Little Chef worker Lynn Smith sacked for taking home a pie
A FORMER Little Chef employee has lost a compensation claim for unfair dismissal – after she took an apple pie home without permission.
Lynn Smith had been employed as a supervisor at the chain's restaurant in Newcastle Road, Talke, below, for 12 years with a good record.
But she lost her job after she broke the firm's rules by taking the pie, Birmingham Employment Tribunal was told.
Mrs Smith, of St Martin's Road, Talke Pits, believed she had been harshly treated and made a compensation claim against her employer.
Little Chef did not attend the hearing and was not represented, but the tribunal judge Miss Maureen Connolly said the company had been in communication.
Miss Connolly added that Little Chef had stated that food could be eaten on the premises but that there were strict rules about staff taking it home.
Miss Connolly said: "Mrs Smith knew it was against the company's rules about misappropriating food.
"Mrs Smith admitted taking the apple pie. She should not have taken the apple pie away."
Little Chef currently charges £3.99 for a serving of its Kentish Bramley apple pie which is dished up with custard or vanilla ice cream.
Apart from taking home the apple pie without permission, Mrs Smith was also involved in a dispute about the sale of a burger.
The tribunal heard how she sold a burger to a customer but did not take any payment.
Mrs Smith said she had been too busy cashing up at the time.
She made two appeals against the dismissal decision but still lost her job around October last year.
She told the tribunal: "There was no CCTV at the time and the burger incident occurred while I was busy."
Miss Connolly said it gave her no pleasure to announce that the tribunal had decided Mrs Smith had lost her compensation claim for unfair dismissal.
"The respondents acted within the bounds of reasonable responses in dismissing the claimant," Miss Connolly added.
The first Little Chef opened in Reading in 1958 and it currently has 111 outlets, including branches in Talke and Crewe.
It announced in January it was to close 67 loss-making restaurants and make between 500 and 600 job cuts.
The group went into administration in 2007, when most of its assets were bought by current owner, RCapital.