The customer is a̶l̶w̶a̶y̶s̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶, most of time
At the end of the day you won't be able to please everybody. But to successfully run a restaurant you must try to please as many people as possible. I'd like to say I do a satisfactory job at this. I am very attentive to people's needs and keep on top of things. I try to remain patient and calm at all times. Even when people are irritating or difficult to manage, I usually handle the situation in a swift matter. After many years of working in this business, I have inevitably become a natural people pleaser. It also helps that I am friendly and genuinely enjoy serving others. But once in a while you get a certain type of person that is almost nearly impossible to please. A person which likely causes trouble in any situation they attend. A person that nothing you can say or do will ever satisfy them. A person who thinks they are above you. A person who you do not want as a customer. And sometimes that person needs to be put in their place.
Every so often I had a customer that would come into the restaurant who was this type of person. She would take a seat at the counter, never smile , never say hello, and was extremely demanding. To make things worse she always found something to complain about. Every single time. She didn't like the food, she didn't like my dad, the service was never fast enough for her, food was too cold, food was too hot, etc. And not only did she complain, she complained in a very nasty and demeaning way. I really think this woman would purposely look for trouble, because if you hate a place so much why do you keep going back. My dad actually got argumentative with her a few times making her angry, but it was never bad enough to stop her from coming back. I, on the other hand, was always nice when I would serve her even when she wasn't. I would somehow manage to smile, keep my calm, and just let her be. Even when she was wrong, I would pretend she was right. The last thing you want to do in the restaurant business is be confrontational with customers. Deep inside though, I wanted so bad to just call her out on her behavior and tell her to never come back again.
And one day it finally happened. I don't know what got into me that day but I was busy running around the restaurant--and from the corner of my eye I see this woman approach the door. That was the moment I decided---today was the day. I decided the moment a complaint comes out of this woman's mouth, I am going to let her have it. Of course it only took minutes before things started to escalate. As per usual she walks in without saying hello, and naturally I go to hand her a menu. She literally throws her hand in my face and goes "I DON'T WAN'T A MENU." In my head I was thinking "Oh god here we go." But she didn't start complaining yet, just being her rude usual self--so I let it go briefly. She continues with a demanding request for chicken soup. I quickly go to get it and place it in front of her. She proceeds to eat her soup--when all of a sudden--she snaps. She pushes the bowl back towards me close to splashing the hot soup onto me, and screams "I DON'T LIKE THIS." Literally screams "I don't like this." Acting like a child forced to eat broccoli for dessert or something. Except she's not a child, and our soup is delicious. If it were any other day I would have most likely just apologized and tried to compensate for her unhappiness. But this time I was mentally prepared for her shenanigans. I wasn't going to smile and pretend it's okay to act like that. I looked her in the eye and with a loud but composed tone of voice I go to her--"Every SINGLE time you come here you have something BAD to say, EVERY SINGLE TIME you complain, if you don't like it why do you come back here?" She looked at me stunned, you could tell I caught her by surprise with my words. She started nervously scrambling for words and became very defensive. I wasn't trying to argue with her though, I just wanted her just leave and not come back. So I just sat there quietly while she kept ranting. Finally in a threatening way she yells "I DON'T WANT TO EAT HERE, I AM LEAVING." She gets up and starts walking towards the door. Then hilarity ensued. On the way out she runs up to my mother to tell her what a bad and disrespectful daughter I am, and that she should be ashamed. But my mom knew I did the right thing and took my side (which is a rarity), and basically told her to get lost. And there she went, and I haven't seen her since. I hope I don't see her again, and if I do I hope she's changed her attitude. Otherwise i will not stand for her nonsense anymore.
What happened with this lady is everything I try to avoid in the restaurant business. Even if people are being rude or annoying, you just have to suck it up and go with that "customer is always right" mentality. But in reality the customer isn't always right, the customer can't always be right. And sometimes it's worth risking the reputation of your business to stick up for yourself, and put a person who is wrong in their place.