This Food That I (H)Ate

, , , , | Right | December 13, 2018

(I am looking after the pub while the manager is away on holiday. It’s lunchtime, and the whole place is very busy. One woman has ordered food for herself and her family — three others. As we are very busy, I am on the bar serving food and drinks as required, and also walking the floor tidying and doing standard “check-backs.”)

Me: “Sorry to interrupt, but could I just check that everything is okay with your food here?”

Whole Table: “Yes, thank you, very good.”

Me: “Excellent. If I can get you anything else, just give me a shout.”

(I then leave the table and go back to the bar to continue serving the many other customers. About ten minutes later…)

Woman: “Excuse me. I have a complaint about our food and would like a refund.”

Me: “Okay, bear with me for just one moment. I will finish serving this customer and be with you straight away.”

(I walk over to the table to discuss what the issue is.)

Me: “I’m very sorry; what is the problem with the food?”

Woman: “It wasn’t cooked very well, and wasn’t very tasty.”

(I notice that all four plates are virtually empty; in fact, two are totally clean.)

Me: “I am very sorry you feel that way, but I notice that you have eaten almost all your meals, and when I checked on you part way through the meal you seemed very content and did not raise any issues to me at any other time.”

Woman: *getting a little bit aggressive* “I don’t care; I am making a complaint now and would like a refund.”

Me: *remaining very calm* “I do apologise, but unfortunately we do have a policy that if the customer does not raise a concern until after they have eaten all the food, then a refund cannot be given for the food. I would be happy to provide your party with an extra drink by way of a goodwill gesture.”

Woman: *shouting very loudly* “That is not good enough! I want a full refund! Where is the manager?! I want to speak to the manager!”

(At this stage all my experience and ability to remain calm are wearing very thin.)

Me: “Okay, bear with me. I will just see if the manager is available.”

(I remove the plates from the table and head through the doors to the kitchen where I wait for a few moments, before heading back over to the table.)

Me: “Hello, madam, I understand you have an issue with the service and the food. Is there anything I can do for you?”

(With this, half the pub, who are very much aware of who I am and what I am doing, start laughing.)

Woman: “Is this some sort of joke?!”

Me: “No, madam. I am the manager and I have explained to you very clearly what our policy is; I have even gone above and beyond to try to appease you, despite the fact that you very obviously were trying to scam free food. If I could ask you to leave now, please, as I have instructed my staff not to serve you any longer, that would be most appreciated. Thank you.”

(When I got back behind the bar, I was bought four separate drinks from customers, as I had made their days. I never did see the family in the pub again.)

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