Mum slams family restaurant in Milton Keynes for crop top ban on hottest day of the year

A beauty salon owner says she was discriminated against for wearing a crop top on the hottest day of the year.

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 20th June 2022, 12:58 pm
Emma Prince with daughter Penelope
Emma Prince with daughter Penelope

Emma Prince, 34, decided to take her two-year-old daughter out to dinner in Wolverton’s Stonehouse Pizza and Carvery on Friday evening, when temperatures reached more than 30 degrees.

She was wearing a white crop top she had bought online from ASOS and shorts.

But the female manager of the Wolverton House eatery was not impressed – and promptly refused her entry.

This is the outfit that Emma was wearing

"She said I couldn’t come in because I was wearing just a bra. I explained to her it wearing a crop top, not underwear, and it was 30 degrees outside,” said Emma.

"She told me ‘This is: a restaurant and it’s our policy’ so I asked to see the policy and dress code where it says no crop tops. She didn’t show me anything, but she just kept looking me up and down and saying in a very patronising way ‘that is not a top.’

Ironically, Emma, who owns The Vanity House beauty salon in Bletchley, had a friend with her who was also wearing a crop top.

"The manager said that was ok because it had thick straps. Mine had thin straps. But it was still a crop top, purchased from the clothing section rather than the underwear section!”

Luckily Emma had a shirt in her car and she was made to put that on, despite the heat, to walk through the restaurant to the back garden.

"The manager was saying loudly ‘That’s not a top, it’s a bra, and everyone was looking at me. It was really embarrassing.”

Once in the garden, Emma was told she had to keep her shirt on,

She ordered food for herself and daughter Penelope, who was hungry after being picked up from nursery.

"There were men in the garden with their shirts off. I couldn’t understand why I was being discriminated against for wearing a top that showed my stomach. It didn’t seem fair at all.

“People were coming up to me and sympathising, saying how harsh the manager had been.

"I was boiling hot in my shirt but I was afraid if I took it off and sat in my top I would be kicked out – and I did not want the confrontation in front of my daughter.”

Emma and her friend ordered food, including macaroni cheese for little Penelope, who was starving hungry after being picked up from nursery.

She ordered at 6.20pm but by 7.30pm the food had still not arrived.

"People all around me were getting their food but ours did not come. My friend had hers and her son’s food brought out but my dauhter was getting increasingly hungry and upset. In the end I gave up and had to take her to McDonald’s.”

Afterwards Emma questioned the Stonehouse restaurant anonymously in its Instagram page, asking for details of its dress code.

The reply came: “The dress code is to wear whatever you’re comfortable in.”

Emma said: “I am beyond annoyed and disgusted the attitude of the manager. and the service I was given.

“She discrimination against me and my attire. I want to speak out on behalf of other woman as I believe we have the right to wear a piece of clothing without being judged, looked down on or sneered at.”

She added: “Obviously if I was going to a very smart restaurant, I wouldn’t wear a crop top. But this was a glorified pub with a beer garden on a sunny day!”

Stonehouse pizza and carvery is owned by Mitchells & Butler and the Citizen questioned the pub and restaurant giants on their dress policy.

A spokesperson said: “Any decisions on dress code is down to the discretion of the restaurant’s manager.”

She added: “We would like to apologise for the delay experienced with our service. Due to the weather, we had an incredibly busy day and our team was a lot busier than usual.”