MasterChef champion Simon Wood sparks fierce debate after exposing customer who asked for freebies


Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 16th December 2023

Simon Wood, former MasterChef champ and owner of Wood in Manchester, has sparked a debate about freebies today.

The celebrated chef has exposed a customer who emailed asking for a ‘complimentary dessert’ to help them mark a special occasion.

Simon has labelled their request as ‘unbelievable…’ as he shared a screenshot of the email in question.

The customer had written to Wood restaurant, on First Street, to ask: “As it’s the first anniversary from me and my husband, would it be possible to give us a good table with a nice view and a maybe a complimentary Dessert? As I want to surprise my partner.”

And Simon has slammed them for ‘trying to scrounge off small businesses’ as he sparked a debate about freebies on social media.


The chef-patron wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Unbelievable…. Free food for celebrations, that’s why we’re here after all….”

Simon later wrote: “Restaurants aren’t here to give things away for free. Pop into McDonald’s and ask for a complementary cheeseburger and see what happens.


“People need to stop trying to scrounge off small businesses.”

Many people have agreed with Simon Wood, saying it would be ‘unfathomable’ that people would ask for freebies in any other industry.

Others agreed that complimentary extras are always nice but ‘you don’t ask for them’.


But some people think Simon has been too harsh and that the customer has done nothing wrong by at least asking.

On Simon’s side, one person wrote on X: “Nothing wrong in mentioning a celebration and asking for a nice table. But that is where it should stop. If the restaurant then want to treat you to a complimentary surprise then that is up to them.”

Another said: “Imagine this in any other industry. ‘Hi M&S, it’s my birthday! Can I have a free dress’. Unfathomable. To surprise your other half/celebrate, order things from the menu. Support restaurants when they desperately need it. Ensure there’s a place to go for a 2nd anniversary!”

Someone else commented: “I just don’t understand some people. Yes, it is nice to get freebies, but you don’t ask for them!”

And one agreed: “Asking for the table is definitely okay, asking for complimentary stuff is mental.”


But one person said: “Tbf, I’ve had a complimentary dessert served when it was my birthday, it was a lovely touch. To ridicule someone for asking is a bit much.”

Another posted: “They only asked. In the words of my very wise mother: Shy bairns get nowt.”

And someone else went so far as to say: “You’d think they had asked for the whole meal for free lmfao. You stingy a**hole”

What do you reckon? Was the customer in the wrong to ask Simon Wood for a freebie on their anniversary?

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Featured image: Wood Manchester