Customer service and bullies

“I am not paying for my meal!” he informed the owner of the restaurant, as she turned and walked away from him. She turned back and simply said, that yes, he would have pay for what he had consumed (not the steak that he was unhappy with) the rest of the meal. His voice was raised and loud and he was angry.

He was not letting it go and repeated in an even louder voice his intentions of not paying for the meal. This left the manager with no choice but to admonish him and let him know that if continued in this manner with threats and calling the staff names she would have to take the action of asking him to leave. (this last part was after two run-ins with his server and two trips to the kitchen from him)

Whew… there were roughly 17 or 18 of us, five men the rest women. We were on a weekly supper rendezvous for a loosely knit group of older singles. The faces and size of the group are constantly changing as people come and go, but a core group seems to keep it all together. There is a weekly ad in the paper that attracts new, and older singles to join in.

I call them my newspaper friends and I am into my second year with them. Meeting up for suppers at various food establishments when I can make it, sometimes outings and game nights. I like this diverse group of farmers, nurses, hairstylists and teachers to university profs.. mostly retired, it is a way to meet new people and make new friends.

I’m blogging about this because I am still uncomfortable about the scene caused at our table last night. This regular in our group, was very unhappy with his steak, which was done to his liking but apparently full of gristle. Two others ordered the same steak and said theirs was delicious and very good. His displeasure was made known to us all..

The server offered to get him something else but he declined. He also took his plate and went to the kitchen and made a scene (this must have been when he displayed threatening behavior and called them idiots). So now the kitchen sends back the same steak and says there is nothing wrong with it, they could cut into it just fine. Omg.. can it get any worse?

In case you think this is funny.. it wasn’t, trust me. I’m sure down the road this will turn into a “he said.. she said” story. This is a day later and the only thing I am sure about is that supper with him present is going to be a crap shoot. I do not want to be present if this happens again, but I am not going to let it stop me from enjoying an evening out with my friends.

This was really uncomfortable for all of us at that table, so much so that I had to open my big mouth and try to make it better. Ya, I know.. but its what I do. I pointed out to this man that he was making a scene and maybe he could have handled it differently. The thing is, I send food back all the time. Being in the food industry has made me aware of letting things slide.. you just don’t.

The last time I was at this establishment the lemon roast potatoes were not good and dare I say inedible? I let the server know, refused another side because quite honestly, I was not that hungry. The sole however, was the best I had tasted in years. I was discreet and just wanted them to be aware that those potatoes should not have been served. The lemon roasted potatoes served last night (I had a baked potatoe lol) looked good to me.

My advice to him maybe made it worse, I dunno.. time will tell I guess. I don’t want to quit going out with this group nor do I want to be around a bully. He was so belligerent about that bill, that truthfully, I was thinking about going to the front till and discreetly paying it. Let him think he got his way.. but that might have been worse.

I also want to stop by that establishment and share my views on customer service.. omg, I wish I could let it go. If that was me, I would have taken his meal away, not charged him and also apologized for disappointing him. One of the first crucial lessons I learned on my journey to building a hugely successful catering company was this ‘Customer Service’ is always first and foremost. (Thank you Michael Roman and Catersource)

So here are two things I would like to leave you with.. no matter what kind of business you have. Customer service should always be our number one priority. The business that goes above and beyond to satisfy customers will always have a business. I was also fond of reminding our staff from time to time in the catering business “we are only as good as our last meal.”

The second is this.. being a bully, treating the people that serve you with disrespect, says more about you than about them.. remember that!

That’s all… whew

UPDATE to this story

The restaurant was contacted and the owner extended apologies and full re-imbursement to the customer as well as extending a personal apology to said customer. I am very happy about this. I’m also glad it happened next day.. never let a bad experience fester.. deal with it in a timely manner. I only hope the bully realizes what an ass he was, and changes his behavior.