There Is No Cured For This Behavior

, , , , | Right | November 13, 2020

I am a cook in a display kitchen in a restaurant. In other words, my part of the kitchen is in the dining room, separated from the dining room only by a counter, so I am visible to anyone in the dining room. However, it is still a sit-down restaurant where guests order from servers who come to their table and bring their orders to them; they do not order directly from me or take food from the counter.

Our restaurant offers plates of cheeses and charcuteries — cured meats — that are very popular. I have just completed some orders of them and placed them on the counter for the servers to pick up when some guests are seated in the restaurant. One of the guests comes from the table to talk to me.

Guest: “Hey, these look great! What are they?”

Me: “These are some of our cheese and charcuterie platters. They are on your menu.”

I explain the items we have and how to order them.

Guest: “Oh, wow! Can I just take one of these?”

Me: “No, sir, these are orders for another guest, but you are free to order the same thing if you like and I can make it for you, too. Just give your order to your server.”

Guest: “But I really want one of these.”

Me: “These are already for someone else, but if you’d like the same one, I can start making it now and your server can bring it over to your table.”

I gesture back toward his table, hoping that will encourage him to return to it. No such luck.

Guest: “Come on! I’ll pay you double!”

Me: “Sir, please. You don’t need to do that! Please return to your table and order from your server for the regular price. It’s right on your menu.”

The guest begins laying out cash on the counter in front of me.

Me: “Sir… you can’t…”

A cocktail server has come over from the bar while we were having this exchange and she intervenes.

Server: *Raising her voice* “She can’t take your money! You don’t order from her! Just go back to your table and tell your waiter like she’s been trying to tell you!”

Guest: “Oh! Oh, okay, sorry.”

He picked up his cash and went back to his table. She was a little unpolished, and that’s not how we should be talking to our guests, but at least she got him to listen!

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