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Customers that make your 'top ten worst'


Sukie
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I am a customer oriented kind of chef - but I work in a country club - a golf club which is around 98% men. So you think it would be pretty cut and dry right - give me the elite country clubs of south florida any freakin day.

We have a guy that comes in 5-7 days a week for 2 meals - he still wonders why he is divorced 3 times.

We have a guy that can't have any of his food touch

How about the guy that can't be around any of the other guys at the table if they have a PICKLE on the plate.

One insists on his bananas being cut up for him

We have one that comes in to the bar every day - eats at least 1 if not 2 at least 5 days a week. Asks the bartender the specials everyday - but has the same sandwich and side everyday FOR BOTH MEALS! I have been at this club for 2 years and only a hand full of times does it come in different.

WE had a guy that prided himself on ordering in at 2-5 minutes before close. He does not do it too much since the chef went out and told him that we start scrubbing down about 30 min before close after sitting there all afternoon would appreciate a little courteousy - have not seen him late for a while now

OR how about the people that walk in at close - order drinks and have to go to the bathroom - OR better MAKE A CELL CALL! I think our server turned the lights out on him while he was outside while his kid drank 3 cokes before he giggled and came in to order

So the service industry is a tough one - I know why we drink or get temperamentl when we take time to carefully construct menus of fry aged steaks at 80$ a # and only to have ketchup poured on it or the sunday brunch that you shake the menu up for variety only having people complaining about the fact that we didn't have chicken fingers!

It is tough and sometimes it is hard - but I try to get it to the pass and forget it

I will leave you with this one

2 - 14 oz Filet Mignon - PITTSBURGH

(for anyone that doesn't know - it is a very hot pan, cast iron is the best, sear it brown on both sides, still very rare - the original black on the outside and blue in the middle)

I did it by the book only to have it come back if I could cook it a little more - my answer is usually no problem becasue I knew when they oredered they had no idea...BUT it came back again - it went in the frier to a nice med well and they were happy - so the moral of the story - people that order to show off terms they have no idea -

On my list of the worst!

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I just wanted them out of my hair. The line is too hectic to mess around with revenge meals.

Besides, the inconvenience would be shared with the jerks innocent tablemates.

My overriding fear as a cook was that if I screwed up a meal I ruined someone's day. If someone wants to ruin their own meal, who am I to judge.

But not picatta.

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nope I wanna get them out so I can focus on the next - When I am busy I am thinking of 15 things and once the food hit the plate and hits the pass I am done and rarely remember it - Always looking to the last thing that came in. When something comes back it throws your mind off into anger and then you lose momentum

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Not the aged beef - just the 12 oz - I amy have nuked it and then thrown it in the fryer - all of my WELL done burgers if I am in a rush gets fried - well done hot dogs too - but this we standard in Boca FL - the people liked them that way

Ah, the infamous New Jersey ripper! Where are you in Boca? I can never get a hotdog any way but grilled down here in Pompano... I'll have to look you up to get a fried one, but only if you have sweet relish and chopped onion! :laugh: At least I DO know how I like my steaks and Pittsburgh suits me JUST FINE!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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One more quick ketchup story. I've held it all summer and need a place to vent.

We're strolling down Via Veneto in Roma, kind of a fancy neighborhood, nice shops, sidewalk restaurants (the glass enclosed kind), and sitting at a restaurant are two young Americans who have covered their proscuitto and melone in ketchup. The waiter's face was made of stone. A true professional.

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One more quick ketchup story. I've held it all summer and need a place to vent.

We're strolling down Via Veneto in Roma, kind of a fancy neighborhood, nice shops, sidewalk restaurants (the glass enclosed kind), and sitting at a restaurant are two young Americans who have covered their proscuitto and melone in ketchup. The waiter's face was made of stone. A true professional.

OMG I had just taken a sip of water before I read your post, and the thought of ketchup on lovely proscuitto and melon :shock: made me spew it all over the computer desk.

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One more quick ketchup story. I've held it all summer and need a place to vent.

We're strolling down Via Veneto in Roma, kind of a fancy neighborhood, nice shops, sidewalk restaurants (the glass enclosed kind), and sitting at a restaurant are two young Americans who have covered their proscuitto and melone in ketchup. The waiter's face was made of stone. A true professional.

That's a gem! :laugh::laugh:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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circa 2002...ish. Busy new restaurant...not all the right components in place....hense...a free standing coat rack by the front door....full of heavy minks.

Woman customer wobbles...and faints!....on her way out....toppeling over coat rack which bring the whole thing crashing to the floor....

manager and staff rush over....towels? water? 911?....in the mist of it all....another patron bystepping thru minks in a hautey manner....

"excuse me.....(elbows ems)....I'd like my coat please????"

you can not make this stuff up!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm not much a story teller, but there are a few things I would like to share as I find them all rather funny.

I once had a customer walk upto the open kitchen and ask me if I could make a Paella without rice and seafood - I explained exactly what goes into and declined her request stating "I just can't make paella the way you want it, sorry". She sat back down with her table and ordered something else. After she left, the boss came into the kitchen and told me this lady had complained we wouldn't make the food the way the table wanted it. My boss (even though he knows exactly what paella is) suggested I should be more accomodating!

Another one, is this lady who ALWAYS order her steak MR with no pink. When I sent the filet just a hair over MW, she complained it was underdone. When the server tried to explain the differences, she just got very defensive and said that is how she always gets it, and every other restaurant cooks it correctly.

There is lots of humour in this thread as customers always want it their way - I've see people screw with flavour so much I don't really care if they want to change the dish - as any discerning palate would know, some flavours simply don't combine. One regular customer wanted melted cheddar on his grilled teriyaki salmon burger. Or the customer who always wanted a side of strawberry coulis for their prawn & scallop ceviche :-)

One of the latest "crazes" is the invented food allergy! I can remember lots of examples - one of the most common real allergy is shellfish. And it is important to act as if they are always real, but the lady who said she was allergic to shrimp, so please add some prawns is NOT one of those examples.

I personally blame Burger-King for all these customer re-inventing/changing menu items with their "have it your way" add campaign!

I have always explained to the FOH to please inform the customer that by making asignificant changes to a menu item, they are dramatically slowing down the speed they will get their food.

I would love to hear more of these humorous adecdotes.

Cheers

GB

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I once had a customer walk upto the open kitchen and ask me if I could make a Paella without rice and seafood - I explained exactly what goes into and declined her request stating "I just can't make paella the way you want it, sorry". She sat back down with her table and ordered something else. After she left, the boss came into the kitchen and told me this lady had complained we wouldn't make the food the way the table wanted it. My boss (even though he knows exactly what paella is) suggested I should be more accomodating!

Wow...this request is akin to asking for a hamburger without all of that beef and bread to get in the way! It probably wasn't worth it to ask, but I take it that you were *direly* tempted to ask the customer and/or the boss, "Well, what, exactly, are you suggesting that I make it with? Magic beans?"

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Or the guy who brought a carton of egg-beaters in every Sunday morning.

We then made him a bacon, ham and cheddar omelette.

Yeah, and I'll bet that he wanted to wash it down with a Diet Coke, eh?

Actually, in fairness to the guy, if his wife was the one on his back about eating those crappy Egg Beaters, he may have just been making it worth his while to actually consume them. It's sort of a delicate dance some people have to walk to not lie to their spouses, you know?

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circa 2002...ish.  Busy new restaurant...not all the right components in place....hense...a free standing coat rack by the front door....full of heavy minks.

Woman customer wobbles...and faints!....on her way out....toppeling over coat rack which bring the whole thing crashing to the floor....

manager and staff rush over....towels?  water?  911?....in the mist of it all....another patron bystepping thru minks in a hautey manner....

"excuse me.....(elbows ems)....I'd like my coat please????"

you can not make this stuff up!!!

This reminded me of my worst customer ever, not as bad as some of yours, but I never worked on a waitstaff. This was when I worked at a crappy deli, with crappy customers, all around. One stands out as the crappiest customer ever!

Me and the only other girl behind the character were facing the usual Sunday morning rush, this warm, tolerant, kind woman marches up to the counter and snaps, "a pound of the seafood salad, the one on sale, but I want it fresh. I pull the bowl out of the cooler, (which I had just set out that morning!) and offer her a sample, and she declares it garbage, insists that it's been sitting around for weeks, that I go get a fresh tub out of the cooler, and she wanted to watch me open it.

The tubs are the typical food service sealed things, with the hard plastic band around the lid, and the plastic peel-off lid. I was already pissy because I had to open ANOTHER three pounds of seafood salad, and the line was building out the door. I grab the closest knife, and start slicing the little tabs around the band, wiggling the knife under the lid, to pry it open, all on this narrow counter where she could SEE me open the damn thing. Well, the knife slipped and sliced a deep 1" puncture wound in the soft meat below my thumb. I held my hand up away from the salad, and fled to the back...all the while, she's yelling "WAS THAT MY SALAD?! DID YOU BLEED IN MY SALAD?! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?! WHO IS GOING TO GIVE ME MY SALAD!?"

My manager asked her to leave. I needed 4 stitches to close that bitch up.

Edited by Lilija (log)
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One of the latest "crazes" is the invented food allergy! I can remember lots of examples - one of the most common real allergy is shellfish. And it is important to act as if they are always real, but the lady who said she was allergic to shrimp, so please add some prawns is NOT one of those examples.

I've got a child with life-threatening shellfish allergies, and the "I'm allergic to shrimp, so please add prawns" thing had me laughing so hard I was crying. What kind of rock did that idiot crawl out from under?

The paella without shellfish and rice had me crying too... that would leave what? Vegetables, sausage and chicken?

Cheryl

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Or the guy who brought a carton of egg-beaters in every Sunday morning.

We then made him a bacon, ham and cheddar omelette.

Yeah, and I'll bet that he wanted to wash it down with a Diet Coke, eh?

Actually, in fairness to the guy, if his wife was the one on his back about eating those crappy Egg Beaters, he may have just been making it worth his while to actually consume them. It's sort of a delicate dance some people have to walk to not lie to their spouses, you know?

Duke was actually a really good guy. 92 and still working.

We would kid him about his omelette and he would laugh and tell us he was too old to give up meat and cheese, it was the only thing that held the skin to his bones.

He died shortly after. Sunday's sucked after that.

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