After Criticism Over ‘Saree’ Video, Delhi Restaurant Responds

A restaurant in Delhi recently came under fire after one of its employees allegedly denied entry to a woman wearing saree. The woman, named Anita Choudaary, shared a video clip on Facebook that featured a staffer saying (to the person filming), “Ma’am, we allow only smart casual and saree is not counted as smart casual.” The video soon took the internet by storm, with people roasting the restaurant over the incident. However, the restaurant responded saying that it was a massive misinterpretation of the incident.

This incident took place at Aquila Restaurant in Delhi’s Ansal Plaza on September 19, 2021. The woman shared a 16-second video clip where she was heard saying in agitation, “Show me that saree is not allowed.” Alongside the video, she wrote (in Hindi), “Listen to this video very carefully. There is a restaurant in Delhi where saree is not considered a smart outfit. There were multiple arguments and excuses, but we weren’t allowed to sit inside the restaurant. It is because Indian ‘paridhan’ saree is not a smart outfit in our India (Bharat/Hindustan). The humiliation that I faced (for wearing saree) yesterday was bigger and more heart-wrenching than any other insult I faced till now.” Check out the video here:

The video clip went viral in no time garnering 38k views till date. Besides, people went vocal on social media platforms and the restaurant’s review section on Zomato, calling out Aquila for such behaviour.

On Wednesday (September 22, 2021), the restaurant took to Instagram to share their response that read, “Currently, a 10-second clip has been circulating in the media showing only a small snippet of what happened during a period of 1 hour here on Sunday.”

The eatery further said that the situation initiated after the woman assaulted one of their staff members. It is then another employee made such comment on the dress code to “tackle” the situation.

Alongside their official release, the restaurant also attached a CCTV video footage that showed a woman hitting a person. In a second CCTV footage, they showed how guests have been visiting the restaurants “fuss-free”, wearing saree and other outfits.

“Aquila is a homegrown brand and each member of the team stands tall as a proud Indian. Our gate managers statement in no way is a representation of the entire teams view on the dress code. Nowhere in our company policy does it say that we will refuse entry to anybody in ethnic wear,” the statement read.

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