A RESTAURANT has apologised after it forgot to display its Poppy Appeal tin for customers to donate into and instead plans to give “substantial” funds to the cause itself.

Hickory’s Smokehouse, on Tybridge Street, Worcester, neglected to display the charity tin given to it last month, creating an uproar on social media.

Robert Turner, landlord of the Crown Inn, St Johns, who voluntarily delivers and collects the tins from various businesses in the area, said “shame on you” in his Facebook post.

Various people then commented, also condemning the restaurant – with Mr Turner also adding “it’s a bloody good job” military personnel “could be bothered” in the two world wars.

However, restaurant general manager Steve Bonnington has apologised and offered to make a “considerable donation” to Mr Turner to give to the Poppy Appeal.

Mr Bonnington said: “I’m going to go and speak to the gentleman [Mr Turner] and hopefully he’ll accept a considerable donation for the appeal.

“We are very sorry – it was simply an oversight. As a business we do support a number of charities and I, personally, made a donation to the Poppy Appeal this year.”

Mr Turner, who has run the Crown for four years, took over as a Poppy Appeal volunteer last year and covers the surrounding area alongside friends Russel and Sarah Tudge.

“We are volunteers and we take boxes all over the place, using our own petrol,” he told the Worcester News.

“It’s our job to get poppy boxes in as many places as we can to gather as many funds as possible for the appeal," he said.

“We went to pick up the box [after Remembrance Sunday] and were told they hadn’t got around to putting it out,” he continued.

“If they’d told us they didn’t plan to display it, we could have collected it sooner and taken it somewhere else.”

A spokeswoman for Hickory’s, the Worcester branch of which opened in the summer, said the franchise takes its “charitable responsibilities extremely seriously”.

She said the business supports “literally hundreds of charities across our eight restaurants”.

“Having looked into the details surrounding this particular issue it appears that this was a total oversight by the team – they are still relatively new and still finding their feet.”

She said Mr Bonnington “has taken it upon himself to make a significant personal donation” and is encouraging his team to donate from their tips over the weekend. Hickory’s current chosen charity is Free Radio’s Cash for Kids, having so far raised over £100,000 to help children’s charities in the area.

“The team are already gearing themselves up to make this year’s Mission Christmas as successful as possible,” the spokeswoman added.