Hot Portion Of Warmth

, , , , | Hopeless | June 17, 2017

(My friends and I, along with my one-year-old daughter, meet for lunch at the same time every week in this particular restaurant. We always sit near the doors since the tables there are the easiest to fit the three adults, a highchair, and a buggy around without disrupting staff or other customers too much. This time, a staff member cleans down the table and highchair for us as soon as she spots us arranging ourselves.)

Cashier: *cleaning other tables and comes by to take some rubbish away, notices my food sitting as I feed the baby and checks the temperature of the packaging* “Oh, these chips are cold. I’ll get you some fresh ones.”

Me: *surprised* “Oh, there’s no need. I appreciate it but I don’t mind them cold.”

Cashier: “It’s no problem; I’ll just grab them now.”

(She comes back with a fresh-from-the-fryer portion of chips. My friend then tells me that she’d been given a discount on her order from this cashier as well, seemingly for no reason other than being polite. I know we do our best to be good customers but this was a shock for me — the staff are generally friendly but never quite this level. Then as we are leaving…)

Cashier: *runs out after us, indicates baby* “I just realised we never gave her anything. These are probably a bit old for her but she’ll grow into them soon!”

(She gave me a board book and magnet set that they usually give out with kid’s meals. I’m still shocked by how kind she was since I never order food for the baby, but it’s one reason why we go there every week without fail.)

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  • Leah

    My husband and his workmates go for drinks every Friday afternoon after work at the same restaurant near their office. They are such regulars the manager now gives them free food (chicken wings, potato wedges etc) with their drinks.

  • Jackie Fauxe

    Regulars are nice, but nice regulars are something special.

    Plus, the cashier seems like a nice person herself.

  • Dances Daisies

    I can really understand this, having worked in retail. Unfortunately, mothers with babies can be absolutely godawful entitled nightmares to serve. Some of them expect everything to revolve around them and their little bundles of joy.

    I’m not saying every mother is like this- the majority of new mothers are absolutely fine, but the proportion of nightmare customers in that particular demographic is rather higher than usual!

    You’re being thanked for being a responsible and respectful parent, OP. I’m sure they’re very grateful and wanted to let you know.

    Or it might be your baby was super-cute. I hope she’s doing well.

  • Kathy Plester

    I go to a Starbucks near me I got to a lot. I often go just me and my daughter but my husband and I also go – either with our daughter or just the two of us on the rare occasions we get a babysitter.

    Anyway we’ve been going there since before she was born, and even when we took her in when she was a baby we always tied up after ourselves, wiped our tables down, took our cups and plates up etc.

    We often get a sort of preferential treatment. Nothing big but once, I ordered a ham and cheese sandwich but the cheese wasn’t very well melted, so I went up and asked if they would heat it just a little more – they made me a brand new sandwich. I didn’t ask for one but the just said ‘well it wasn’t made right, we’ll make you a new one.’

    I also had problems with my card – I hadn’t gotten stars for ages even though I had been going – turned out they had been going missing. Customer services put a bunch of free drinks on my card as compensation but even as I used it, the free drinks never showed on their registers so I went to hand over money and they told me they’d give me it for free. I contacted customer services they said they fixed it. So I went back in a week later, once again drinks not showing, went to pay and the manager said ‘Well this will be the last time we do it, but you can have this one for free.’ Both times I left the money I was going to pay for my drink as a tip. It was eventually sorted out but it was a nice gesture even though it wasn’t their fault customer services didn’t do it right.

    • Kay Lee

      Not to be negative nancy or anything, but that sounds like regular customer service to me, not something they’re going out of their way to do because you’re a regular..

      • Kathy Plester

        Well the first bit, sure, although when other customers do it they just offer to reheat the same sandwich (which is what I asked them to do) but I could see them doing it if a customer insisted so sure that would be normal customer service -it was more the fact that they offered it immediately.

        The free drink thing – they gave me 2 free drinks – they gave the benefit of the doubt *twice* that there should have been a free drink on my card and that for whatever reason, it wasn’t on there (there was a reason but they had no way to verify it). I didn’t make it clear on my original comment but those 2 free drinks were on top of the free drinks that finally got put on there by customer service. I doubt they would do it had I been a customer who they didn’t really know. At best it would have been ‘well pay for your drink today, but tell customer services and they’ll stick another free drink on.’ and even if they had done it if the customer kicked off, they’d certainly never have done it twice.

        I should also mention the manager they have does have a spine and will say no to unreasonable customers and is not afraid to tell them if they don’t like it they know where to door is.

        PS: I love how you start with ‘I don’t want to be Negative Nancy but …’ xD

        • Kay Lee

          I suppose. I think the majority of the time my food has come out cold they’ve offered to replace it rather than just reheat it (depending on the food, reheating it could make it pretty disgusting). I do hear you on the second part, though. I didn’t realize you meant the cashier was taking your word for it that CS put the free drinks on your card, so I can agree that that was most likely influenced by you being a regular (and good) customer. I’m surprised to hear that the manager at a Starbucks actually has a spine and will tell nasty customers where to shove it – very pleasantly surprised, that is. A lot of those franchises are such doormats to the corporations that it’s ridiculous.

          And lol. I didn’t want it to come across like I was trying to burst your bubble or anything, just . Also, the real “NN” seems to have disappeared since the site’s revamping (knock on wood)… Can’t be sad about that! And hopefully I didn’t jinx us, haha!

          • Kathy Plester

            Yeah apologies my initial comment wasn’t very clear so that’s my bad.

            The sandwich thing I can see it being regular service it’s just as I say in that particular place they usually just offer to reheat the same sandwich first (and that’s all the food it serves – just like sandwiches heated to melt the cheese not like a cooked meals which yeah would probably be gross reheated). It just felt to me that going straight for the ‘brand new sandwich’ instead of asking to reheat the same one felt like an extra mile for me. It probably wasn’t.

            And I know, right? Managers with spines are an endangered (sometimes I feel more mythical) species but yes I have seen this guy give stupid customers the heave-ho (not literally I’m sad to say).

          • Kay Lee

            You’re right, if it’s not their typical first response in that particular restaurant, then I’d say it counts as going above and beyond.
            And they absolutely are! Tbh, even when I see (for example) an owner/manager firing back at a customer who gave them a bad review online, it makes me want to patronize that business far more, because managers with a spine are sooo few and far between these days and anybody who refuses to kiss the ass of an entitled baby of a customer is somebody I want to do business with!

          • Kathy Plester

            Exactly. I’m the same. My husband and I can pick out the reviews of people who are unreasonable or who are looking for a freebie or who just plain didn’t understand something like a term and condition or the opening times or something (we’ve both worked in retail before for many years).

            This is not entirely the same, but an old friend of mine is self employed (so he is technically his own manager) and he will only take on reasonable customers, as in those who don’t complain about stupid things or make unreasonable demands. The minute they kick off, he gives them back all the money they paid (less any materials he can’t return) and waves them goodbye. He has fewer customers than many of his other friends who are also self employed in a similar field (he’s a builder) but he makes almost double what they do, even though they have double (or in some cases even more) the customers on their books.

            What does that tell you?

            Managers and head office/corporate need to stop giving into some customers petty demands and grow a spine – it loses them money. Cull those customers – ban them. If they say they’ll take their business elsewhere, who cares? They’re not good for business anyway, not if you’re constantly having to placate them by giving the money off or free stuff.

  • Flami

    That sounds like a great restaurant! The staff appreciates nice and polite regular customers.