Bait and Switch

And the Conseling group grows to three!  Thank you Mark in Atlanta for your story.  I share your pain on this one – it has happened to me many times as well.


Thank you, thank you, thank you for starting this site!  My friends and I have been talking about it all weekend.  You are right, about halfway through a frustrating guest issue, I start thinking, “Is this worthy to send in”?  🙂

This story isn’t necessarily as funny as yours, but it is something that happens a lot and happened tonight.  I figured it might help me calm down as I am still fuming from this table.

A table of four comes into the restaurant.  They all place their order and the food goes out exactly as ordered.  The guests take a few bites and then the fun begins.

“Mark, table 39 needs to see you.  They are not happy with the food.  Two of the ladies are saying their food is cold”

“Why didn’t you just bring their food back to the kitchen and cook them a new order”, I say.

“I tried, but they immediately asked for you”

Now, after years of experience, when a guest has an issue and they will only talk to the manager, I know they want a deal of some kind, not just new food.  So I take a deep breath and head to the table.

“Ladies, Sebastian said you were not happy with your food”

The lady across the table speaks up, “No we aren’t.  These two dishes are ice cold”.  She points to a stuffed flounder the lady to her left is eating and the chicken pasta she is eating.

“I’m sorry ladies.  With only 15 tables in the building, I am not sure how that could have happened.  Let me run back to the kitchen and rush you out two new fresh and hot dishes”

I start to grab their plates and the lady who spoke first says, “what are you going to bring us”?

“I am going to have the chef cook you a new stuffed flounder and new pasta dish”

“Well we don’t want that now.  It might come out cold again and we don’t have all night”

I am a bit confused so I say, “It won’t take long.  Are you sure you don’t want me to recook these for you?  I assure you they won’t be cold.”

The lady (who, by the way, never changed the mean look on her face the entire time) says, “We don’t want THOSE dishes.  You can give us two more of what she is having”.  She points to the New York Strip the lady to her right is eating.

Before I go on, let me make sure you are following along….

  1. We are not busy.  The food they have all came out of the kitchen at the exact same time, which would make it almost impossible for 2 items to be hot and 2 items to be cold.
  2. Their complaint was that their food was COLD, not that they didn’t like it
  3. They “don’t have time to wait”
  4. The New York Strip they now want takes longer to cook AND is about $7 more

We cook them their Medium Well steaks and they eat all of their food.  The server brings them the bill and again, they immediately ask for me.

“Ladies, how were the New York Strips”?

“They were OK”    *** It is important when trying to get something for free that you never say anything was good, including the service, the atmosphere, the host that sat you, EVERYTHING must be bad or just “OK”

She continues, “You guys sent out ice cold food, we had to wait almost 20 extra minutes for our steaks to come out, and now we get a bill with no discount”??

“Well ma’am, I explained when you ordered the steaks that they take a long time.  I offered to cook you the same dishes that you originally ordered as they can be cooked in half the time and you chose the steaks.”

I guess my response had a bit of snappyness to it, so it caused her to UP her voice.  “SO, YOUR COOKS SEND OUT NASTY COLD FOOD AND IT IS OUR FAULT? ARE YOU SAYING WE SHOULD HAVE SUCKED IT UP AND ATE THAT CRAP!”  (sorry Matt, I had to change that word to crap)  “ON TOP OF THAT, OUR FRIENDS FINISHED EATING 20 MINUTES BEFORE WE EVEN GOT OUR FOOD!”

This conversation went on for a good 10 minutes, until I finally said, “OK, I will take 50% off your bill”

REALLY??!!!   Yes, really.  I know they lied to get a deal on the steaks, but when dealing with a crazy person, if you try to reason with them and they only get worse, they will end up getting something free from corporate anyway. So in my scenario, I cooked a total of 6 meals and was paid for 2.


And there you have it – the free meal 🙂  (or in this case, a severly discounted meal)

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