A RESTAURANT apologised for any offence caused after a member of staff referred to a disgruntled customer as an “a***hole” on social media site Twitter.

Management at Cinnamon restaurant in Ranelagh, south Dublin, described the episode as a “moment of madness”, which should not have occurred in the family-run business.

However, despite the high volume of tweets about the incident, it was ‘business as normal’ at the restaurant last night as trade appeared unaffected by the online storm.

A staff member put the comment on Cinnamon’s Twitter account after a customer referred to the restaurant as “a pretentious creche” and complained of a 40-minute wait for service.

The staff member responded: “You’re an a***hole. Why don’t you come in and introduce yourself to us.”

The restaurant last night apologised to the customer, adding they accepted the customer had a legitimate complaint. Management confirmed the person responsible had been disciplined.

“We are a very busy restaurant and this past weekend had 50pc more customers than a normal weekend and were overwhelmed by this,” it stated.

“Staff morale is very important to us and has been severely affected by this incident. We employ over 50 staff and would not wish to jeopardise their livelihood.”

Management at the restaurant have also offered customers a coffee of their choice for €1 for the next week, as long as they quote ‘Twittergate’ while ordering.