Calming Down Is Not On The Menu

, , , | Right | July 7, 2020

A customer has paid for his meals and left the restaurant before he comes storming back in up to the bar. He speaks briefly to a coworker before storming over to me in the middle of the seating area, where he looks me up and down.

Customer: “You’re the supervisor tonight?”

Me: “Yes, how can I help?”

Customer: “My bill was $5 more expensive than it should have been.”

Me: “If you follow me over to the counter, I’ll print out your bill and we can have a look at the issue.”

Customer: “Your prices are wrong.”

I do not want to have a conversation where we can disrupt other customers.

Me: “Follow me up to the counter and I will sort it out there.”

Customer: *Not moving* “[Item #1] and [Item #2] are different prices on your posters outside.”

Me: *Admitting defeat* “I can assure you that [Item #1] is the same price. But yes, [Item #2] has gone up a few dollars. The poster states that the menu is subject to change and, as [Item #2] is currently out of season, we are paying higher prices which our menus have to reflect. However, the menu which you had on the table has the correct price.”

Customer: “You need to change the poster!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but the posters cost a lot to make; that’s why we have ‘subject to change’ written on them, and we update our table menus. The price you’ve noticed is the only change we’ve had recently. Would you like me to refund you the difference?”

By this stage, the customer is right in my face.

Customer: “It’s not about the money; it’s about the ethics. Change the poster!”

I look around at a full restaurant that I should be serving.

Me: “That’s something I can’t do right now, but I will discuss it with the owner tomorrow.”

Customer: “CHANGE THE MENU!”

He’s now yelling in my face so aggressively I can feel his spit, and other customers are staring.

Me: “Sir, I can offer you a refund. If that isn’t what you would like, you can call the restaurant tomorrow and speak with the owner. I cannot change the poster right now, and as the price is correct in the table menus, it’s not my priority.”

Customer: *Yelling in my face* “YOU’RE A THIEF! CHANGE THE MENU!”

The customer stormed out, stopping only to angrily check the prices at the table, which he must have seen as correct. I was left to apologise to all the customers around us before trying to wash the spray of spit off my face. The customer’s wife left a terrible review stating how rude I was, and that I was a con artist and a thief, all over $4.

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