Isabelle Dugal-Thompson, the general manager of The Apartment, has sent the following statement to Shanghaiist in response to the accusation by a customer that she was manhandled by their bouncers and the altercations left her with bruises all over her body:
That evening was extremely busy and our professional and well respected long term supplier of security was requested to supply additional staff that night for the safety and comfort of our customers, the vast majority of whom are well behaved and only interested in having a good night out. Unfortunately, due to the large number of people trying to get into the venue coupled with our desire not to allow too many in so as not to cause discomfort to those inside, many people without a reservation were refused entry and asked to wait until others left before we would allow them in.
Anyone carrying a VIP card or with a reservation was allowed to enter and we have received no other complaints about reservations not being honoured. Both our staff and the security team were under tremendous pressure during the course of the evening and faced many verbal and some physical assaults as a result of excited customers not being allowed entry.
The specific incident referred to on your site was observed by one of our senior managers and was definitely instigated by the customers actions who first pushed the security staff member and when asked to refrain from touching him, punched him in the face several times while screaming extremely loudly. Her screams were heard above the sound of the music by other members of staff on separate floors who later asked what was going on. Her argument was that her friends who had a reservation were inside and therefore she should automatically be allowed to jump the queue and enter. Under normal circumstances in this situation a “friend” would be called by the person trying to enter and asked to come to the door and confirm they are part of the group. In this case this did not happen.
We have since been told that this particular person was also refused entry to another bar on the street due to her somewhat excited state!
I appreciate this is the nature of working in the Bar and Restaurant business and that there will always be occasional problems such as this however, I do want to redress the balance in some way to avoid gaining an unwarranted reputation for unnecessary force being employed by our door staff. Also, rather than alienate even this customer, never mind the many people who no doubt read the posting, find a way to reassure people that we take the safety and security of our customers very seriously, do not employ thugs and do all that is in our power to ensure anyone coming to The Apartment has an enjoyable experience.
I would like to make the offer to meet with your subscriber and discuss their experience over dinner at our expense in order to gain a deeper insight into what measures we can take to further improve our operational methods and the experience of our customers. I appreciate they may not wish to do this but the offer is there and is a genuine attempt to put this persons mind at rest re-returning to The Apartment in the future. You would be welcome to join us should you wish.
Shanghaiist will be putting the two parties in touch with each other. Here’s hoping all’s well that ends well.