An Appetite To Do The Right Thing

, , , , , | Orlando, FL, USA | Hopeless | May 24, 2016

(I’ve just graduated high school and my family decides to eat at a nice restaurant after the ceremony. A lot of my extended family has made a considerable drive to be there. Since it is pretty late, we ask the hostess when they close and if we should try somewhere else but we found out they still had an hour to close. We order some appetizers and our meals, those of age order alcoholic beverages too. All in all eight people have meals consisting of $30-50 dollars. The appetizers never came out but we figured they were close to closing so it wasn’t important and we would rather just have them waived from our bill. Upon telling our waitress this, she fetches the manager.)

Manager: “I’m very sorry to hear that your appetizers never arrived. I’m going to comp you for them and still give them to you if you don’t mind waiting 5 or 10 minutes.”

Stepfather: “Sounds good to us. We are just talking and catching up.”

(The manager leaves to presumably oversee appetizers before coming back not three minutes later.)

Manager: “Okay, guys, I found out what happened to the appetizers. Apparently the fry cook decided he would call it a night early and shut off the fryer and refuse orders for the last hour of opening. He is currently restarting the fryer now.”

Stepfather: “Well, I know it was late when we came in; it really isn’t that big of a deal.”

(The manager goes to leave but stops and regards me for a second. I’m still dressed in my cap and gown from the ceremony.)

Manager: “Wait, did you just graduate?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Manager: “So that makes this your graduation dinner?”

Me: “Yes, sir…”

(He mutters under his breath and double times it to the kitchen where we can hear him yelling in the now quiet and closed restaurant. He returns shortly with our check.)

Manager: “I got to thinking about how you just graduated and this was supposed to be a special meal for you and my employees couldn’t even fulfill our basic menu items. It left a very bad taste in my mouth. So in addition to your appetizers, I’ve decided to comp your entire meal. I’m very sorry for the level of service.”

Stepfather: *dumbfounded while he stares at the bill that has been comped to the tune of over $200* “I…. we appreciate you being straightforward with us and we really appreciate the gesture of comping our bill!”

(The manager just wishes us a good night and returns to the back, presumably to continue reprimanding his kitchen. As I grew up and got jobs in retail, I never forgot how honest and dedicated to the customer that manager was. He could’ve given us the run around but he decided that the truth, even though it made him and the restaurant look incompetent, was more important. He was so ready to take the blame himself and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him to write off a $200 bill.)

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