When Eating Out Is Not Helping Out

, , , , | Right | October 17, 2020

Our dinner service begins at six pm, and as we are a popular local pub with limited capacity — especially since health-related restrictions — we have to take reservations and very rarely can entertain walk-ins.

A customer walks in about ten minutes before dinner service starts and the first reservations are due in. It’s worth mentioning that we are going to be jam-packed; we are fully-booked and have been for weeks because of a government scheme called eat-out-to-help-out that gives heavy discounts on food.

Customer: *Demanding* “Give me a table.”

Manager: “Sorry, sir, we are fully booked.”

Customer: *Looks around blankly* “That table is empty. Can we have that one?”

Manager: *Calmly* “I can’t, sir; someone else has reserved it weeks ago. There is a reserved sign on it and the other tables, too.”

This goes on, with the man pointing out each and every table until he loses his cool.

Customer: *Loudly* “You’re all liars! You’re messing with me; out of all of the empty tables in the restaurant, you couldn’t even spare one?”

Manager: “We’re fully booked.”

He cranes his head over and down at the reservation book.

Customer: “Those two are sitting at a four-person table. My wife and I will join them.”

We had to explain that you can’t just invite yourself to sit at someone else’s table, especially during the rules on social distancing.

Eventually, the man got so frustrated and angry that he swiped his arm across the stand, sending the menus and the lamp crashing to the floor, before stomping out.

Later that day, we had a particularly creative TripAdvisor review from the man. It’s a shame we can’t get it removed, because he clearly had issues and was technically never a customer.

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