Confessions of a Restau”rant”er!
My previous article was a debate on why expensive restaurants deserve to be highly priced. This time it’s not a debate. This is simply my experience. The topic is about how random people behave in a restaurant. I have been running a couple of restaurants since over five years now and have met all kinds of guests; from the highest of profiles to those who are yet endeavouring to get there. Kids, young adults, middle-aged, the elder lot, all of them have been here at some point or the other. What a splendid journey it has been to meet most of them. BUT SOME! The behaviour of some is beyond words and hence a task for me to pen it down.
Dus rupiye ka botal chaalis mein?
The most distinct issue that we restaurateurs face is that of mineral water. How can one even expect us to serve it at MRP? A guest paid for the entire bill (hefty, I might add) and requested to price the bottled water at INR 10. My staff was baffled! But, of course, we didn’t oblige. Now, this person has so many forums like Facebook and Twitter and with nothing else to do, he/she writes a review and have others as daft as him/her to ‘like’, ‘follow’, ‘subscribe’ and ‘tweet’. I would plead such a guest to not dine out. Sit at home in your pyjamas while mummy makes some rajma chaawal for you.
The discount factor
Now, those who are billing well, seem to think that getting a discount is their birthright – Well NO!!! It isn’t! Sure, you can ask. Anybody can ask for anything. Ask for a complimentary drink as soon you enter the restaurant and you may not be wrong to do so. It depends on how happy an outlet is to have you so as to engage in taking those five extra steps. You can ask for anything, you are the guest. But we can say ‘No’ too! And when we do, don’t vent it by (again) going home, opening your laptop and punching a crappy review on some website.
No my brother, not everyone is looking at your wife / sister / mother / girlfriend / just a friend. Not everybody is interested in doing that. Understand, most people out there are pretty sated and they don’t come to restaurants to letch at your woman. Okay, some may, but not everyone. I have encountered guests that have picked a fight with some harmless fellow for no reason, assuming that he was devouring his girl with his eyes. If you’re so protective then stay home with your girl and take advantage of something known as ‘home delivery’.
The joker dons
These people act like they own the place. I’m sure you get a lot of respect in your house, at your workplace or even in your city, but the restaurant isn’t yours. Just because you are paying for a meal does not mean that the owner, the staff and the chefs are all in your power. I think these people have ‘daddy issues’. Their papa didn’t give them enough love and appreciation, so now, they go around demanding it from everybody else. Some guests often say ‘restaurant band kara denge‘. Most times I pity such people because they are, in many ways, autistic and live in their own little world. They don’t realize that most restaurant owners are very well connected as well. And, because you didn’t get your favourite table or because your chicken wasn’t spicy enough, you can’t think of shutting a restaurant. What you should shut is your mouth.
To conclude, I love interacting with people and learning from them, their experiences and knowledge. But, part of the package is dealing with these kinds of people as well. And, I learn from them too. I learn to always serve you with a smile. Come what may.