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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Customers Behaving Badly

Haalo's post "That's Gold" from 16/4/07 got me to thinking (always a very dangerous thing).

Bad chefs disappear but bad customers just go to a different restaurant.

Using the example as quoted if Shannon was a bad chef with a bad restaurant he would lose customers, go broke and never be heard of again. If Mr Kelson on the other hand was a bad customer he would just move on.

In other words a bad customer is always a bad customer, while a bad chef becomes something else, a food critic or restaurant reviewer perhaps? Or, giving them the benefit of the doubt, a good Waiter / Blogger / Doctor etc.

Now with this in mind I would like to collect some customer reviews. Please fell free to comment and add any you, gentle reader, have come across. Some indication of accuracy would be great, i.e.:

First hand - you actually heard/said it.
Second hand - someone you trust heard/said it.
Third hand - you read it in the media.
Urban Legend - everything else!
I wish - Totally made up or something you wish you could have said/heard.

I'm only interested in the spoken or written word, no special sauce stories please.

I'll kick it off with two.

First Hand - Gordon Ramsay in Hells Kitchen. "Take these blond bimbos back to plastic surgery" a little unjustly I thought, surprisingly, they where actually complaining over not getting their food.

Gordon is sure to be a veritable gold mine of customer reviews, what I'm really would like are the unpublished gems such as:

Second Hand - Waiter in a SOHO restaurant (Wong Kee, I believe, circa 1999) in London. "If you want quick service you f*** off to McDonald's." This is one of my favourites.

and I'll repeat a third:

Third Hand - Shannon Bennett's "The biggest positive I draw from your email is that I am sure you will never walk through the restaurant doors again and will choose to eat a hamburger instead … for that I am truly thankful."

Not as succinct as my second example but far more eloquently put!

Get the drift. If you are concerned with libel email one of us your story and we'll ensure no one can be recognised.

I have more, they will come.

I've changed the title of this post (from Customer reviews) to clarify that I'm more interested in retorts to bad customers rather than indications of bad restaurants. The jury is out on Wong Kee at the moment, Is this a restaurant with great food and bad service? or, does it attact fussy customers looking for abuse? or, ????

6 comments:

  1. Hah. Womg Kee never changes. Circa 1988:
    "Could i have something just stir fired with just vegetables and no nuts."
    "No!. You choose from menu or you get out!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. This eatery does seem to have a reputation, but the food must be good, if the queues means anything, I tried to go there one cold damp November night but a one hour wait didn't seem to be worth it.

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  3. A friend of mine walked in Wong Kee and asked for duck. The waiter replied "You want duck? F*ck off." Although I wasn't there at the time so I can't guarantee it's true...They were never that rude to me, but to be honest the point of going there got to be to see if they were rude to you. Bit like the Soup Nazi I guess. There are much better places just round the corner. Love the blog BTW.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just remembered a first hand one I have (also in London, I've only just moved here) I'm really into Mexican food and have cooked my way through Rick Bayless and Diana Kennedy, but it's almost impossible to get authentic stuff in London. Went to this new place where I had been promised great things and the food was dire. Boyf's mole sauce was inedible and the hottest thing I have ever been served. Asked the waiter to try it and he dipped his pinky in and said "It's supposed to be like that." I argued, and explained that I cook a lot of mexican food. His reply? "Have you ever been to Mexico?" I explain no, I've not got there yet and he told me "Then you know nothing about Mexican food."

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous13:00

    well I have a tale from the Wong Kee circa mid 80's. and I saw this. A grp of 6 yuppies spending as much money as you could there - which to be honest is not a lot - recieved the bill and tried to pay with a credit card - which they do not take ( cash only - no cheques) and between all of them they never had the cash to cover the bill - so as the wiater became very annimated and about 6 chefs left the kitchen with clevers and surronded the yuppies, they ended up leaving their rolex watches whilst they went for the cash - was all very entertaining ! until the guy i was having dinner with decided to have some fun and tried to pay with a $10 casio watch. we left the cash and legged it!
    all true and thanks for reminding me about the Wong Kee
    Garry
    A Brissie Chef

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Paalo. Wanted to send this directly, but I can't see a contact link - your post mentions anonymising a comment if someone wants to avoid libel issues. But if any party felt they had been libelled, you (as the publisher) would also be responsible. That notwithstanding, it's a fun post and the anecdotes are great:)

    ReplyDelete

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