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Old 10-16-2010, 06:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Why The Chef hates you...

A while back CNN gave waitstaff the opportunity to bitch about customers. Not to be out done, Chef Ron Eyester (@theangrychef on Twitter) has come up with a list of 6 things that piss him off about customers.

Having worked in customer service in the past I can sympathize with customer service workers and their hatred of certain customers. Unfortunately for me, I really hated and so found another line of work.

I think most of us have eaten in restaurants. How many of these items, describe you?

Also, if you deal with the public, what pisses you off most?


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Six ways customers tick off chefs

5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

If the name Ron Eyester rings a bell, it might be because we gave him and his @theangrychef tweets a little shout-out in our "Things we love" piece on Friday - right next to meat-themed shirts and pimento cheese.

Eyester is the executive chef and owner of Rosebud Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia - and boy, do customers get his blood boiling on a good many occasion.

And while we might have promised Gripe Week was over on Friday, it is Monday - and we see that as reason enough to don our cranky pants and/or cranky apron once more for old kvetching time's sake.

Five Six Things Customers Do to Tick Off a Chef: Ron Eyester

1. “Do you like it when people come over to your house and move your furniture around? Yeah, neither do we. We especially don’t like it when you decide to put chairs where we normally have people (i.e. our staff) walking.

I’m sorry, but we haven’t been waiting around all day for you and your ten friends to pop in - moreover, there was actually some logic and planning that went into putting the tables and chairs where we have them, so leave them the f#@$ alone!”

2. “I love how a restaurant is expected to acknowledge your birthday like it’s a national holiday or something. Who invented the rule that you get a free dessert on your birthday in a restaurant? I guess we have T.G.I.Friday’s and Bennigan’s to thank for exploiting servers as they, the servers, clap their hands and chant a birthday cheer.

You don’t get free pair of gloves or socks from Old Navy when you buy an outfit on your birthday. I actually will kid with our guests and let them know that on their birthday, 'unfortunately, our mariachi band is off this evening' - and, people believe me!”

3. “One of my all time favorites: People’s utter disregard for hours of operation. ‘Oh, you all are closed? OK, well, I just get some food to go.’ No, I don’t think you get it - we’re closed. Not only can you not cash a check at the bank 30 seconds after they close - the old man locking the door actually takes pleasure in locking the door on you. In some banks, the tellers even have a nice panoramic window to gaze out of and laugh at all the folks who didn’t make it in on time.

What do restaurants have? We have that one guy - if you keep the bar open between lunch and dinner, as we do – who talks to you non-stop as you either try to grab a quick bite to eat, maybe enjoy some solitude or even get some prep work done. This guy talks about everything and nothing all at the same time while he nurses a single beer for a little over an hour and waits for the kitchen to re-open. It’s also worth mentioning that this guy is like a cat: feed him once and you get the pleasure of enjoying many a quiet afternoon with him."

4. “You know what happens when you’re late for a flight? You miss it! You know what happens when you’re late to the movies? It starts despite the fact that you’re not there. Why am I obligated to hold your table when you’re late? Oh, you hit traffic. What’s that? - I’ve never heard of traffic.

Also, when you show up thirty minutes before we open for brunch (yes, this happens all the time), I can’t open early because ‘your body is used to eating at 9:30.’ Yet, I’m obligated to offer you a cup of coffee while you wait and make sure that the staff and I don’t drop too many F-bombs while we’re setting up so we don’t offend you.”

5. “A chef really loves when you drop his or her name - especially when you don’t have a reservation on a busy night. Or even better, when these people refer to themselves as a ‘good friend.’ Here’s a rule: coming to eat at my restaurant once a month, while I genuinely appreciate the patronage and support, does not automatically qualify us as friends. I’m probably not going to ask you to baptize my next kid.

Moreover, if you were really my friend: (a) you would have direct access to me via my phone instead of having to negotiate through the hostess, and (b) you wouldn’t repeatedly ask your server for me to stop by the table so that I could essentially put on a dog and pony show for you and the person that you are sitting with (a.k.a. the person who you told that you and I were good friends).”

And for good measure...

6. “Why do people always seem to call the restaurant at the absolute worst time (i.e. between 12:45 and 1:30 p.m. and 7 and 9 p.m.) to inquire about our menu or make a reservation?

‘Yes, please tell me about your food’ Really? Do you not have access to the World Wide Web? It’s great when they request a verbal tour of the menu. And, why is it that all these people share an uncanny, common denominator - they all talk so slow!

Or - how about when people call to make a reservation and the conversation actually turns into a conference call? This is especially entertaining when the person is in a car with a multiple talkative passengers, or the other people in the conversation are in another room of the house probably watching college football.

The person you are on the other end of the phone with is still conferring with the others: ‘What time do you want to eat? I don’t know. Is eight too late? How hungry are you? Do you think you’ll be busy at 7:30? They don’t have anything until 8:15.’”
Oddly, even though my current job is more of a behind the scenes kind of thing, I do have interaction from time to time with the public, either at our live events or through our email "enquiries" (I like to personally answer enquiries that pertain to my role). I'd have to say, my biggest peeve (not a hate per se, rather just an annoyance) is that people think they can dictate what happens on our channel. I am grateful for viewers but jeez, we didn't move a show for shits and giggles or a personal attack on you.
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1. If a guest needs a reasonable accommodation, make it. Stop whining. If you don't want me to move a chair, stop by and offer to do it for me.

2. I don't expect a free desert, but since you're so expert apparently you've never realized that some folks only eat out on special occasions. You know, like birthdays. Be prepared to acknowledge them.

3. Lock your fucking door. Sorry, we're closed. Please come back during our regular hours of operation.

4. You're not obligated to hold my table, but if something unforeseen happens and you can accommodate me, you should. Builds patronage.

5. Can't train your staff to handle this situation? Go to a seminar.

6. If it's inconvenient, don't answer the phone. Don't worry, I'll just call another restaurant. There are thousands of good ones.

What a whiny, egotistical ass. If you don't want to interact with the public, do what Charlatan did, recognize it and do something else.
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The service industry exists for the sole purpose of serving customers. They can complain all they want, but I'll take my money else where if they don't want it. One of my favorite lines to use when I'm on the phone with the DishTV people semi-applies to this: "I'm sure your competitors would love my money." Dick move, maybe, but I get satisfaction out of sticking it to the man.

I'm surprised that "customers who make specific orders" isn't on the hate list. It was pretty popular in the CNN article way back when. "I am paying you to make me food, motherfucker, I want it done right!"
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm with Eyester on this.... It is called satire.... Me thinks those who have worked in the industry will get it... Those who have not... will not.

It is my experience that wait staff will always try to accommodate you if you are polite. End of story. Of course, tipping well always works too... But still does NOT give you an excuse to be an ass.
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've worked in both the restaurant industry and the retail industry. I've also studied business administration and marketing management. Out of all that education and experience, the one thing I've learned that applies to this thread is that the customer isn't always right. "The customer is always right" was some lamebrain idea from the idyllic '50s.

A business can fire their customers. Sometimes it just make sense. It makes more sense to focus on your good customers, because that's where a lot of your money comes from. Problem customers and overdemanding customers can be more trouble than they are worth.

Sure you can take your business elsewhere, but sometimes that's what they want.

However, this list seems to me to simply be some pet peeves, and not really something worthy to hold a grudge over. There are more serious issues than this that happen in restaurants.
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess that guy must be really pissed off that people pay way over the odds for the privaledge of eating his food and keep him in business.

I mean, look - in any situation you shouldnt be rude to people. But these people are the customers, and one would suppose that running a business depends on making them happy and providing a good service.

On his particular points

1 - If Im in a large group I have moved furniture about to male space, but would normally ask a waitress first

2 - I have never asked for a free desert because its my birthday, I have never eaten a meal with anyone who has, I have never witnessed anybody do this,

3 - If your closed, lock the door. Problem solved, isnt it?

4 - I personally dont turn up for things late on purpose. If I was late and they acted like assholes like this guy, I doubt I'd eat at the place again

5 - Really this point says a lot more about the ego of the guy writing it than real life. If there wasnt a reservation and there wasnt space I wouldnt ask them to do me a favour if I DID know the chef, let alone if I didnt. Knowing the guy doesnt entitle me to jump the queue in front of someone else

6 - If you dont want reservations then good for you. Otherwise, as a customer, I may well call during lunch since it is the time I am not working and most convenient for me. If this guy is so upset about it, like someone else said - dont answer the phone, I'll go eat somewhere that wants my business.

_

Really in no other customer service industry do you see this kind of contempt for people and bullying as you see from chefs. I blame Gordon Ramsey for portraying in the mind of these people that this is how you are supposed to act. Being a chef or a cook doesnt require any more skill or art than most other jobs as far as I am concerned.

When I go out to eat, I am polite, I tip reasonably unless the service is bad. I sometimes ask for a combination of food that isnt on the menu but I hope Im not otherwise unreasonable in my requests. On the same side of things, I dont really expect the staff to treat my presence there as if it is a massive inconvenience (which basically seems to be what this guy considers of his customers)
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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SF, Europe doesn't give away food for free, save tapas in Spain when you order a drink.

But here in the US, the bread basket placed before the meal is free. Some companies spend in excess of $1M a year just on free bread!

Most of the places this gentleman is writing about isn't your normal eatery. It's the more upscale places, like his Rosebud Restaurant. I like to think of the rosebud as being the same as balloon knot and the like, if you don't get it urbandictionary.

I like upscale dining in Europe. They don't cater to me and leave me to enjoy my meal for however long I want to sit.

And my friends who are chefs, I don't bug them and don't even let them know that I'm coming to their restaurant. If I want my friends to socialize with me I don't expect them to come to my office while I'm working. It's not like they are just hanging out waiting to chat.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange Famous View Post
Really in no other customer service industry do you see this kind of contempt for people and bullying as you see from chefs. I blame Gordon Ramsey for portraying in the mind of these people that this is how you are supposed to act. Being a chef or a cook doesnt require any more skill or art than most other jobs as far as I am concerned.
Believe me, this shit predates Gordon Ramsay. By a long shot. And if you want to see contempt elsewhere, look to retail.

Where retail and hospitality differ from "most other jobs" is that they are in service-based industries that deal with "end users" or "regular people" in ways that other jobs couldn't even if they wanted to. With that you get a kind of law of averages that reveals how a population will always contain certain small percentage of people deserving of your contempt.

Mean people suck. In my current job, I'm protected from them for the most part. I'm a book editor, and so I don't deal with very many people at all. This means it will be a long time coming, on average, before I run into a mean person. In the retail/hospitality industry, your "people turnover" is much higher, and so you run into these people way more often.

The list above, no matter how trivial or pet-peevy it seems, I imagine doesn't apply to the average customer. It applies to those who you'd probably rather go somewhere else to begin with. They are a minority, thank God, but they're out there. They are, for the most part, those with a sense of entitlement, and many of them treat service personnel as servants (in that serf kind of way) rather than, I don't know, service personnel with responsibilities, duties, and, oh yeah, feelings.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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this guy isn't counting his blessings, yeah customers can be annoying, but its better to put up with them than to put up with unemployment
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Pretty simple really, do your own thing as long as it does not fuck with anyone's enjoyment of life.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The service industry exists for the sole purpose of serving customers. They can complain all they want, but I'll take my money else where if they don't want it. One of my favorite lines to use when I'm on the phone with the DishTV people semi-applies to this: "I'm sure your competitors would love my money." Dick move, maybe, but I get satisfaction out of sticking it to the man.

I'm surprised that "customers who make specific orders" isn't on the hate list. It was pretty popular in the CNN article way back when. "I am paying you to make me food, motherfucker, I want it done right!"
I think this is largely an American cultural standard. In Europe the customer is more like an invited guest at the chef's house. A host tries to accommodate his guest and give him the best but the guest has etiquette to follow as well. The closest American equivalent I can think of is the B&B.
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't disagree with the Chef's peeves, but I see it for what it is: a short list of recurring annoying things some types of customers seem to perpetuate.

You'll get the same types of lists in the service jobs of any industry. As a switchboard person, for me it was mainly people that claimed to know such and such person and wanted to get dialed through to just about anyone in the company without the assistant's consent, even though it was against my guidelines, or getting their extension(just ask them yourself if you really do know them).

The same type of people will often ask to speak to your boss when you don't cooperate with exactly what it is they're asking, and make vague allusions to you getting fired.

Customer service always happens within a set of rules. Yes we are here to help, however that doesn't mean we can always do it in the way you want and please.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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In all customer service industries there needs to be a give and take between customers and the service providers. The problems that exist (as I see it anyway) have mostly to do with customers who expect, or even demand, too much. Everything the chef as listed is well within reason to be upset about and each case, it is a customer asking to bend the "rules" for them.

I also agree with the point above that a service provider should have the right to "fire" a customer. Problem customers are frequently more costly to maintain than it is to find a new customer (it is more expensive to find a new customer than it is to maintain an existing one).
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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In all customer service industries there needs to be a give and take between customers and the service providers. The problems that exist (as I see it anyway) have mostly to do with customers who expect, or even demand, too much. Everything the chef as listed is well within reason to be upset about and each case, it is a customer asking to bend the "rules" for them.

I also agree with the point above that a service provider should have the right to "fire" a customer. Problem customers are frequently more costly to maintain than it is to find a new customer (it is more expensive to find a new customer than it is to maintain an existing one).
i agree there should be a give/take relationship between service provider and customer when it comes to fairness but culture plays a huge role in the service industries around the world. i think its in France where your server is supposed to be very professional and impersonal where as in the States a more homely atmosphere is preferable. same goes for customers. different people do different things.

then again if you look at it from an economic standpoint, federal meddling aside, the people who want to eat will eat and the restaurants that are of high enough quality to meet the customer's expectations wont go bankrupt. i think the Chef is just venting a little on a particularly bad day
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Pretty simple really, do your own thing as long as it does not fuck with anyone's enjoyment of life.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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then again if you look at it from an economic standpoint, federal meddling aside, the people who want to eat will eat and the restaurants that are of high enough quality to meet the customer's expectations wont go bankrupt. i think the Chef is just venting a little on a particularly bad day
I think I am missing something here... how does the Federal Government factor into this issue?

Sounds like someone has an axe to grind and is trying to use someone else's whet stone.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:09 AM   #15 (permalink)
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i'm just saying that all the customers that want to eat will eat and all the chefs that want to cook bad enough will put up with the crap. the federal thing is just a nod towards economics
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Pretty simple really, do your own thing as long as it does not fuck with anyone's enjoyment of life.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Heh. As a former sushi chef, some of the customers can be extremely aggravating. For example, I had a mom who was rushing to see a movie complain at me for not making her 20 piece nigiri combo in 5 minutes. ("I have a movie to catch, can you hurry up?" :eyeroll: [5 Minutes later] "Still not done yet? I ordered this thing ten minutes ago!") For those outside of the know, Nigiri takes a while to make (select fish, cut fish, individually knead and form nigiri). The only other chef on the bar was a new trainee who could not make nigiri.

Another Friday, we were slammed for lunch, and in the middle of the lunch rush, some lady comes in and, full of reproach and attitude, complains to my trainer/mentor (a very experienced sushi chef) that her rolls "are too loose," while taking the rolls apart and basically indicating 'what is this shit?' (Sushi rolls are supposed to be more towards the loose side so they can 'explode' when you bite in to it).

It was one thing for people to come up and request that they're in a rush, or they're dissatisfied with their rolls, but many of the customers were pretty rude. I don't care if we are a service industry, just because I'm serving you, does not mean common courtesy goes out the window. A privileged attitude and bad manners make me dislike you.

Last edited by KirStang; 10-18-2010 at 08:04 AM..
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i'm just saying that all the customers that want to eat will eat and all the chefs that want to cook bad enough will put up with the crap. the federal thing is just a nod towards economics
While I follow the concept that people want to eat and chefs want to cook... I still see no place for a comment like "Federal Meddling". If you wanted to make a point that some people can't afford to eat out, make it.

"Federal Meddling" is just lazy language and it sucks.

---------- Post added at 08:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:11 AM ----------

KirStang: You've pointed out something very key. Common courtesy is an important factor in commercial transactions that is often the cause "bad service". It can happen on both sides of the transaction. I've seen customers behave like complete idiots, unprovoked and I have seen service staff do the same. Just recently I watched a Flight Attendant berate an older woman for not being able to get her carry on into the over head fast enough. I am sure the FA was having a bad day, but still.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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oooh! my turn!!

As a Barista and coffee geek, let me tell you how much I love it when people tell me what such and such coffee drink is. Today, one of my coworkers was berated for making a macchiatto with steamed milk and espresso. Apparently, this person thought that they were supposed to be made with a bunch of cold milk, and couldn't accept years of experience as a defense. Pretty sure you want a macchiatto fredo, there, bub. Granted, nobody knows what fredo means in the coffee business, but you could take a bunch of confusion out of the matter and just order espresso, go over to the condiment counter, and pour some milk in, and it would even cost less! Oh well.

Speaking from the same standpoint, working at a cafe, customers moving chairs and tables around does get pretty irritating, but if they get moved back when the party leaves and aren't blocking foot traffic, I don't have a problem with it. It's very annoying having to stay late rearranging furniture. Did I mention I don't get paid past a certain time after the shop is closed? I'm pretty sure it's not legal, but I need to keep my job.

I rather enjoy serving customers after we're "closed", however. Usually I will close down the espresso machine as the last duty for the night, so I can make drinks till the moment I leave. If someone walks in after I've shut off the sign, I'll usually say something like, "Hey, we closed about 20 minutes ago, but I'd be happy to make you something to go" which is often accepted, and usually with a good tip. I enjoy it thoroughly when I can make someone's day better by bending rules to get them what they need. Seeing that they appreciate my efforts with more than just a thank you is nice, too
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SirLance View Post
1. If a guest needs a reasonable accommodation, make it. Stop whining. If you don't want me to move a chair, stop by and offer to do it for me.

2. I don't expect a free desert, but since you're so expert apparently you've never realized that some folks only eat out on special occasions. You know, like birthdays. Be prepared to acknowledge them.

3. Lock your fucking door. Sorry, we're closed. Please come back during our regular hours of operation.

4. You're not obligated to hold my table, but if something unforeseen happens and you can accommodate me, you should. Builds patronage.

5. Can't train your staff to handle this situation? Go to a seminar.

6. If it's inconvenient, don't answer the phone. Don't worry, I'll just call another restaurant. There are thousands of good ones.

What a whiny, egotistical ass. If you don't want to interact with the public, do what Charlatan did, recognize it and do something else.


Yup, I have to agree with you 100%. That chef is obviously in the wrong line of work. But I guess Pampered Prima Dona doesn't pay very much. What is he doing complaining about front staff issues for anyway? Having been a cook (note, I don't claim to be a chef, just a cook) on a cruise ship, as well as restaurants, I never really paid attention to much more than getting the orders out. The placement of chairs, handling of reservations, closing the front door, all that stuff belonged to the host, maitre d' , or the wait staff. period.

Oh, and all restaurants want to pay attention to my biggest beef: food that takes a long time to prepare, BECAUSE IT'S BUSY. Well Surprise!, it's a restaurant ffs. the whole point of it is to provide food at Breakfast, Lunch &/or Dinner. Ergo, those are peak hours and will be busy. So Plan for the peaks.

You don't hear airline pilots apologizing for crashes because the planes were so high.


Any ways, this chef needs to re-assess his attitude.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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1. If a guest needs a reasonable accommodation, make it. Stop whining. If you don't want me to move a chair, stop by and offer to do it for me.
And if the Chef/owner/boss doesn't want it moved at all because it fucks up the flow of staff and product?

Quote:
2. I don't expect a free desert, but since you're so expert apparently you've never realized that some folks only eat out on special occasions. You know, like birthdays. Be prepared to acknowledge them.
You're obviously a lot more civilized than typical birthday restaurant-goers. While working at a pizza joint in college, I once had to defuse a pair of drunken idiots who decided that "it's mah burfday!" excused shouting at waitstaff and demanding free pizza, beer, and dessert. I know I am far from alone in this experience.

Quote:
3. Lock your fucking door. Sorry, we're closed. Please come back during our regular hours of operation.
Doesn't work that way. After shutdown, trash has to be taken out, floor-mats have to be washed, windows need washing...all of which requires either that the door be unlocked, or that someone be dedicated to sitting by the door with a key. Even if the door -is- locked, and the lights off, people will frequently come up to the door and bang, pound, push and slam on it in an effort to gain entry and access to munchies. When you appear from The Back wiping your hands, the first thing they ask is "Y'all open?" despite the fact that the hours are clearly posted, the door is locked, the sign says "Closed" and all the lights are out. If you're lucky enough to have a back door, you're also unlucky enough that these jerks will find it, gain entry, and demand food.

Quote:
4. You're not obligated to hold my table, but if something unforeseen happens and you can accommodate me, you should. Builds patronage.
Quite correct. But neither is anybody obligated to inconvenience people who -did- show up on time by accommodating someone who did not.

Quote:
5. Can't train your staff to handle this situation? Go to a seminar.
And when Jackwagon looses his temper, starts cursing at the waitstaff, and puts other paying diners off their food, what then? I have seen this happen more than once.

Quote:
6. If it's inconvenient, don't answer the phone. Don't worry, I'll just call another restaurant. There are thousands of good ones.
We're not talking about inconvenience. We're talking here about a jerkoff who calls up during the Lunch Rush (when all the planning in the world can't keep it from being All Hands On Deck) and keeps you on the phone for 30+ minutes asking about every single item on the menu. "Is it Organic? Is it lactose-free? Is there garlic in -that- sauce too, or just the sauce on the -last- pizza? There aren't any onions, are there?" And most of the time these assholes don't spend any money, they're just calling around comparison shopping!
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
bad craziness
 
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Location: Guelph, Ontario
The only one I do is #6. Sorry but I call when it's convienent for me. As it's been said, don't like it, don't answer and I'll call elsewhere.
It's two minutes to answer the phone and take my reservation.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:02 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Location: In the middle of the desert.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dunedan View Post
And if the Chef/owner/boss doesn't want it moved at all because it fucks up the flow of staff and product?
Oh, excuse me, sir. I'm afraid we need to move this. Can we accommodate your group by putting it over here?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dunedan View Post
You're obviously a lot more civilized than typical birthday restaurant-goers. While working at a pizza joint in college, I once had to defuse a pair of drunken idiots who decided that "it's mah burfday!" excused shouting at waitstaff and demanding free pizza, beer, and dessert. I know I am far from alone in this experience.
I got you fooled! Perhaps, but there's a difference between managing expectations and managing bad behavior. You're example is one where your "patrons" should have been asked politely to leave. Remember also that the OP isn't referring to a pizza joint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dunedan View Post
Doesn't work that way. After shutdown, trash has to be taken out, floor-mats have to be washed, windows need washing...all of which requires either that the door be unlocked, or that someone be dedicated to sitting by the door with a key. Even if the door -is- locked, and the lights off, people will frequently come up to the door and bang, pound, push and slam on it in an effort to gain entry and access to munchies. When you appear from The Back wiping your hands, the first thing they ask is "Y'all open?" despite the fact that the hours are clearly posted, the door is locked, the sign says "Closed" and all the lights are out. If you're lucky enough to have a back door, you're also unlucky enough that these jerks will find it, gain entry, and demand food.
Don't agree. It works that way if people are properly trained to handle the situation.



Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dunedan View Post
Quite correct. But neither is anybody obligated to inconvenience people who -did- show up on time by accommodating someone who did not.
Nor would I expect that. I said "IF" you can accommodate me, otherwise you just explain that you can't, but you'll be happy to seat me at the next available table, in about x minutes. If X is too long, I can choose to go elsewhere.



Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dunedan View Post
And when Jackwagon looses his temper, starts cursing at the waitstaff, and puts other paying diners off their food, what then? I have seen this happen more than once.
Training. "Sir, if you continue to behave this way, we'll have to call the police. Please leave." If he won't, pick up the phone and call 911, right in front of him. Most people will leave.



Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dunedan View Post
We're not talking about inconvenience. We're talking here about a jerkoff who calls up during the Lunch Rush (when all the planning in the world can't keep it from being All Hands On Deck) and keeps you on the phone for 30+ minutes asking about every single item on the menu. "Is it Organic? Is it lactose-free? Is there garlic in -that- sauce too, or just the sauce on the -last- pizza? There aren't any onions, are there?" And most of the time these assholes don't spend any money, they're just calling around comparison shopping!
After question #3, "Excuse me, please hold." Then press hold. Come back when and if you can.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:00 PM   #23 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
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SirLance... the issue isn't that people aren't trained to deal with these situations, the issue, from the beginning, is that these situations happen on a regular basis. Having to deal with these situations all is distracting from providing a good service.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:19 AM   #24 (permalink)
Crazy
 
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Location: Juneau, Alaska
Long post ahead.

Quote:
Oh, excuse me, sir. I'm afraid we need to move this. Can we accommodate your group by putting it over here?
This assumes the idea that the group is only just sitting down. I can recall numerous instances where a smaller group arrived, ordered food, received said food, then magically multiplied in number, the newcomers situating themselves precariously around the table and blocking off or even crowding out other customers. Yes, on those occasions we usually accommodate the entire group by moving them to a larger table-but can you imagine doing so (setting up, moving the already ordered food and drinks, etc.) while in the middle of a lunch or dinner rush?

Quote:
I got you fooled! Perhaps, but there's a difference between managing expectations and managing bad behavior. You're example is one where your "patrons" should have been asked politely to leave. Remember also that the OP isn't referring to a pizza joint.
We actually do provide a free dessert and singing where I work-but I can understand where they're coming from. People become upset and sometimes will tip you badly or won't tip you at all, regardless of exemplary service or not, if their expectations aren't met-whether it's because they expect something to be what it's not, or because we don't have something they want.

Quote:
Don't agree. It works that way if people are properly trained to handle the situation.
First off, not only do we have closing duties as explained above, wherein we need the door to remain open for a while, but when a restaurant is closed there's a high likelihood there are still customers inside, who are either finishing up their meals, or who made it in before closing time and are just now getting their meals. I personally would find it rude to lock my customers in. I'm more than happy to explain that we're closed already-I realized a long time ago people aren't very observant when it comes to signage that points out we're closed, or our hours. There are those who become belligerent about the point, however, and waste time that I could spend better serving my last customers, or even starting my closing duties. It's not a matter of being trained for this situation, it is simply another drain on our time.

Quote:
Nor would I expect that. I said "IF" you can accommodate me, otherwise you just explain that you can't, but you'll be happy to seat me at the next available table, in about x minutes. If X is too long, I can choose to go elsewhere.
That's great, and I love it when people have that attitude: They were late, they know it, so they'll wait for the next table. But trust me when I say that is a rarity when it comes to these situations. By and large, I'll wait 15 minutes (20 for a large party) past when the reservation was supposed to come in, and I'll call if we have a number for the party. If I hear nothing, I give their table away. Seems pretty fair to me. Those parties that end up getting to the restaurant past the grace period are invariably upset that their table was given away. "But we had a reservation!" or similar is what I often hear.

Quote:
Training. "Sir, if you continue to behave this way, we'll have to call the police. Please leave." If he won't, pick up the phone and call 911, right in front of him. Most people will leave.
Dunedan understands why this is an issue. It's not that we don't know what to do when this happens, but while we're dealing with this sometime friend of so-and-so, calling the police or whatever the situation merits, we're not serving the other customers. This can also be a very upsetting scene for some people. They didn't come to enjoy a nice meal with their family only to be interrupted by someone dropping F-bombs about how stupid the waitstaff are because they don't know they're a friend of the owners.

Quote:
After question #3, "Excuse me, please hold." Then press hold. Come back when and if you can.
And then we lose a customer because, "They were rude to me on the phone and kept me on hold forever!" This is a lose-lose situation, pretty much. Either you: Neglect the people in the actual restaurant by spending time to explain what a burrito is and why it's different from a taco; Ignore the phone and lose customers that just want a to-go order; Or piss off someone who's never even heard of the restaurant until today and now suddenly wants to know how it was founded and why you don't have halibut right now.

Note that every example found within this post is self-experienced, and happens on a nearly daily basis. Tell me you honestly wouldn't tire of these shenanigans, and I'll lick your balls and call you daddy.

tl;dr Like any business, restaurants are complex, and every time you interrupt its flow you break its rhythm.

Also, as an aside, I hear the ol', "If you don't like it, why don't you find another job" spiel all the time. If everyone in the business followed that advice, you would probably be making your favorite, the #6, at home, because there'd be no one to make it for you any more. I have never met someone in my 6 years working in the food service industry who could honestly espouse their joy for working as a server/chef, besides those about their coworkers. I've caught myself wishing people would tip me less if only they'd tell me they enjoyed my service, honestly, but then I wouldn't be able to pay the bills.
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