So Much For Iowa Nice – Stop Treating Restaurant Workers Badly
"The customer is always right" is an old adage that should be thrown out the window.
For everything, we went through collectively as a society in 2020, the fear, the heartache, and disappointment, it was really refreshing to see people starting to treat each other nicely. Everything from random acts of kindness to just being polite in general.
Don't be a "Karen"
This spring and summer, as we started to see restrictions loosen up and had a hope of returning back to "normalcy", some people are right back to being jerks again. Yes, the "Karens" of the world are in full force and they "want to speak to the manager". If you're not familiar with the term "Karen", it's someone who acts as self-entitled as they are ignorant, rude, and ill-mannered (the male equivalent appears to be a "Ken").
Give restaurant workers a break - simple mistakes can happen
An example of restaurant patrons behaving badly, recently happened at Rudy's Tacos in Waterloo when a large party tried to reserve their new outside patio over the phone. Owner, Anthony Mashek explained that there appeared to be a simple miscommunication between our lunch and supper shift employees on what time the reservation was for. This could have been our fault or the customers since the time for the reservation was never taken.
Mashek continued to explain that when the group arrived, we didn’t have quite enough room for all 16 people on the patio, as some people were just finishing their meals. I offered the back half of the restaurant as a substitute since there was no one sitting back there. He raised his voice and said they were promised the patio and stormed off after saying they were going somewhere else to eat.
Within a couple of minutes, a woman came in (I assume it was the wife of the man) and demanded to speak to the person in charge. I went to go talk with her and explain the situation, I was only able to get a few words out before she raised her voice and started waving her finger in my face. I continued to try and explain the situation, but she kept talking over me and wouldn’t let me get a word out. During this 3-5-minute exchange, a group from the patio had gotten up to leave and the wait staff went to clear off the table making enough room for this group of 16.
"In my 10+ years (3.5 years as the owner of Rudy’s and Lava Lounge) in the service industry, I have never been treated with more disrespect than what was shown to me by this couple. I’m just glad I was at Rudy’s on this night so my staff didn’t have to deal with this. I don’t care what your last name is or how much money you have, all customers that enter my front doors are going to be treated equally and I ask that you do the same to my staff and myself." - Anthony Mashek - Owner Rudy's Tacos
Mashek concluded by saying, as soon as the couple figured out that we had enough room on the patio to fit their entire group. They then preceded to be super happy and the nicest people you have ever met.
Wow, what hypocrites. So "Karen and Ken" got their way after showing absolutely no grace to a fellow human being. I'm not sure if it's just the social and political climate we live in right now, or if people are just "over the edge" because of this pandemic, but I sure would like to know why these people are so self-righteous.
Dan Price is the CEO of the online credit card processing company Gravity Payments:
On the other hand, this doesn't mean a customer can't be unhappy or dissatisfied with the quality of service and the food served. I'm sure there are managers out there who would want you to tell them about an employee acting rudely or if your food isn't quite right. However, you can express some restraint and be civil about it.
No Vaccine, No Service!
COVID-19 cases related to the highly transmissible delta variant are on the rise. This sad fact is only setting things up to get worse, as many large cities including, New York, Chicago, and San Diego are requiring proof of vaccination to dine inside. This new policy will surely set off even more confrontations with anti-vaxxers. Restaurant owners have their "backs up against the wall" trying to please everyone, while not turning away customers.
As Mashek said in his Facebook post (above), "our employees deserve the same amount of respect customers expect when they walk through our doors. Never do our employees deserve to be yelled and screamed at, being treated like they are lesser than those they are serving. We are all people and all people deserve respect." Amen to that.