Sunday, February 20, 2011

We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone


Customers come in all different forms, shapes and sizes. I have my typical local customer that comes in every week, wanting to sit in the same spot, order the same drink and order the same meal. I have my business customers who come in anytime they are in town. I have the non-English speaking tourists who are annoying and don't tip well. I have my tourists who are cool and tip very well. I have my regulars. I have people whom I've ever seen before. And then there are the customers who get 86ed.

It takes a lot for a business to "86" a customer. In today's economy, no one can really afford to pick and choose their customers. Customers keep the lights on and the paychecks coming each week. So when a customer gets 86ed from a restaurant/bar, its for good reason.

I have seen a handful of customers get 86ed from the bars I have worked at over the years. There are many reasons why a customer would be 86ed from a bar like refusing to pay their tab, annoying other customers, stalking employees, getting smashed and destroying private property, threatening employees or other customers or using the bar as a public restroom.

We used to have this one customer who would sit at the bar by himself while eating his salad and drinking his beer while listening to headphones. Sure, he was a little odd, but he always seemed to keep to himself and pay his tab. That is until he started having his girlfriend join him at the bar. Whenever these two would come in together, they would always fight and cause a scene. One of the last times these two came into the bar, they not only got into a fight, but the woman stormed out of the restaurant. The guy announced that he would not be paying for the tab. We pointed out to him that he was essentially stealing from the restaurant and that he was not allowed to come back.

When he tried coming back into the restaurant a couple of weeks later, we had to politely remind him that we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Especially people who publicly skip out on their tab whenever their girlfriends storm out of the restaurant during a fight.

We had another customer who had frequented our bar for far too long. Each time the customer would come in, the entire staff would dread it and avoid her if they could. With each glass of wine she drank, the louder and more obnoxious she would get. Eventually it got to the point where her conversation topics and the volume of her voice were just too inappropriate for our restaurant environment. We had to draw the line when she started inflicting her bad behavior on a poor, unsuspecting couple who was celebrating their anniversary.

Months later this this customer stumbled into our restaurant after hours, saddled up to the bar and couldn't even see straight. Instead of wasting our time explaining to her why her business was no longer welcomed at our bar, we just offered to call her a cab.

Then there was that crackhead who had wandered into our restaurant.
It only took her an hour to get 86ed from our restaurant permanently.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prohibits restaurants from refusing service to patrons on the basis of race, color, religion, or natural origin. We do reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who acts like a fool and bothers all of the other paying customers around them.

4 comments:

The Restaurant Manager said...

Sometimes people leave you no choice but to 86 them. Good post!

Who is Felicia? said...

Girlfriend, a crackhead wouldn't last 2 minutes in our bar before we'd 86 him/her.

S.C. said...

I think that it's really necessary for restaurants/bars to have the right to refuse service to anyone. Some people out there just do not realize how unacceptable their behavior is! Anyone familiar with the service industry should agree that sometimes you just have to stop serving them and either let them be escorted out or let them leave by themselves. I think it is especially important to have that rule when intoxicated people are involved with the situation because then things can just turn violent. And you guys were really nice to not have called the cops on the guy who skipped out on his bill. That’s awful of him!

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