The Pain In Spain Is Caused By The Diners

, , , | Right | January 13, 2021

We’re eating dinner as a family at a grill located on the beach while on vacation in Ibiza. We had to make our reservation on the first day of our vacation because it’s such a lovely and in-demand restaurant.

We have two children under the age of four, so we ask for a reservation at 6:00 pm, their first dinner service. We arrive early so we can pick a seat near the front of the terrace. Everything is going well, the food is excellent, and the children are well-behaved.

At 7:30-ish, a “lovely” middle-aged couple appears.

Female Customer: “We want a seat on the terrace!”

Hostess: “We don’t have any seating on the terrace at this time, but our next seating is in an hour. We will be more than happy to seat you then.”

Female Customer: “But we had a reservation! We should be able to sit wherever we want!”

Hostess: “Your reservation was at 6:30 pm. Unfortunately, because you arrived very late, all of the tables on the terrace are occupied at this time.”

Female Customer: “Why can’t I sit there?!”

She points to an empty table on the other side of the terrace.

Hostess: “Ma’am, that table does not belong to this restaurant. It belongs to the cafe next door. We can’t serve you if you’re sitting there.”

Female Customer: “I can’t believe this! I had a reservation. How dare you give away our table?!”

Hostess: “We operate on a first-come-first-served basis, even for reservations—”

Female Customer: *Interrupting* “I want the manager! You’re useless!”

The husband speaks up, but instead of being embarrassed by his wife’s shouting and hysterics, he seems to be egging her on.

Male Customer: “Exactly, dear. Such poor service.”

The hostess leaves, and the woman pulls out the stool from behind the hostess stand and sits down! She is in the way so the poor hostess cannot do her job. The hostess greets two more tables, who are more than happy to sit inside, but the couple interrupts her to heckle her. A few minutes later, the manager arrives.

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Female Customer: “We had a reservation—”

Manager: “My hostess tells me that you were an hour late to arrive.”

Female Customer: “You should have saved our table!”

Manager: “You didn’t arrive. We can seat you at 8:30 pm if you still wish to eat. Our bar is open, so you’re more than welcome to sit there until your table is ready—”

Female Customer: “I want free drinks!”

Manager: “I’m not going to give you free drinks because you arrived late. I am willing to seat you but—”

Female Customer: “We’ve been sitting here for half an hour!”

Manager: “There is half an hour until the next seating. Please come back later. You are bothering other diners.”

Female Customer: “I don’t appreciate your tone. You’re very aggressive!”

At this point, the woman has interrupted everything the manager has tried to say and talked over her. The fact that the manager is still willing to seat her at all is a marvel to me!

Manager: “I’m not dealing with this anymore. You’ve harassed all of my servers and belittled my hostess. If you still want to eat here, fine. But you need to apologize to everyone that you’ve insulted. It’s their choice if they want to serve you.”

Female Customer: “You’ll seat me and my husband, now!”

Manager: “That’s it. Get out.”

Female Customer: “That table is free! That family just left! We’re going to sit there.”

The woman pulled her husband, who was still encouraging her behaviour, over to the dirty table and sat down. She waited for the servers to clear the table and tried to order a drink. No one would make eye contact with her. After several minutes, the police arrived and she was escorted out.

I made sure to leave a large tip. I think the staff handled the situation well, though I would have kicked her out a lot sooner!


This story is part of our Best Of January 2021 roundup!

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