet open for the day so they couldn't take his order on Thursday 8 July.
As such, that same day Felt Castellano decided to close the restaurant until 5pm to give staff chance to recuperate.
In a lengthy post on Facebook, she said: "As many of our guests and patrons treat us with kindness and understanding, there have been an astronomical influx daily of those that do not, swearing at us, threatening to sue, arguing and yelling at my staff, making team members cry.
"This is an unacceptable way to treat any human. So Chef Regina and I have decided to take the day and give the staff time deep clean the restaurant, train, and treat my staff to a day of kindness. We will be open again for breakfast tomorrow.
"Please remember that many of my staff are young, this is their first job, or summer job to help pay for college.
"We have had to make adjustments due to the increase in business volume, size of kitchen, product availability and staffing availability, we are not trying to ruin anyone's vacation or day off."
The post has since been flooded with messages of support for the restaurant and its staff, with one person writing: "Regina and Brandi I am so sorry. Your staff has always been so polite and caring. Please let them know at least how much I respect them and wish I was still on the cape and could support you and the team!"
Another commented: "Shame on those customers. Thank you for taking care of your staff."
While a third said: "Sad state of affairs when people are so emboldened to be rude and hurtful. I hope you are blessed with many kind customers in the days, months and years to come!"
Speaking to The New York Times, Castellano said it was 'disheartening' to see customers behave in such a way and believes people's behaviour has got worse over the summer.
She told the news outlet: "It's like abuse.
"It's things that people are saying that wouldn't be allowed to be on TV because they would be bleeped. People are always rude to restaurant workers, but this far exceeds anything I've seen in my 20 years... I would say that it is its own epidemic."
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