Sometimes in the restaurant business things happen that make you stop and think, “I could NEVER make this shit up!”
The following just happened and I’m still reeling everytime I think about it.
A woman calls up for a reservation, wanting to use her coupon from a well known company that rhymes with the word. Wonderful, that’s why I sent them out. Now, we only take “Coupons” before 6pm and after 8pm on Friday and Saturday evenings, always have, always will. This rule was actually sent to every participant as an amendment from the very company that issued it!
Said woman calls on a Saturday night looking for a reservation that evening. Dan, my trusted Maitre d’, took the call and explained the “coupon” rules we had set forth in our deal, saying she could not come in at 6:30 and that we were over booked. He said it over and over and this woman still barked at him on the phone saying, “I’ll come in whenever the fuck I want, I have a “COUPON!” Now anyone that knows me will attest that this is not the best way to get what you want from me. Dan remained cordial and gave in saying, “Okay if you can get here by 6:15 we will squeeze you in but you might have to wait a little bit.” She took the reservation and hung up in mid-sentence.
At 6:50 that evening, this woman and her Napoleonic, scumbag husband pop in, poorly dressed and a bit drunk and this is what ensued – Dan SAID, “We expected you nearly 45 minutes ago, I’m sorry but we had to give your table away. We tried to call the number we had for you but it went right to voice mail.” “WHAT! yelled the woman, bitch that she was, so loud that the entire restaurant was staring at her! Dan came to the kitchen to tell me of the comotion and I had to come out! When I’m in the middle of a full house, on a Saturday night and we’re short one man in the kitchen, it’s unsettling to have to come out to address a man-child and his savage wife kicking and screaming in MY FUCKING DINING ROOM!
“Sir, how can I help you?” I asked. “You will seat us now! We had a reservation! “Sir, I understand that we tried to accomodate you and in return you show up 45 minutes late for the agreed upon reservation AND your wife had the audacity to swear and yell at my manager over the phone earlier today. “I do not like the fact that you are disrupting an otherwise lovely dining room with your silly behavior and I now refuse to seat you, good night” I turned to head back to the kitchen and this asshole spit on my back! It is only by the grace of God and the fear in Dans eyes that this rotten little motherfucker lived to see fresh air again.
I took $60 out of my pocket, threw it at him and told him he could stick his coupon up his ass.. I am 6’1, 330 pounds and and this guy was maybe 5 feet tall and a buck twenty soaking wet. He was lucky I caught a glimpse of all the wide-eyed guests in the dining room. I, quite out out of charactor mind you, decided to take the high road and allowed this prick to live to fuck with other restaurant owners.
(I apologize to all my fellow restaurant owners for releasing this animal back into the wild.)
They left in a huge huff threatning of course to ruin me. (Give me a fucking break. These ding-a-lings have to lineup behind the people that want to ruin me.) As they stumbled out, the entire restaurant began clapping in unison. I promply apologized to each table individually and poured champagne for everyone in the house. We also issued $25 gift certificates to each couple. These neofites cost me a bunch of money that night but everyone loved that I stood up for my staff and the restaurant. After all, there’s a limit to the shit I can take and these idiots tap danced all over that line.
After throwing the happy couple out, Dan, in his infinite wisdom asked : “Michael, what if he’s in the Mafia or something?” “I laughed out loud and pointed out, “He’s driving a beat up, shit box BMW and he has a coupon! Are you serious? Like I said, you can’t make this stuff up!”