Saturday, July 11, 2009

Outta Time

Summer Restaurant Rage!

I guess summer time is upon us. It is just the nature of the beast to be busy during this time of year. Tourists roll in and by the droves! Our average wait time goes up and it's not uncommon to have to be put on the waiting list.

Last night the restaurant was packed, extremely packed. The hosts had already delt with a bunch of grief from grumpy jerks, to one man actually cursing a host out. Everyone was on pins and needles for some reason, from the customers to the kitchen staff.

Well, tonight we had this gem come in who is apparently more important than everyone else in the restaurant... and was unhappy by the time the hosts got him sat at a table in my section. I went over to their table, and greeted them warmly. I was unaware there was any problem at first. They were a little stand off-ish as I went over their choices for the menu.

Now, this guy is one of the restaurant regulars. He's kind of uppity, and soft spoken. His closely cropped salt and pepper hair rests over a pair of dark bushy eyebrows. He has stylish "old man" glasses, and black leather wrist watch to accessorize his look.

He asked me how one of our specials was, I had no clue how it was because I don't eat our daily specials. There are like five to six each day, and the change. I did tell him that I served a few and was given excellent feedback on them. He finally ordered, with an appetizer, and I was off.

I was servicing the rest of my of my tables and checking the kitchen window regularly for any of my section's food. On one of my laps through the floor, I saw him sitting on the edge of his seat, eyes locked on me. Oh God, I thought to myself. I walk over and ask if anything is wrong.

Here starts his temper tantrum. "Where is our appetizer? We ordered X-minutes ago!" I apologize and try to explain that our kitchen has 40 tickets they are trying to cook through at the moment, and that I'd have his food out as soon as it was ready. He remained unappeased.

By my next trip out, he gave me a first to add to my list. He was sitting there wrist raised, staring at his watch over his glasses that teetered at the edge of his nose. "Where is our food?!" I was done trying to please him, "It is almost done, I am sorry. As soon as the kitchen has ready, I will have it right to you."

I couldn't believe the nerve of this guy. He is right, his food did take a long time. It doesn't give a person a reason to be an ass. He is extremely lucky that I have to remain nice at all times. I would have given this guy an earful. Needless to say, I sent the manager out, his tab was taken care of, and he was given a gift card for next time. He also surprised me by handing a few bucks, which was nice... it still didn't make up for his behavior, but I appreciated it none-the-less. I guess sometimes a baby just cries until you pick it up and burp it.


  1. Love the analogy at the end. Some people really are just children deep down!

  2. I will never understand the way a customer's mind works.

  3. We get the same kinds of customers, but of a more insidious breed. Namely, friends of the owners. Many of them cost the restaurant more money than they spend, because they come in 3-4 times a day, complain constantly and the owner will comp their meal, sometimes for the entire table. And there are MANY of them.

    I'll write about them in an upcoming blog post...