PDA

View Full Version : Any chefs ever go out and speak to awkward customers?



stevenStefano
06-13-2011, 05:43 PM
I work at a pretty mid-level kitchen, I doubt it is as fancy as many of the chefs who use this site, but what does everyone here think of kitchen staff going out to speak to ****** customers in person?

What prompted this post, is that where I work last week a long-time troublesome customer was unhappy with his meal and said some highly offensive things about the kitchen staff and the waiting staff, including calling the Head Chef the r word. Upon hearing this, the Chef confronted this person and asked him why he had said such things, and later this guy was barred

Personally I have never done this and never will because I am pretty thick skinned, but has anyone else here ever actually went out and spoken to awkward customers? Is it a regular occurance?

SpikeC
06-13-2011, 06:14 PM
r word?

oivind_dahle
06-13-2011, 06:17 PM
retarded


I would tell the customer to never come back. He ruins the night for the surrounding guests, and therefor he/she cant come to this place anymore :)

Salty dog
06-13-2011, 07:06 PM
I've fired my share of customers. It's obviously something you try and prevent but when push comes to shove, I shove.

The last one wasn't aware I booted his boss previously. When he laid into me some of the locals at the table were seen giggling. They knew where it was going.

P.S. The benefits of ownership.

Ichi
06-13-2011, 07:19 PM
I am at the sushi bar my wife serves, as owners when that happens all I can do is hope she handles it first. I am working hard on my be nice skills :rolleyes2:Sometimes the customer has a legit complaint, sometimes not. Kitchen staff will never engage customer other than customer to say wounderful meal. The one thing I learned from owners standpoint...Society you`re a crazy breed !
As for being called Retarded, I would have put on a helmet and had fun with that :viking:

mhlee
06-13-2011, 07:43 PM
My sister has Down's Syndrome. I really hate that word because it implies that people with disabilities, including Down's Syndrome, are stupid. Frankly, people with disabilities and Down's Syndrome are much nicer and more polite than any customer who uses that word.

If I were Salty, I would "conveniently" come out of the kitchen with either the DT Scimitar or the Nenohi Yanagiba and hold it while talking to the rude customer. :nunchucks: :muahaha: I would imagine they would be more polite in voicing their complaints.

Then, I would tell them to F off. I don't think they would argue back.

steeley
06-13-2011, 08:27 PM
Most of the time the FOH Manager will take care of it .
but if they want to see the chef no problem it's part of the business
if it does get sticky i with smile escort there party to the door.
Chef /Owner has a lot more say some restaurant your the chef and you go by the rules of the owners . but if they make some waiter cry and the guest thinks that he paid for slave services . I will act:knight:

JohnnyChance
06-14-2011, 01:44 AM
I have gone out to talk to people. Usually before they order when the waitress is having a hard time conveying what they want and what we can provide. Irate people I don't have to deal with much.

goodchef1
06-14-2011, 02:57 AM
I've never had that experience personally, but I would assume that if that person causes a disruption among other patrons, or insults any staff member, It would usually fall in the hands of the FOH mgr.

As for insulting the BOH or chef, unless physically confronted, I think it would be best if that was kept under wraps. This will keep it from escalating into something big. :angry1:

MadMel
06-14-2011, 10:24 AM
Where I've worked, it was always dealt with by the FOH manager unless there is a complain that the guest wants to make personally to the chef himself. And unless the complain was legit, the guy would get a black star next to his name. 3 black stars means you are NOT WELCOME lol.

Eamon Burke
06-14-2011, 11:59 AM
I had a customer that told me a salad was crap and she could make it better at home. "What's in this? Some greens, olives, tomatoes, onions?" Yeah, that and a pepperoncini and feta. It's a greek salad, you harpy.

I stopped literally JUST before telling her how to get to the nearest grocery store, and told my manager(which I wasn't). He pandered to her, and kissed her butt and nodded yes. No good! She's not even from our state, she will never say anything but bad things about her horrible experience at a terrible restaurant, and she's costing a lot of money. I'd have kicked her out straight away.

Truth is, if you want to kick customers out, you have to have food that stands up for itself. IMO a manager that takes unwarranted insults and personal degradation is just saying "my restaurant can't get by without every penny".

MadMel
06-15-2011, 11:21 AM
Truth is, if you want to kick customers out, you have to have food that stands up for itself. IMO a manager that takes unwarranted insults and personal degradation is just saying "my restaurant can't get by without every penny".

Totally with you on that one!!

goodchef1
06-15-2011, 11:51 AM
a good managers philosophy would fall in line with; if a customer is happy, he/she will tell 3 maybe 4 people, if a customer is unhappy, he/she will tell everybody, and in turn, those people will tell everyone else.

How many of us at one point or another, have taken the advice of someone to either go or not go to a place, to buy or not buy a product, and shared that information with others, without even experiencing it for ourselves.

that is why some managers have to cow-tow even after the customer has had a bad day so that they cannot speak ill of their whole experience, mostly to prevent that from happening.

Most people do not like bullying, and that's why it is tough to see a fellow staff member, or manager get ridiculed or grilled by a customer and just take it with a smile.

Tristan
06-20-2011, 12:16 PM
Hmm a few things off the top of my head as feedback from the other side of the coin:
I'm always a customer, never a chef.

I NEVER complain about a place, until after all the food is brought to my table. Or, if all my mains are served and i cancel dessert.

I never complain about unwarranted things, and have complained maybe 5 times in my life, and it usually is about hygiene (hair, insect, wire mesh) in the cooked food. I never want replacements. Just a reasonable discount. I'm usually apologetic if my food is not cooked the way I want and politely ask them to cook it well, or to get a new piece of they incinerated the steak. I have very lenient standards with this, except at great eateries, but those don't seem to get it wrong much anyway.

I HAVE complained about other diners though, because I have had some pretty bad experiences, and I was hoping the restaurant would manage the diners better if they were being obnoxious. They are paying for one table, the surround 8 tables are suffering.

Oh, and frankly I wouldn't sweat the small stuff. If you have an honest to goodness imbecile in your restaurant, I don't feel you need to take the flak. Just set them right, and get them out the door. Frankly, what few friends they have will not take their complaints seriously. I mean they KNOW the guy is an ass, so they discredit a lot of what he says. If he is a colossal douche bag, then his opinions good or bad are self limiting.

We have a pretty tight food scene here, and word gets round. Negatives and positives all make their way onto social media, usually the overwhelming voice is the one that assists patrons to make the call. We discredit the outliers. One bad review won't change my desire to go to a joint.

Duckfat
03-23-2012, 03:50 PM
I've had to deal with this a few times. One was a high profile BB star who couldn't stop grabbing my wait staff's a**. That was fun.
The other was a member at a private CC that was just having a fit about not getting his drink exactly right and spouting about how he paid 25K to join the club so every thing had better be perfect. Before I could even get a word out the owner came over and tossed 25K on his plate and told him to GTFO. That was classic. :biggrin:

Dave

Johnny.B.Good
03-23-2012, 04:17 PM
The other was a member at a private CC that was just having a fit about not getting his drink exactly right and spouting about how he paid 25K to join the club so every thing had better be perfect. Before I could even get a word out the owner came over and tossed 25K on his plate and told him to GTFO. That was classic.

My father belongs to a very exclusive men's club in San Francisco, and many of the members (though not all) are wealthy, powerful people (and therefore used to getting things their way). There is zero tolerance for members exhibiting bad behavior towards club employees. If one has a problem with a staff member, he informs the manager of the club, period. You never take it up with the individual on the spot, no matter who you are (or think you are) and/or what the offense (real or perceived).

He tells a great story about a new member (who probably waited 15-20 years to get in) abusing some waiter/waitress (probably after a few too many drinks) being tossed right out of the club on the spot. There are no warnings and no appeals.

One can tell a lot about a person by the way he treats waiters/waitresses.

Johnny.B.Good
03-23-2012, 04:50 PM
Also, I would die of embarrassment if I were ever "fired" as a customer from a restaurant (especially if I lived in a small town).

Tatsuya
03-23-2012, 05:51 PM
I had a conversation with the other guys last week about a troublesome couple who had some choice words for the front of the house (and it was a to-go order). I work in a small, family-owned restaurant so it's nowhere near as fancy as where some of the chefs here work. I think quite a few people in the area have some problems with the owners, but nonetheless we have a very strong clientele. For that reason, if the boss lets me off the leash, I'd have no problem calling customers out on why they come back week after week and continue to ***** about something, just leave and don't come back.

I actually admire my boss for having worked hard to get himself to a point where he could give 'em the boot and not bat an eye. If you're disrespectful, we don't want or need your money. Will he actually do it? That's a different story. And with the way things have been lately, I'd be telling off the owners and quitting wayyyy before I'd deal with any customer.

Vertigo
03-23-2012, 09:29 PM
I really hate that word because it implies that people with disabilities, including Down's Syndrome, are stupid.
Get over it. Pejoration and semantic shift are a choice. Retarded means being retarded.

dough
03-25-2012, 12:47 AM
well it happens. honestly most times it doesnt come to kicking out a customer. some customers refuse to be rational and act as if buying a meal allows them to ruin the meals of everyone in the restaurant.
you cant let someone attack your employees and ruin every other customers time... sure its a service business and you bend over backwards but when it goes too far it goes to far.

people have bad days and decide to take it out on you. when bending over backwards isnt enough... its time to stand up straight.

pumbaa
03-25-2012, 01:18 PM
I had a customer that told me a salad was crap and she could make it better at home. "What's in this? Some greens, olives, tomatoes, onions?" Yeah, that and a pepperoncini and feta. It's a greek salad, you harpy.

I stopped literally JUST before telling her how to get to the nearest grocery store, and told my manager(which I wasn't). He pandered to her, and kissed her butt and nodded yes. No good! She's not even from our state, she will never say anything but bad things about her horrible experience at a terrible restaurant, and she's costing a lot of money. I'd have kicked her out straight away.

Truth is, if you want to kick customers out, you have to have food that stands up for itself. IMO a manager that takes unwarranted insults and personal degradation is just saying "my restaurant can't get by without every penny".
I see this everyday! It is so sad. I told our managers that the only value the place now has since everything changed is their groupons, coupons, and specials. Noone comes in for a nice night out anymore. And honestly I cannot blame them.

The BoardSMITH
03-25-2012, 02:32 PM
I have fired at least three or four customers so far. One I actually allowed back in to consider an order. He complained horribly and I told him to never contact me again. Firing a customer is never easy, especially for a small business. But keeping a rude, belligerent and nasty customer will hurt more. They can kiss my backside!