When a customer with a particular allergy bombards me with questions about what foods they can and cannot have, expecting me to be a certified dietitian with malpractice insurance…


Yes, I realize it is my job to know what ingredients each menu item has and whether they are gluten-free or not. But when you start asking me specific health questions and expect me to be some sort of health professional, that is when we have a problem. It’s not my job to know more about your allergy than you do.

First Guest Complaint Ever

Today I served a complete jerk. His parents, wife, two children and himself came in to eat. They changed their order several times, and – when their food was up – I realized I accidentally rung in a grilled cheese instead of a burger for this man. I explained the situation, took full responsibility, and apologized. I brought his onion rings out, refilled drinks, and took care of the table’s needs while waiting for the last burger – cooked medium.

When I brought the burger out, this man cut it in half, and immediately snapped at me, “Did you even COOK this?!”. I asked if he would like me to have them cook it more, and he said yes. Both myself and the chefs examined the “horribly undercooked, bleeding” burger when I brought it back and concluded that, in fact, the pink throughout burger was the perfect medium. Upon returning the burger, I asked if it was better and said, “Just so you know, we cook our medium burgers pink throughout, so you might want to go with medium-well next time.” He responded with, “It was rare and bleeding..” (not true), “…and it took an hour to get here,” (also completely false).

During my next visit, the grandfather at the table asked for the check, but seconds later the group had decided to order some dessert. When I went back to clear the table, asking each person if they were finished before picking up the plate, the grandmother snapped, “What, are you closing or something??!” I responded with, “No, I’m just pre-bussing so that you don’t have dirty plates in your face.” “Well, I don’t like it,” she said as I was beginning to walk away. “Well, would you like me to put them back?” I asked, with a smile on my face. She first said yes, and when I began walking back to the table, changed her mind and allowed me to bring the dirty dishes to the kitchen.

My restaurant has a service charge of 16% added to all of the checks,! 1% goes to the manager and 15% is split between the servers (we pool). When paying the grandfather said, “Please make the service charge 8%, because of the service.” I responded with a smile and “Absolutely.” Upon returning the check I told them to have a great evening. On their way out the mother told my manager that I was rude and made her mother-in-law uncomfortable. Seriously? I wish I was allowed to speak my mind at work, then she would REALLY know what “rude” is…