Want to preface this with a little bit of information, I’ve worked a few places where the motto “the customer is always right” rang true in any situation, so this is what I’ve been expecting anytime someone complains however in this newer job it seems like this not the case always. Additionally, the restaurant I am at now needs a bit of explaining as well. There are two different kitchens in this restaurant. Theres the “main kitchen”, which has the full menu. This services the main/inside areas of the restaurant. And then theres the “deck kitchen” which services the outside portions of the restaurant, which for many reasons the deck kitchen is more limited in options. Size and space, tastes in outdoor heat, personnel to man stations etc.
So to get to the point of contention. It was a busy week with a large convention in town for a major nationals sporting event. So people from across the US were flocking here. Not just the participants, but the families, the coaches, the coordinators. Basically there was a massive influx of people. And being a restaurant in the middle of downtown we saw our fair share of people.
One evening while I was maintaining a section on the outside (aka handled by the deck kitchen) I get a table of three. They’re browsing the menu and ask, “is this the full menu?”
“Yes this is the menu for the deck.” I respond. Two of them then order from the actual menu in front of them with no problems but then the third just has to make it hard.
“I want the walleye” He says. I had to pause and remember that that this dish is not available from the deck kitchen. So I begin to explain that this dish is not on the menu up here, only the things on the menu in front of him are actually available up here.
“I was sitting over there (at another table on the deck) last night and the server got me the walleye. Why can’t I get it here?” He said. Of course one of my other coworkers had to fuck me over like this. We’ve been told multiple times by the head chef and managers NOT to do special orders like this.
“I don’t know who your server was last night, but my managers have told us to not allow orders from the main kitchen to be served on the deck in order to prevent either kitchen from being bogged down by orders.” To just give a blanket statement. The guy was annoyed, and tried to argue the fact that he got the same dish the previous night. To which I responded “We are not supposed to do special orders from the main kitchen on the deck sir.”
So he asked if he could go down and order that dish for take out. I said, “Yes, if you truly want the walleye, you may go down and order it for take out and bring it up here. I know this sounds messed up, but we are not allowed to do that for you.” And so the guy goes down and puts his takeout order in and also asks for a manager.
At the end of this all, the guy got his walleye dish, ate it on the deck in a to go box. When the table closed out he said, “I’m sorry for making a big stink of the whole thing. I talked to a manager downstairs and he said the my server last night shouldn’t have done that (getting a main kitchen dish).”
It was a nice feeling to receive and not get the; “Oh I’m sorry sir, we’ll get that right away for you.” from the management.