A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I believe I can fly.

"The customer is always RIGHT...
...until he's LEFT."

Funny, no?

This is our motto in the restaurants.
It says it all. While the customer is within our walls he always right...(up to a degree!)

If a guy says that his steak is tough as old boot I agree with him... Even when I know that our meat is the best that money can buy and that deep down I feel like saying:

"Get out my classy establishment, you ignoramus who lives on beans on toast at home!" (Karen's favourite meal when I am not around!)

"You heathen, who can't even tell the difference between àl dente and raw or between mange-touts and sugar-snap peas!"

What is the point in arguing with someone who's already made up his mind?

Human nature dictates that if we disagree with someone who's giving us his or her business we have shot ourselves in the foot! That person will perhaps never come back...

What do I want this guy to do?

Yes, return with more business and I know he will! Because I agreed with him. He feels that his opinion is valued and that he is contributing to the well-being of my establishment by offering me constructive criticism. (!)

I may have lost the price of the steak but I have gained this customer for life.

Tell us what really drives you crackers in a restaurant!


Blogger DCveR said...

Lack of hygiene and rude waiters.
We have mandatory complaint books here in Portugal. Those books are issued and inspected by the Tourism Board. If a costumer files a rightful complaint the restaurant can be fined, if the case is very serious the Tourism Board can even take the restaurant to court, have the place to undergo a health inspection and in extreme cases shut down the place. I've filed a few complaints.

20/10/05 10:45 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Lack of hygiene would definitely be on top of my list! If someone can't be bothered to clean the toilets clean, how can you trust them to be doing you any favours?
Complaint books? Great idea!

20/10/05 12:40 PM  
Blogger DCveR said...

Those books work great because they are issued by a central authority and the pages are numbered.
If the restaurant does away with a page is automatically fined. Second time bigger fine. And then there are the health inspections, tax inspections, work authority inspections, immigration inspections, licenses check and a lot more things a restaurant owner must be aware of here. Maybe that was part of the reason our bar went broke: too many licenses.

20/10/05 4:41 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Although it seem to be a good idea, the books conjure up images of the USSR...
Well, as long as they do the job and keep the restaurant owners on their toes, what the hell!
The other inspections are par for the course, really.
I read in you FAQ's that you'd had a bar once! Harder work than a restaurant sometimes!

20/10/05 5:20 PM  
Blogger Shyha said...

Yup. Those kind of books were mandatory in EVERY public place (restaurant, shop etc - even public toilets) during a communism in Poland (at least in the years I remember : 80's). I don't know if they still are mandatory but I've seen them somewhere not so long time ago.
I think the same as you - hygiene is most important but I really hate waiters which looks like making the customers a favor for serving them. I should say them: "better change a job please.".

20/10/05 6:46 PM  
Blogger DCveR said...

Funny you should say that, and you too shyha. The books here are kind of a remnant of the dictatorship days. The difference was here the party in power was right wing, but extremes do touch.

20/10/05 7:16 PM  
Blogger cream said...

I was about to order some wine and this cheeky sommelier who thought he was too good for his customers asked me: "Are you a Red man or a White man?"
I said: "I am a Brown man!"
He didn't know where to put himself as the whole table burst into laughter!

20/10/05 7:39 PM  
Blogger Ale said...

i agree, friendly nice waiters can really make or break your experience. even if i go to a place and the food may not be super fantastic, if i'm comfortable and the waiters are fun and nice i'll probably come back and give it a one more try.

what PISSES ME off beyond REASON and i see NO EXCUSE for is when i pick up a spoon or a fork and there is a little something stuck on them, or even a water stain, i CANNOT handle that!!!! the plates and utencils must be shiny and spotless!

20/10/05 8:45 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Ho, Ho, Ale!
Check the post "What makes a restaurant successful?"
Eye for detail! That is essential!!
Food stuck on utensils that's gross lack of hygiene!
So much goes into planning a restaurant and the whole operation is let down by a dirty fork!
Who's next for the chop?

20/10/05 9:45 PM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Me too, a clean place and friendly waiters are essential.

This evening I was thinking about rude customers though, and how you'd handle them...and look...you've done a post about it.

Your positive attitude to them reminds me of that old book, "How to win friends and influence people."

Karen is right about beans on toast, monsieur! slurrp.

21/10/05 3:32 AM  
Blogger cream said...

So, it seems that Hygiene and Service come first!
Exactly as described in the previous restaurant post!
Oh, rude customers! To be honest in over 20 years, I don't think anyone has ever been really rude to us. Friendly NorthEasterners!

GG, if I were ever forced to eat beans on toast, I would titivate them with a bit of chili sauce, basil and maybe some goat's cheese otherwise NO THANKS!

21/10/05 9:20 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

No wonder Karen eats them when you're not around :-D

By the way, I love the pic. you have here, it looks like something from Ye Olde England, and romantic, cosy, intimate, warm...all the good stuff.

21/10/05 12:46 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Thanks, GG.
The photo was taken on a church square in a Spanish village.
I just messed about with it in Painter.

25/10/05 10:25 AM  

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