Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lobster and Fruit and Complaints


"The squeaky wheel gets the grease," is a horrible saying that always seems to be true.  That is especially true for customers at restaurants.  The ones who complain the most, seem to get what they want, and they also get it for free.

The same goes for customers who look over the entire menu, and then complain that we don't have anything that they want, and then decide that they are going to be the only person in their party who isn't going to eat.  Who the hell goes out to eat, and then doesn't eat?

Recently I had a customer sitting in my section with her husband, looking confused and pouty.  Yes, pouty.  I was working in an Italian restaurant, and I made the mistake of assuming that the customers understand that the cuisine on the menu IS Italian food.

"Do you have fruit salad?" she asked.

She actually caught me off guard.  I quickly glanced at her husband who was busy on his Blackberry, (yes, Blackberry,) but didn't get any help from him.  So I responded, "No.  We don't have fruit salad.  We're an Italian restaurant.  Italian cuisine."

"Oh."  Now she was disappointed.

"Are you looking for something light?  Like a salad?"  I asked.  Trying to steer her away from anymore embarrassment.

"Do you have lobster?"

"Yes.  We actually have a fantastic lobster salad."

"Can I get lobster with fruit?"

There was nothing else I could do at this point.  I had to be honest with her.  "Unfortunately not.  You see, lobsters don't like fruit."  A la Jerry Seinfeld, "What's the deal with the FRUIT!!!"

"I'll just have a spinach salad," she finally conceded.

"Great!"

I had a feeling that she was going to try to stick it to me come dessert time.  But I was prepared.

"Anything for desserts?"

"Do you have fruit?"  It was as if I was in the movie, "Memento."

"We have mixed berries."

"Oh, that sounds good.  I'll have that."

And just like that, a bowl of boxed berries was brought to her.  And it cost twenty dollars.  Hey, I don't make up the prices, I just provide exceptional service.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."

The Bitter Bistro