Ordering To Go, Just Not Going Right Now

, , , | Right | March 30, 2020

(I work in a small café that offers a food selection of mostly baked goods and a few hot items. The customer has ordered several hot items, and the transaction has proceeded normally until after she has paid and I have handed over the receipt.)

Customer: “Now, don’t start my food yet. I’m going to come back later, and show you my receipt, and you can make it then.”

(My store has never offered a service like that; we don’t have the fridge space to keep food for a later order aside, and we wouldn’t want to run out of an item that a customer had “reserved,” so we don’t allow orders like this.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I can’t do that for you. I can wrap the food up for you to-go—”

Customer: “No, I don’t want it to-go; it won’t be hot then. I just want to come back and get it later.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t take an order now that’s not supposed to be made until later. If you’re worried about a line, we have online ordering which you can do on your phone, so you can just pick it up when you’re ready.”

(The online ordering also doesn’t allow for customers to set a time to pick up; as soon as an online order comes in, it goes straight into our queue.)

Customer: “No, I paid for the food, so I should get it when I want it.”

Me: “Ma’am, you paid for the food right now. Our service provides the food when it’s ordered; we can’t keep food on reserve for you.”

Customer: “But I have my receipt.”

Me: “That doesn’t matter.”

Customer: “I wouldn’t cut line or anything, I’d just wait and then show you my receipt.”

(Internally, I wonder why she wouldn’t just wait through the line and reorder later, but I just stick with what I’ve been saying.)

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t do that. Our system isn’t set up for orders like that. I can give you your food now, or I can refund you, but that’s all.”

Customer: “Fine. Refund me.”

(Later that afternoon, when I was clearing tables, I saw her still sitting in the café, but she never came up to reorder her food. I’m not sure if she was running some type of scam, or if she really just didn’t understand that “I can’t do that” means that I can’t do that.)

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