firing a customer

So we are a part of a mall and as a courtesy we offer 10% discount to all mall employees. This one store comes in with over the top special requests, doesn’t want to pay extra for extras (not even dressing, extra baby arugula) they are always rude and demanding but we always accommodate them because I am old school. Anyway I was out sick yesterday with vertigo and my wife covered, the employee came in with her boyfriend and he’s like this is a cool place we should try the pizza. She loudly exclaims, we don’t like the pizza here in earshot of 2 tables. I think I’m going to fire them today.

If I could make a suggestion… do you know the manager or owner of the place she works? I would get a moment on the side and let them know that you are always very supportive of the neighbor businesses and while the employee certainly does not need to eat at your place or even recommend it, making comments like that in the open is not good neighbor behavior. My guess is that the manager/owner will take care of it.

Oh no, the owner/manager leads the brigade. She is nasty to staff and demands more free than any of them.

Wow. Unusual for someone in a position of responsibility. I guess either kill them with kindness if you feel that referrals from them are of value or politely tell them that the deal is now menu price and standard customer service.

If they are saying that in the store I can only imagine what they are saying in theirs. Her dad owns store but he’s never here. I just want to politely tell them that I don’t think we can meet their needs. They are the kind always looking for drama and a fight. I’ve never even considered firing a customer before fyi.

Many years ago we owned a restaurant in a rough part of Chicago. We had similar situations so we posted a sign in clear view that we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Now, we refused service to a few of these idiots, a few came back and apologized only to become little lambs. The problem with these confrontational types is that they will bad mouth you non stop for the first few weeks.

If her Dad is a level headed person and he comes by once a week or so and you think you’ll be able to talk to him…I would have a conversation with him first but something tells me that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. If he is as bad as his daughter just tell her that do to her recurring behavior (bring up that crap she pulled on your wife) you no longer want her business. If she starts cursing you out and makes a scene tell her you will call security.

Just by her confrontational nature as you described I wouldn’t put it past her and her useful idiots to start posting negative feedback on review sites. One more thing I would not be too polite I would just be on the firm side and not raise my voice. She will see you as weak if you are polite.

You can’t please everyone. And if they made those remarks, then you should tell them standard pricing from here forward. It will get rid of them

I have had to fire 2 customers in 6 years of being in the pizza business. One guy thought he was special and shouldnt have to pay and extra $.50 for a topping on a slice of pizza. Another guy would order food for delivery and pay the driver with change and also short him $2-3 each time. I understand that customer service is key and that money is money but at some point you have to draw a line when someone is unnecessarily treating you or your employees like they are servants. I would start by charging them full price no explanations needed. If they have a problem with it just say this is the price and show them a receipt with a breakdown and thats it. If they continue to complain just say Im very sorry but this is the price we no longer do discounts as they were being grossly abused. I think they will get the point without you having to tell them that you dont want to service them.

I once told this lady that had browbeaten me for years "you know what would be real funny? if you had an apron on and everyone you waited on was yourself !

We’ve fired about 5 or 6 customers in 15 years. These are customers who complained with about every order or abused us by continually getting free food. We politely tell them by phone or letter that we are sorry we don’t seem to be make their order the way they would like it so they would be better served by finding another pizza place that can. 5 of them have come back after a couple of months and we never hear another peep out of them.

Did you tell her to beat it? Or did you stop discounting her food?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Sorry, so it turns out my wife told the lady really nicely that she was really disappointed that someone from the same mall would bad mouth a store that was giving them a discount while they were in the store. For whatever reason the girls have been angels and asked for nothing extra. Although I have trained my staff that they can’t “have” some extra baby arugula for a caprese salad, or 2 waters with extra lemons for a side of fries. After talking with someone I decided the headache of firing them would be bigger than dealing with them. I still discount for them.

I won’t take that crap- call me petty, shortsighted or just plain stupid.
Been in pizza for 32 years and while not a yearly thing, I’ve told a few people over the years “to leave and not come back” The problem is that people are used to having their a$$ kissed. And, while I’m willing to do that up to a point… there is a point. I had a customer screaming at a CSR (who was 15) because she asked him his first name (you know, for the order!)
I walked up, handed him his $20 and said “Leave and don’t come back… ever”
I’ve also had a few people that I’ve said (these were some pretty unpleasant situations with people that were drunk, not right upstairs, etc) “You have 30 seconds to leave before the Police escort you out” I’m just too old to put up with that crap.
I had somebody reach for one of my female employees in a very violent manner- I jumped over that counter (and a svelte figure skater I’m not) and told that guy that he’s 5 seconds away from wearing a plate glass window.
Another employee had called 911 (I did not know that) and while I was outside with this guy 2 cruisers pulled in… he got a free ride and he’s never been seen since.
There’s a fine line, I guess… maybe I’m just too old!
And, I know I’m talking about my physical stuff and you guys are talking more financial stuff so, maybe apples and oranges. I will say, though, that if I have a special and somebody does not want to pay it, or I can’t find something for them, etc… I will let somebody walk out the door.

I had a guy on drugs come in and yell at us because we had yeast all over the store and that we weren’t wearing gloves. I informed him of our states laws regarding wearing gloves and that it was not yeast laying on the table but flour. He said we shouldn’t be working around raw flour. I told him to gtfo of the store before I call the police. He told me to call them so I did… cops talked to him outside for a while, dumbass drove to the store so the cops sat there for an hour waiting for him to drive away so they could bust him for a DUI.

Other than that, I’ve had a pretty dull 3 years. The rare upset customers usually had a reason to be upset, and the other ‘upset’ people looking for a freebie quickly realize this isn’t a franchise and landing a free pizza at my place is not as easy as Dominos or PH. Those guys have really conditioned certain members of society how easy it is to get something for nothing.

We had a 3o something guy start berating one of our young female servers because she forgot a drink. We watched the video later and the guy was spitting mad. She came back into the kitchen distraught and crying. Our boh crew is pretty protective of their foh counterparts and the line wanted to bum rush the guy. Instead the GM went to the table and said “I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Good news is your meal tonight is on the house. The bad news is you’ll need to leave. Now.” On the way out one of the cooks was on break and mentioned something to the effect of “easy to yell at little girls isn’t it”.

When you give someone a deal and they are eternally ungrateful send them on their way. You sound like a pretty level headed person (aside from the vertigo ha!). Make the call and don’t look back.