Crazy customer of the day

Guy comes in today wants to buy some slices. We explain we cook everything fresh and that we offer a personal pizza that takes about 9 minutes to make. He gets visibly angry, walks over to a table with some other customers eating pizza and asks them if he can buy one of their slices of pizza to eat (they bought a large pizza). They look at him like he’s crazy, say “no” and he storms out of the restaurant.

bwah ha ha ha!

Freddy, I see you’re in Colorado. This guy must of had a munchie emergency :rolleyes:

I’ve had a similar incident happen but the kids did sell the guy 2 slices for $5 (they had only paid $8 for their whole pizza)!

Freddy, I’m in Fort Collins too! Probably seen the guy.

LOL!!! :smiley:

What is going on in CO that makes folks so hungry?..LOL…

With legal weed now… we seem to get all the crazy’s moving here.

Yep… in some corners of the state time stands still… It is about 1975 in those places.

Arg! i wish we could just tell some customers they are being unreasonable and to take their entitled asses to their mothers house cuz i don’t want to hear their crying. I have never had to deal with bs like i deal with these days! and i had a real winner today.

Since they don’t do mandatory military service anymore, maybe Americans should do one year of restaurant service. There’d be a lot less b!tching, and a lot more tipping.

I would be happy with one year of customer service in any field.

that would be nice

last week i was fairly busy waiting tables solo, walked up to a table and asked if he wanted something to drink while waiting for the rest of his party, asked for several drinks not on the menu was obviously put off by my string of no i’m sorry we don’t have that, then he asked for cherry coke ( never allowing me the time to tell him what we do have ) i’m sorry we don’t have cherry coke," you have grenadine don’t you ? just pour some into a coke" he replied implying in manners that i’m a stupid idiot,i said no problem and went to pour his cherry coke,Val (my wife) runs into the kitchen after i’d poured his cherry coke and tells me he doesn’t want it (he’s on his cell phone of course) i put the drinks on the table and he loudly says " i told her i don’t want the cherry coke " told him the special cherry coke was already poured, he repeated, i repeated,i informed him of the sign on the wall, we reserve the right to refuse service,please leave,to lose a customer over 25 cents is bad business i realize, but sometimes, !!!

Everyone seems to be having fun piling on this “crazy customer”.

Since he was unfamiliar with the menu, it’s safe to assume this was also a new customer.

As a new forum member, I hate to be the skunk at the picnic. However, this was clearly a missed opportunity.

Many people who come in for lunch have very limited lunch breaks, often only 30 minutes. How long do you give your crew for lunch breaks?

This is how the situation might have looked to him:

[INDENT][FONT=Arial]Crazy_Customer
Active Member

[SIZE=5]The very bad day[/SIZE][/FONT]
Discussion started by Crazy_Customer, Oct 22, 2014
Replies: 22 Views: 429

My young daughter had been up all night throwing up, so I hadn’t gotten very much sleep the night before, and had to rush off to work without breakfast. A bad start to a bad day.

As soon as I walked in the door at work, I had to deal with an employee who did a no-call no-show. We were short-handed all morning, and it never fails that those are always the busiest days.

To make matters worse, we had a major piece of equipment fail at the worst possible moment.

I think that guy Murphy must’ve been in the same business as me, because “if something can go wrong, it will” is the story of my life. I was counting down the minutes until lunch- I really needed to get some food in me, and I was excited to try this new place in Fort Collins.

I figured it would take me about 10 minutes to get there, and 10 minutes to get back. That would leave me with 10 minutes to eat. Tight, but do-able. Besides, with the day I was having, I felt I deserved a treat.

The closer it got to lunch time, the more the time just seemed to sloooow dowwwwn. It felt like break time would never come. When it finally did come, I clocked out and grabbed my coat just in time to get trapped on the phone with a distributor. By the time I got off the phone, I had 26 minutes to get to the pizzeria, eat, and get back.

Ever notice how the likelihood of hitting every red light is directly proportionate to how much you’re pressed for time?

Once I finally got to the pizza place, I had to drive around the lot a few times just to find a parking spot.[/INDENT]

[SIZE=5]The rest of the post, as it played out:[/SIZE]

[INDENT]When I walked in and asked for a couple of slices, the counter person went on about ordering something and waiting nine minutes for it. I didn’t have nine minutes to wait. Why was this person arguing with me? Out of desperation, I finally asked a customer who had just gotten a large pizza if they’d be willing to sell a few slices to me. They turned me down, too.

The whole time, the manager and crew just looked at me like I was crazy. Imagine that- walking into a pizzeria for lunch and expecting to be able to get food. I must be crazy. What ever happened to customer service?!

I now had 10 minutes to get back to work, just enough time, but I still hadn’t gotten any food.

The food smelled good, but I’ll never know. I never got to try it. On top of that, their customer service sucks. I’ll never go back to that place. If it were the last pizzeria on earth, I would get fried chicken.

Fortunately for me, it’s not the last pizzeria on earth. There are three other pizza places within a five mile radius where I know I can walk in and get a couple of slices and still have time to eat them. If that place doesn’t want my business, there are plenty of others that do.

I’ve always been a bit skeptical about the statistics on how many pizzerias go belly up in their first five years. Suddenly, I have no problem believing it.

Some people just have no business being in customer service. [/INDENT]

[SIZE=5]Alternate ending: The rest of the post, as it could’ve played out:[/SIZE]

[INDENT]After finally arriving at the pizzeria, I walked in and was immediately acknowledged with a friendly greeting.

When I asked them for slices, they told me that they don’t sell slices, that they only allow the freshest and highest quality product to pass over their counter, and re-heated slices simply are not up to their quality standards. However, I could order a pie any way that I like and it would be ready in nine minutes.

I told them that I couldn’t wait. I had to get back to work.

As I was headed towards the door, the manager came out into the lobby and stopped me. He handed me a cold sandwich, saying that it was unthinkable that a customer would leave his establishment hungry.

I reached for my wallet, but he insisted that I take the sandwich on the house. It was not what I had wanted, he said, and he wasn’t going to charge me for it. He also handed me a copy of the carryout menu with the phone number circled. He let me know that if I called ahead the next time, he would have my order fresh out of the oven when I got there.

I was able to eat the sandwich on the drive back to work. It was not something I would’ve normally ordered, but the sandwich was delicious, and now I know what I’ll be getting when I’m not in the mood for pizza.

Somehow, on the drive back, every light seemed to turn green just before I reached it. It’s amazing how a simple act of kindness can change your whole outlook. It can turn your entire day around.

I got back to work and clocked back in right on time, satisfied, relaxed, and in a positive mind-frame, ready to meet any challenge that came my way.

That manager may have lost $1.80 on a comped sandwich, but he gained a loyal customer. Since that day, I’ve already been back three times, and their pizzas are every bit as good as their sandwiches. I’ve already gotten a few of my co-workers to try them out, and they were equally impressed. My neighbors are trying them tonight for dinner.

Pizzerias are a dime a dozen, but it’s a rare thing to find a place with such dedication to product quality and customer service.

I may be a crazy customer, but I’m a satisfied customer, and I’m a loyal customer. They’ve won me over. They say that word-of-mouth is by far the most effective marketing. I wonder if they realize how much advertising they bought with that $1.80?

[/INDENT]
In the food service industry, we face challenges like this every day. It’s part of doing business. How we choose to meet these challenges is what ultimately makes the difference between success and failure.
[INDENT]

[/INDENT]

i see where your coming from @OSV but your just playing devils advocate with that story. I have people come in to my place every day and ask me whats fast or whats ready to go…and I work with them. If some one walked in to my place and said I’ve got 9 minutes to eat and get out of here. I could cook something and and have it in front of them in 4 giving them 5 minutes to eat and run.

…but he didn’t say that. He asked for something they don’t serve and got upset when he couldn’t get it. Typical entitled person he became a crazy person when he walked up to 2 perfect strangers and asked to buy a slice of their pizza…that’s just strange to me… and I have had to begged for food before…it was embarrassing then, and now that i don’t have to I couldn’t imagine asking for something from someone elses plate.

in this day and age someone who has the means to walk into a restaurant and afford what he wants to order is not going to die from missing a meal. this was not a life or death situation and if it was im sure @Freddy_Krugerrand would have handled it differently. Also, Freddy is from Fort Collins that’s not a small city…and i’m am sure he isn’t the only restaurant in Fort Collins. if this guy had half a brain and was so desperate he couldn’t wait 8 minutes for a fresh pizza he should have been looking for a drive thru for a fast meal.

here is another great story about a restaurant that refuses to make to-go orders…do i think its silly to not make to-go orders…YES, but their reasoning behind it is perfectly acceptable.
http://www.eater.com/2014/10/6/6925273/restaurateur-pens-epic-takedown-of-entitled-yelper

and i don’t think it’s any restaurants obligation to let someone leave their restaurant unsatisfied…their are more and more people out there that can’t be satisfied, and others that just wont like what you have to sell, and that’s okay. I don’t expect to make everybody happy and it is upsetting when I can’t make people happy; but that’s life. In this world of helicopter parenting, participation trophies, and never saying no to children I think its only going to get worse.

He should consider himself lucky that he didn’t have a “cherry coke” poured over his head before being sent on his way-

(grenadine, by the way, is pomegranate, not cherry. Grenade= pomegranate).

  • and i don’t think it’s any restaurants obligation to let someone leave their restaurant unsatisfied…their are more and more people out there that can’t be satisfied, and others that just wont like what you have to sell, and that’s okay. I don’t expect to make everybody happy and it is upsetting when I can’t make people happy; but that’s life. In this world of helicopter parenting, participation trophies, and never saying no to children I think its only going to get worse.

Well put tguag
You can’t be everything to everyone
You don’t have to knock yourself out because you can’t do what a customer “wants/demands”
You run your business to suit your business plan, and try to meet unusual requests from customers, but in the end of the day you can please most of the people most of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time
From time to time we lose a sale when someone wants a delivery outside of our delivery zones. We never waver even when they offer extra cash for us to do it. Our zones are based on meeting ALL deliveries in a time that ensures the product is delivered fresh and hot, ensures that other deliveries are not held up waiting for drivers to return, and more importantly done in a cost effective manner. My bread and butter on deliveries is in our zones, not on those outside where it affects the smooth delivery operation.
Same goes with requests for those who tell us they have to get to a movie in 15 minutes and want their order to dine in so as not to miss the start time even though we may have a 20 minute wait (peak times). We don’t push orders forward against those who have ordered earlier and sit patiently waiting.
In the end of the day these people who place unrealistic demands are self centred and it is “all about me”. They try it on everywhere they go and continually get knockbacks but think if they get angry they will get their own way.
They do with us … straight out the door.
Dave

Almost all of my customer failures are from 1) they are drinking 2) they are angry and in my face when i have ADRENILINE in my system from a rush trying to please everyone giving 110 % of my best effort. It sounds so easy to be a great ass kisser and make all your customers love you forever and I agree it is best for the business, all of us are wired for Flight or Fight under attack, any suggestions on how to turn off the ADRENILNE button when under attack ???

Who- me? http://carvinbbs.com/images/smiles/stirthepot.gif

This seems to be a common theme and an opportunity for growth. In many (if not most) locations, a good part of the lunch business is putting a premium on speed of service. If people are asking for ready-to-go foods on a daily basis, that’s an indicator of where your menu could be adjusted. Keep in mind that for every one customer asking what’s ready to go, there are many more who aren’t asking, because they already know the answer and went to a drive-thru instead.

Rather than “work with them”, why not accommodate them? If you have customers coming in every day asking what’s ready to go, I would suggest jotting down a list of three categories that could be ready to go- from there, come up with a few offerings for each heading- less than five choices for each. Ready to go items should be simple and self-explanatory. The customer should be able to glance at the menu and say “I want that”. No Insalata di finocchi e ravanelli con Parmigiano. The customer is in a hurry. Keep it clean and simple.

From there, you could either have a section boxed off and highlighted on your menu, or even better, print off a separate A5 “ready to go” menu. If you have an outdoor menu display, you could consider printing a large version to go in the display.

example:

[INDENT][SIZE=5]READY TO GO [/SIZE]

SOUP…BOWL…CUP
● Minestrone
● Soup of the day

SALAD…FULL…SIDE
● Antipasto
● Caesar
● Garden

SANDWICHES…FULL…HALF
● Italian
● Turkey
● Vegetarian

[/INDENT]
Keep in mind that the more choices they have, the longer it will take for them to make up their mind, and the slower the service to everybody. Don’t offer a choice of 14 different wing sauces. Offer two.

This will make things much easier and much faster for the person placing the order, the person taking the order, and the person making the order.

It’s important that the items on the “quick” menu be self- explanatory. If someone has to ask what’s on an item, it slows down their order and the orders of the people in line behind them. Everyone knows what comes on an Italian sub.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have house specialties or unique items, just that they should be on the regular menu, not the “ready to go” menu. If someone wants to order from the regular menu, by all means accommodate them.

On pricing: The common wisdom on menu pricing is to use round numbers. For example,

GARDEN SALAD…9

is preferable to

GARDEN SALAD…$8.99

It’s a good pricing strategy for a dinner menu. However, for a fast lunch menu, I like to price things so that the total with tax comes to a round number.

For example, assuming a 6% sales tax:

GARDEN SALAD…8.49

That way, when the item is rung up, it comes to an even $9. It seems like it’s contrary to the conventional wisdom, but it cuts out the "oh- wait- let me see if I have the change- maybe my other pocket- I know I have it here somewhere- let’s see- 37… 38… 39… "- it also saves the cashier from having to count back change, open rolls of coin, and so on. On an individual basis, it might not seem like much, but if there’s a line, all these little details add up to two things: ease of experience and speed of service. Believe me, your customers will notice.

I’m with you there- definitely seems strange to me, too- and yet, within three replies to the OP, another operator is saying that he had the exact same experience. I’ve actually seen it happen myself (and thought it was strange).

When it comes down to it, many of my best customers are a bit strange. In fact, I have a few employees that are a little odd. There are even those who have accused me of being a bit “different”- imagine that.

Strange or not strange, their money still spends the same. If I only accommodated people who were not strange, I wouldn’t have many customers.

(Also worth noting: The strange behavior never would’ve taken place had the customer’s needs been met to begin with. http://carvinbbs.com/images/smiles/stirthepot.gif )

Basing customer service on whether or not a customer will die if they’re not taken care of is setting the bar a bit low, don’t you think?! http://carvinbbs.com/images/smiles/stirthepot.gif

This is exactly my point. If we don’t meet the needs of our customers, there are plenty of others who will.

When you suggest that the customer should just go to a drive-thru, I’m reminded of the old adage: be careful what you wish for, you might just get it…

The question is this: did you go into business to make money for yourself, or did you go into business to make money for the drive-thru down the road?

If you didn’t go into business to make that drive-thru money, stop sending them your customers!

By presenting my post in the form of a fictitious on-line post, I was attempting to make a subtle point. Your link makes that point in real terms.

Back in 1981, TARP did a study that still gets quoted today. Their findings were that a satisfied customer will tell 2-3 people about his experience. A dissatisfied consumer will share their experience with 8-10 people, and some will push that number to twenty.

As much as that study was a wake-up call when it came out, the numbers are hopelessly obsolete. With modern communication, you can add several zeros on to each of those statistics. Take a look at that link and notice how many times it has been viewed and shared. The original was posted a little over a month ago.

Drilling down a bit further, even though the post was presented as an “epic take-down of an entitled Yelper”, the 49 comments paint a different picture. Many felt that the complaining party behaved badly, but many also felt the restaurant behaved badly:

[INDENT]Customer behaved badly: 30.61% (15)
Restaurant behaved badly: 26.53% (13)
Both behaved badly: 40.81% (20)
It was Obama’s fault: 2.04% (1)[/INDENT]

When the “both” responses are tabulated with each respective column, 71.43% had an unfavorable opinion of the customer, and 67.34% had an unfavorable opinion of the restaurant.

Listen: in the big picture, it really doesn’t matter what people think of the Yelper. It does matter what people think of the restaurant.

Much is made these days about text/SMS/online marketing being the wave of the future. As with any other form of advertising, the most effective is not the stuff you pay for, it’s what comes from your customers. It’s an extension of “word of mouth” advertising. That advertising can be positive or it can be negative. The only control you have over that message is in how you treat your customers.