Putting The Tuna Into Unfortunate

, , , , , , | Right | July 11, 2018

(For a brief span of time my cafe served a full menu of food items for breakfast and lunch. Since then we have discontinued the menu, but during the time we had it, every so often a person would come in and be very interested in the ingredients of our very simple fare. All ingredients are listed in three different places in plain sight, on boards and on physical handheld menus. A woman walks in and looks over the menu with her friend close behind her. She reads over the ingredients of a tuna melt sandwich and chats with her friend about meat. Apparently, she is vegan and is unsure what she wants to order. After about three minutes, I ask her if she knows what she would like to get.)

Customer: “I am thinking of ordering the tuna melt; is it vegan? Because I absolutely cannot have cheese as a vegan.”

Me: “I am sorry; are you asking me if the sandwich has meat in it? Because it certainly has fish in it.”

Customer: “No, I just want to know about the cheese. I am a very strict vegan, and need to know exactly what is in this sandwich.”

Me: *not sure how to respond* “Yes, it has cheese in it, but it also has fish.”

Customer: “BUT THE CHEESE! Just for love of God, does it have cheese? Don’t you know what a vegan is? I cannot have cheese at all!”

Me: “Yes, it has cheese in it, but it also has fish. It is marked as not vegan, or even potentially vegetarian on the menu. Perhaps you would be interested in one of the other items that boast no animal products of any type.”

Customer: *starts to get angry* “Are you even listening to me? I said I am V-E-G-A-N. Cheese is the issue.”

Me: “Yes, it has cheese on it. However, we cannot serve you vegan tuna, as it does not exist in the way you might think it does. But you are more than welcome to order it sans cheese.”

Customer: “This is so insulting! I will never come here again!”

(Her friend chimes in:)

Customer’s Friend: “How dare you question her vegan lifestyle? I was told this place accommodates vegan options!”

Me: “Look, lady, fish isn’t vegan, and neither is cheese. I really don’t want you to get sick over ordering food that you have said you absolutely can’t have, but I can’t make something that is meat not meat. Fish is not vegan.”

Customer: “This is an awful place; I should be able to get vegan food!”

(She stormed out. My tone of voice up until the end was very confused, trying to figure out if I was hearing her correctly. She legitimately wanted a vegan tuna sandwich.)

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