Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Ice Cream Prince and Princess

This couple came into our restaurant on a busy Friday night wanting "special attention". She was a young woman who appeared convinced that she was a Russian princess. He was a gentlemen carrying a good 20 years more than her.

This was a night we did about 500 covers BUT they decided that the two of them were so special so that had to sit at one of our booths, which we reserve for larger parties during the summer and on weekend nights (we only have 5 tables in the restaurant that seat more than 5 people). They did not take no for an answer from the hostess so insisted on speaking to the manager (who was quite busy fielding real complaints about real problems). The manager decided their 'problem' did not warrant her undivided attention and politely informed them they could choose from one of four tables, but the booths were not an option. The decided to harass her on three more occasions, insisting that they speak to her again about this same request of theirs.

When they finally chose a table that was satisfactory to their needs, they proceeded to monopolize all the waiter's time with silly, time-consuming questions as well as send back the first bottle of wine. They also chose to "special order" (ie: make up dishes that are not on our menu) several items--one of which carried a $2 surcharge.

When the bill arrived, they refused to pay the $2 and insisted on speaking to the manager whom they felt blew them off earlier. The manager, who'd had a long night, decided she was not going to speak to these people any longer as she'd already had enough of them. She instructed the server to encourage them to pay their bill. They did not. She called the police who arrived in about 3 minutes. The police supervised the complete bill paying process (including the $2). They were the last people dining in this area of the restaurant at the time and an employee overheard the woman crying saying, "I can't believe they called the police," and the gentleman saying, "Well, what did you expect? You gave them the impression we weren't going to pay."

Needless to say, they did not tip the server and then decided to sample about six flavors of ice cream (for free), leaving their slimy germ-ridden spoons all over the ice cream counter before departing. I suppose they were trying to get $2's worth?

- J


  1. First of all, that your restaurant was busy that night should not affect the type of service you give, right? Then, if the woman comes in acting like a Russsian princess and the man is 20 years older, so what? That shouldn't affect either what type of service they're getting.
    I go out to eat often, and I always tip well and respect the waiter staff, but I also expect the same back. If I can't get a special order (I can't have dairy) then I'm not going back to that place.
    Remember, the customer is always right!

  2. The customer is always right is meant as a good policy for businesses who want to be successful, not a license for people to be rude.

  3. I don't see the point really. Had I been the Hostess or the Mngr, I would have seated them at a booth at the first attempt, possably second attempt.

    They felt slighted when they were refused a booth, treating the customers that way really worth the bad word of mouth that will surely follow at the many hoity toity bbq's get to gethers ,et al that are sure to follow.