The Bill Of Wrongs

, , , , , , | Right | September 13, 2017

(We’re a small 60 seat cafe with extremely high turnover; from eight am until midday we can seat and serve 300 guests.)

Customer: “Hi, I’ve got a booking for [Name].”

Me: “Right, your party of 17 is right over here.”

Customer: “Oh, what about the kids?”

Me: “Kids?”

Customer: “Yes, we booked for 17 adults, but we’ve got our kids. You’re going to need to find some seats.”

Me: “How many?”

Customer: “There will be 42 of us.”

Me: “Dude, that’s half the restaurant. We have bookings all day; if there are 42 of you, we can’t accommodate you.”

Customer: “That’s okay, the kids can just play and sit on their parents laps.”

Me: “Sure, fine, your table is right here.”

(This party trashes the cafe; the bathroom looks like a rugby team has been practicing in there. There is food from one end of the place to the other. The kids have drawn on the walls behind their parents’ table. Disaster. We lose 200 customers on this day, and we’re looking at a five-figure black hole of turnover, plus the repair bill. The worst part happens after they’ve finished.)

Customer: “Okay, so I had two poached eggs, toast, bacon, and two flat whites. Can you split that out of the bill please?”

(At this stage the bill is in four-digit territory, and I want these people out.)

Me: “Sorry, sir, we don’t split bills; here’s a calculator and a copy of your receipt.”

(The bill is 1.5 meters long.)

Customer: “Oh, no, we’re all going to pay separately. Otherwise, we’ll just leave; this is terrible service.”

Me: “You’re welcome to leave, sir. I’ll call the police now, and have them come down and arrest your party for theft of service, and vandalism for what your kids have done to my venue.”

Customer: “Maybe we’ll just pay.”

Me: “Thank you, sir.”

(It took this mob another 20 minutes of yelling and fighting with each other to sort out the bill. They tried to give it to me four times; each time it was short and got sent back. No tip. No apology.)

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