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Author Topic: Another Restaurant Fight  (Read 14213 times)

jeffislouie

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2008, 11:36:12 AM »
Having been a restaurant manager/GM for a decade, I am well qualified to weigh in on this matter.
The manager was wrong for being accusatory and taking the server's side.  There was no 'side' to take, and by being a prick about it, he left a bad taste in the customers mouth, jeopardizing the possibility of return business (which is the lifeblood of the restaurant industry).
Bottom line - there wasn't a 'problem' that necessitated a manager stop by - the server was an idiot who made the situation worse by bringing over a bigger idiot.  She could have pointed out the menu line that states a $2.50 charge for substitution. More troubling than that is the fact that the charge was added, but not itemized on the bill as a substitution charge.
Additionally, having been a GM for so long, I am VERY familiar with food costing best practices.  French Fries cost a few pennies more than baker potatos.  Hard to believe, huh?  Well, it's true.  Fries are processed in a plant with a bunch of other ingredients, then flash frozen and shipped.  Each step makes it slightly more expensive per serving that a baked potato.  Ever wonder why some restaurants make their own fries?  2 reasons, they taste better and it's cheaper.  This is something the consumer can see as well at the supermarket - go to the freezer section and take a look at the bag of fries.  Check the cost per ounce.  Then go to produce and check out the price of a raw potato.
So charging a customer unnecessarily for actually lowering your cost of goods sold is a skeevy practice.  Avoid restaurants that do this and if you don't catch it, like Rick, tell the manager that you think the policy is stupid and it just cost them a return customer.
Finally, this was an untalented, very stupid manager.  First of all, he appears to have been very aggressive about the matter, then pretends it's no big deal and that he'd be happy to take it off the bill.  He could have done it right - tell the guest you will waive it today, then show them where it is on the menu, then tell them that you appreciate their business.  Done.  Customer happy, restaurant happy, and the server gets a tip.
In this situation, I would tell the manager that I was reducing the servers tip because there was no reason to send over a manager over something she could have easily explained herself, then I would have tipped 10%.  I also would tell the manager that if he is going to be aggressive about proving how right he is, he should have the balls to stick by what he says instead of being a prick to no end.
And lay off Rick for posting blog entries here.  He IS promoting his blog.  Yes.  Don't like it?  Don't read his posts or, better yet, don't reply to them.  Unless I'm doing something wrong, the only way to access a post on this site is to click on it.  Each one is listed with the persons name too.  What he does is hardly as upsetting as reading someone like Julie Fern speak like a caveman while being rude and calling people names like "shitbreath" because they disagree with her/him/it.  Where are you people when that happens?
Justice is tangy....

dsetterl

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2008, 11:39:15 AM »
I am actually all over that as well.

wrhssaxensemble

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2008, 12:50:09 PM »
Having been a restaurant manager/GM for a decade, I am well qualified to weigh in on this matter.
The manager was wrong for being accusatory and taking the server's side.  There was no 'side' to take, and by being a prick about it, he left a bad taste in the customers mouth, jeopardizing the possibility of return business (which is the lifeblood of the restaurant industry).
Bottom line - there wasn't a 'problem' that necessitated a manager stop by - the server was an idiot who made the situation worse by bringing over a bigger idiot.  She could have pointed out the menu line that states a $2.50 charge for substitution. More troubling than that is the fact that the charge was added, but not itemized on the bill as a substitution charge.
Additionally, having been a GM for so long, I am VERY familiar with food costing best practices.  French Fries cost a few pennies more than baker potatos.  Hard to believe, huh?  Well, it's true.  Fries are processed in a plant with a bunch of other ingredients, then flash frozen and shipped.  Each step makes it slightly more expensive per serving that a baked potato.  Ever wonder why some restaurants make their own fries?  2 reasons, they taste better and it's cheaper.  This is something the consumer can see as well at the supermarket - go to the freezer section and take a look at the bag of fries.  Check the cost per ounce.  Then go to produce and check out the price of a raw potato.
So charging a customer unnecessarily for actually lowering your cost of goods sold is a skeevy practice.  Avoid restaurants that do this and if you don't catch it, like Rick, tell the manager that you think the policy is stupid and it just cost them a return customer.
Finally, this was an untalented, very stupid manager.  First of all, he appears to have been very aggressive about the matter, then pretends it's no big deal and that he'd be happy to take it off the bill.  He could have done it right - tell the guest you will waive it today, then show them where it is on the menu, then tell them that you appreciate their business.  Done.  Customer happy, restaurant happy, and the server gets a tip.
In this situation, I would tell the manager that I was reducing the servers tip because there was no reason to send over a manager over something she could have easily explained herself, then I would have tipped 10%.  I also would tell the manager that if he is going to be aggressive about proving how right he is, he should have the balls to stick by what he says instead of being a prick to no end.
And lay off Rick for posting blog entries here.  He IS promoting his blog.  Yes.  Don't like it?  Don't read his posts or, better yet, don't reply to them.  Unless I'm doing something wrong, the only way to access a post on this site is to click on it.  Each one is listed with the persons name too.  What he does is hardly as upsetting as reading someone like Julie Fern speak like a caveman while being rude and calling people names like "shitbreath" because they disagree with her/him/it.  Where are you people when that happens?


I agree with everything you just said, especially about Julie Fern, but was wondering one thing. If it is cheaper to make baked rather than french fries, why do they make the fries at fast food places but not the baked (except wendy's), or if they sell both (like wendy's), the fries are cheaper? Is it all buying in bulk then that cuts down the margains?

dsetterl

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2008, 01:12:07 PM »
Potatoes may be cheaper to buy, but at a restaurant you also add bacon, cheese, sour cream, butter, not to mention they take like 2 hours to bake in the oven. Time=Money. Fries take like 5 minutes in the fryer.

wrhssaxensemble

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2008, 01:19:41 PM »
Thats what I thought but unless I am reading his post wrong, I thought he said that the end product ends up costing less anyways which I would assume includes the extra stuff too

EarlCat

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2008, 08:50:04 PM »
What he does is hardly as upsetting as reading someone like Julie Fern speak like a caveman while being rude and calling people names like "shitbreath" because they disagree with her/him/it.  Where are you people when that happens?

Julie Fern is at least humorous on occasion, and her caveman-speak is more well thought-out than anything on the RickLax site.

Addendum Boy

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2008, 10:45:06 PM »
Not to take sides, but anyone else think it is a little weird the manager just took the employees side even before he looked into it? Never had a boss act like that before at one of my jobs considering the usual motto is that "the customer is always right"?

Maybe the manager took one look at the dude and hated him too.

mason123

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2008, 01:15:52 AM »

Julie Fern is at least humorous on occasion, and her caveman-speak is more well thought-out than anything on the RickLax site.

Agreed.

hbb

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2008, 03:05:12 AM »
Quote
Is this spam?  He's just copy/pasting entries from his blog.


"Spamming" is of course a subjective term, but repeatedly starting pointless threads that link to another site is something many folks would consider spam...

NoUsername

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Re: Another Restaurant Fight
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2008, 08:55:34 AM »
Every story has two sides.  Thats one of them.  I have a hard time imagining a restaurant being successful if the manager was truly as unnecessarily abrasive as you describe.  In other words, I don't believe you.

Also, who the hell argues about $2.50 on a bill in a restaurant?  Its just classless.  If it really irked you that much, you could have written on the bill "I subtracted 2.50 from your tip for the fries you said I could substitute for free and then charged me for."

I remember once as a teenager I was working retail.  It was a busy Saturday and this lady bought something for about $20.  Then she comes back an hour later, stands in line for 10 minutes, finally gets up to the register, and complains about the fact that she was charged $20 when the price on the box said $19.  I just wanted to scream "I am sitting here making $5.15 an hour and I will give you a dollar out of my own pocket if you get the @#!* out of my store and never return."  People who have nothing better to do than argue about miniscule amounts of money are pathetic.  If I took a crap and then noticed there wasn't any paper, I'd wipe my ass with a $5 without thinking twice.  You sit in a restaurant after you are done eating and could be going about the rest of your evening, and you make a scene while everyone else is probably waiting for refills or their food is sitting there waiting to be carried out, over $2.50.  If you make half as much as the average lawyer, the time you wasted doing that was worth more than $2.50.