You have heard of a roast dinner with all the trimmings – but a father-of-one found an unwelcome addition in the form of a rusty screw in his Sunday feast.
Rick Bronks was enjoying a spot of lunch at Toby Carvery, Studio Way, Borehamwood, in June, when he bit down on the screw that was embedded in his chunk of beef.
Five months later, the Eaton Way resident has only just received compensation for the ordeal.
Mr Bronks, who works as a photographer, said: “I was really riled by it. It could have been really dangerous. It was sheer luck that I bit it sideways and did not swallow it.
“I dread to think what had happened if I had not realised. It could have caused something really nasty or at the very least left me needing serious dental work.
“It was black, around five millimetres long and really sharp. My wife and I were in shock so we did not kick up much of a fuss, I was not really sure what to do.”
The 38-year-old politely alerted a waitress to the unexpected screw and she offered the couple a free meal and dessert – but still insisted they pay the £2.80 for their drinks.
Feeling ripped off, Mr Bronks contacted the company to seek further compensation and an apology when he arrived home, but did not receive a reply.
It was only when he set up a Facebook group about what happened a month later that the restaurant’s area manager phoned him to offer an apology and vouchers.
But the final nail in the coffin was when he did not receive the coupons through the post as promised.
He added: “It was never about the money because I am not a serial complainer, I only wanted to see how long it would take before I got a decent response.
“I felt like someone should take responsibility for this. I e-mailed head office and after seven e-mails they replied saying they sent my vouchers to my home in Denham.
“It made me laugh because I live nowhere near Denham. How serious does it have to be? It is on principle – it could have ended up on a child’s plate.”
It was not until last Friday that the manager of Toby Carvery in Borehamwood offered him a £75 voucher by way of compensation – but he does not plan on returning.
A statement from Mitchell and Butlers, which owns Toby Carvery, said: “Toby Carvery take safety, especially food safety, very seriously and we have apologised to Mr Bronks. This was very much a one-off incident.
“Mr Bronks first contacted us following his visit in June. We spoke and emailed him a number of times during the next few weeks and resolved the complaint by offering a complimentary meal for himself and his family.
“The voucher was sent to Mr Bronks in July but Last week we were contacted by Mr Bronks again to let us know he had not received the complimentary voucher we posted in July.
“We responded immediately by sending a replacement voucher.”