TalesFromYourServer: Pissed Off Over Carrot Cake

I’m a hostess at a restaurant that doubles as a bakery and while we serve dinner, we specialize in desserts and cupcakes. I’ve only been working there a month, but I’ve already seen some pretty crazy customers.

To set the scene, it’s Friday night and we’re moderately busy. As a hostess, I’m in charge of seating people as well as working the bakery counter, however there are two other hostesses and we usually split duties depending on how many of us are there. The other hostess on is also one of the managers, so she’s in and out, but mostly seating people while I work the counter.

Our restaurant has a policy that bakery items are to go only, which tends to piss a lot of people off (I understand their anger, but we’d lose a ton of money if people were taking up seats to eat $5 worth of cupcakes and pastries and not tipping hardworking servers). Seated guests are only allowed to order from the dessert menu or have something wrapped up from the counter to take with them on the way out. It doesn’t help that the bakery counter is open for all to gaze at as soon as they walk in, so we have to recite the policy before seating people (usually more than once since several people can’t seem to wrap their heads around it.)

Anyways, there’s a 4 top consisting of two older couples (I’m talking prime baby boomers) in the center of the restaurant. One of the waitresses, who is the sweetest person I’ve ever met, tells my manager how they were ordering coffee and wanted bakery items, and when she told them the policy, they all got pretty pissed. One of the men even threw his menu up in the air in frustration (like geez dude). I wouldn’t hear about this exchange until after the fiasco, since I’m busy ringing up cupcakes for people at the counter. At one point, one of the men from the table comes up demanding to speak to a manager and I can’t really hear what he says to her, but she goes to the kitchen right after, probably to talk to chef about comping a meal or something.

While my manager is gone, a woman comes up and buys two slices of carrot cake. I wrap them up for her, she pays, disappears, out of sight out of mind. Little did I know, this woman was from the same table as the man who had been complaining to my manager.

Apparently, the man had been upset since he couldn’t order a slice of carrot cake for his wife and himself. My manager offered to go ask Chef what she could do for them, he hastily tells her he doesn’t care and she goes to take care of it. My manager was going to comp their order and let them have their carrot cake, but they went up and bought it anyway (taking advantage of the fact that I didn’t know the situation). They say some incredibly rude things about how the restaurant is never going to survive and how he’s a critic of restaurants in another major city in the state (yeah right, whatever dude). When it’s time to pay, he goes up to the bakery counter and asks my manager for exact change since the waitress “will not be getting a tip.”

My manager tries to offer to help them again but he continuously says that he doesn’t care and continues to insult the restaurant, my manager, and the waitress. He also declares that he’s been here before and won’t be coming back this time (shouldn’t he know the policy then?).

Like I get it, you don’t like the policy, but if my manager is offering to help you then don’t go behind her back to get what you want and continue to complain about it.

By: tiny_pumpkins