A restaurant’s owners say they have lost £3,500 after a similar business, based in Watford, was fined for mis-selling exotic meats.
Pravesh and Seema Dhyani, both 31, have run the independent Seattle Steakhouse in Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead for four years, building up a loyal customer base.
But the couple said seven people called to cancel bookings last Friday after the story broke about The Steakhouse in St Albans Road, Watford, being fined after mis-selling horse and venison as zebra and wildebeest.
Father-of-two Pravesh said: “We have lost at least £3,500 in the past few days, it’s very worrying. We are an independent business so something like this puts a lot of pressure on us financially.”
As well as prime Angus beef, Pravesh says exotic meats such as kangaroo, water buffalo, wild boar, zebra, ostrich and reindeer make up a third of the eatery’s menu.
He said: “We source our exotic meat from two suppliers, Freedown Foods and Kezie Foods, and I go up to Smithfield Market in London once a week to buy our Angus beef.”
Pravesh is concerned the Watford story will have a lasting impact because it could cause customers to lose trust in the steakhouse trade.
He said: “I’m more than happy to let customers come and check the invoices for our meat, we have nothing to hide.
“We have made lots of improvements to the premises in the past few months and we are very committed.”
The Dhyanis, who have two sons, both left promising careers in the City to set up the business and now employ seven staff, including head chef Simon O’Bryan.