Surrey pub cancels long-running ladies' night after complaint of discrimination against men

The Star Inn, Lingfield 03
The Surrey pub reviewed its policy after getting a complait Credit: BPM Media

A pub has cancelled its long-running weekly ladies' night after a man complained it was "discriminatory against men". For the past 12 years The Star Inn, in Lingfield, Surrey, offered 50 per cent off food for women, saying the deal was its way of "righting the balance" in "a world clearly weighted against women". But, following the complaint from a man on October 17, the pub said the offer would cease at the end of October. In a statement, the pub said: “We are fully booked every week, often weeks ahead, and it is used as a great catch-up by many women in the local area. "We always knew that it was a bit iffy as we were in effect discriminating against men, but in a world that is clearly weighted against women, it was our small way of righting the balance. “Sadly, following a complaint from a man who visited us on Monday night, we will no longer be able to continue with this offer in its present form, after the end of October. "We would like to thank you all for your great support over the years and please do watch out for an announcement on how we can continue some kind of ladies' night in the future.”

Simon Skinner next to a What's On board at the pub in Surrey Credit: BPM Media

Simon Skinner, who runs the Church Road pub, said he was contacted by a staff member on Monday last week to say one male customer was refusing to pay full price as he thought the discount was discriminatory against men. Despite causing a "real fuss", the man was asked to pay full price.

'People can be very fickle'

Mr Skinner said: “I’ve had a decent run of it but I’ve always known it’s a little bit iffy. I thought it’s not really worth fighting and something you have to roll with. "We’ve often had people joking but we’ve never received any complaints. Until now everyone's been really happy with it. “It has always been something I want to do for ladies, I do think women have the wrong end of it and it's just a nice thing to do. If one person objected to what I was doing in any other circumstances then I would laugh, I’d love to stand up to him and say 'to hell with you'. “But it’s licensed premises, it’s not something you want to get tied up into and it can paint you in a bad light in the long run. People can be very fickle, they can be supportive of you but then if they see this comment they can think, 'maybe he’s got a point'. “If we did a white person's night it would be utterly deplorable. You’ve got clear discrimination, whilst people are saying 'it's only one complaint' if you read a lot of responses a lot of them are complaining about doing something illegal and we have to change."

Outside seating area at the Star Inn at Lingfield Credit: BPM Media

The pub's ladies' night will officially stop at the end of October, although Simon will keep the night running with deals for both men and women. While no firm plans have been decided, one suggestion is a 25 per cent discount for both men and women on Monday nights, which would continue to be called ladies' night. Responding to those who speculated that the pub’s decision to cancel the event was actually related to financial reasons, Mr Skinner added: "To be honest if I put up a post up saying ‘it's with deep regret I’ve decided to stop doing it due to the economic environment’ I don’t think anybody would be upset."

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