The owners of Islamabad-based restaurant Cannoli Café Soul have come under public criticism for a video depicting them “humiliating” their manager for his English-speaking skills, leading to “#BoycottCannoli” becoming the top trend on Twitter today.
In a video shared on social media last night, the owners—identified as Uzma Chaudhry and Dia Haider—are seen asking their manager the duration he has been working for the restaurant, and how many English-language courses he has taken.
The manager, introduced as Awais, told them he has taken three six-month courses to learn English, to which the owners responded by asking him to speak in the language. As he spoke, an owner laughed, and told the camera: “So, this is our manager who has been with us for nine years. This is the beautiful English he speaks.”
“This is what we paid for,” the other owner quipped.
Throughout this enounter, recorded and posted by the owners themselves in a now-deleted post on the restaurant’s social media, the manager appeared visibly uncomfortable.
The video soon started circulating online, with people condemning the “elite” restaurant owners for their behavior.
In response to the backlash, Cannoli Café Soul released an unapologetic statement saying they are “saddened and appalled” by the negative reaction of people towards the “banter” depicted in the video. However, the Lahore franchise of the restaurant condemned the actions of the Islamabad eatery.