86 Creme Brulee
So you go out to your favorite dining spot and find out that they won’t be serving risotto tonight, or that they only have prime rib available in certain temperatures, or that they don’t make blended drinks, what would your reaction be?
Or anger? Anger that you take out on the person least responsible for ensuring that stock is ordered, food prepped or that the bar is set a certain way?
Most people choose one or two, and why shouldn’t they? I’ve always maintained that the vast majority of people are reasonable, sometimes they are even a pleasure to wait on!
But much like motorcyclists have their 1%ers, we have our 10%ers that can’t act like they belong in a society. Case and point are the following situations that I’ve been a part of or personally witnessed.
The other day we ran out of rye bread, no more Ruebans unless they wanted to substitute bread, which is no good in my books. I made it a point to explain this to tables as I greeted them so they wouldn’t get their hopes up for getting the sandwich.
Most people took it fine and didn’t care, not this guy.
“Unfortunately we’re not offering our Rueben sandwich today, which I want to point out to you before you look over the menus.” I said.
The gentleman at the table wasn’t so thrilled.
“Well that’s what I wanted for lunch!” He said, as he threw down his menu like a wounded child.
“Sir, if you’d like to substitute bread we could still make it.” I said.
“That wouldn’t be a Rueben would it?” He said with a sneer.
“No sir, it wouldn’t, now moving on we do offer several lunch features today…” I said, continuing with my spiel.
Upon returning to take their order he had this to say as well…
“Yeah, I’ll have the salmon, its really not what I want, but it’ll have to do.”
His friend started to order a sandwich on the menu when he interrupted with this…
“Wait, what was it that you wanted for lunch today? That’s right, you said you wanted a Rueben, I guess you can‘t have one today though.”
Really, I get your fucking point, you want a Rueben, well be a big boy and understand that sometimes things don’t go your way. At least the friend he interrupted seemed embarrassed by the outburst and left a nice tip to boot.
Next up was the middle of the week. We had a run on the feature and ran out, the item in question takes far more time to prep and cannot be made to order.
So a customer came in and was informed by another waiter. Instead of just accepting the fact that we were out the customer threw a fit, apparently we ran out of the feature the last time he was in. He threw down his menu and told his waiter that it was unacceptable that we ran out.
Well accept it or no, you’re not getting it for lunch. The customer vowed never to come back as he stormed out the door without ordering.
Here’s the third situation, a while back one of the other servers was in the weeds and asked me to take the desert tray out to a table for them.
It seemed like they were a nice couple when I approached them, I guess I was wrong. We had committed the sin of running out of Crème Brulee, another item which takes time to prep.
I went through the typical desert spiel and pointed out to them that we were out of the item, this time it was the lady that spoke up.
“We were looking forward to having the Crème Brulee tonight,” she said.
“There are several other great deserts we are offering, maybe some Tiramisu?” I counter offered.
“Well can’t we have that one?” She asked, pointing at the display desert.
“You really wouldn’t want that, its been sitting out all day.” I said.
“If I order the Tiramisu would I have to pay for it?” She asked.
“Uh, yes you would.” I responded.
“Well I don’t think its fair to have to pay for a desert if you don’t have the one I want.” She said.
I shot her a look and said, ”That’s unfortunate, I’ll give you a minute to decide.”
I went back to the kitchen and found their server.
“What’s the deal with table ten?” I asked.
“Why were they bitchy to you?” She replied.
“They want free desert, we’re out of the Crème Brulee,” I said.
“They’re not getting shit, they want something they gotta pay for it.” She said.
And that’s that, most people just shrug their shoulders and move on. Some people have an entitlement fit.