Four Days Left

Fire School Weekend wasn’t a total bust, Saturday night was sorta busy and the money was good, but still nothing like in years past.  The SW managed to rack up 3 complaints on Friday night from people who were sick of her hovering at their table, talking and high pressure selling them desserts.  She thinks she’s being attentive.  The customers think she’s being annoying.

Case in point:  Three firemen came in for dinner and she suggested they come in for lunch on Saturday.  The said they had a free lunch at the fire hall that they wanted to go to.  She hassled, nagged and cajoled them even as they were walking out the door. 

“We can get you in and out in no time.”

“Aww…that’s okay, we want to do the free lunch.”

“Our food will be better.  You should come and tell your friends to come, too.”

“They will be at the free lunch.  The food’s pretty good at the fire hall.”

“Yes, but it won’t be as good as ours.  And we have homemade dessert.”

“Uh…no.  We’re doing the free lunch.”

“Well come in for dinner tomorrow night and bring your friends.”

“We have other plans for dinner.”

“Are you sure?”

HOLY CRAP LADY!  I stood with my mouth hanging open as these guys tried to run for the door while still being polite.  I thought only carnies were that skilled (and shameless) with their strong arm sales tactics.  I always thought the first rule of business was “Don’t argue with the customers.”

One of the other servers said the SW hounded one of her tables about dessert until they bought two pieces of bread pudding and left both of them untouched.  Yeah, that’s good for business.

The thing is, customers don’t care that she is the owner.  They are doing HER a favour by patronizing her business, yet she acts as if she is doing them a favour by selling them some fucking bread pudding.  Customers come out to eat with and talk to their friends/family.  They do NOT come out to be nagged into buying something they didn’t want or to be interrupted every 3 minutes with a water refill.  The SW does NOT do silent refills.  She engages in conversation, asks questions, suggests dessert, over and over and over.  I know if I was a customer, I wouldn’t go back.  I do not like to be pressured into buying something, I do not want someone at my table all the time, and I’m not there to be best friends with the staff.

She needs to get a clue.  This won’t be a problem in the summer, but it will be a problem with the locals next winter.  Oh, what do I care? 


Every day I’m at the Harribalsac I think of things I will not have to deal with at the new place and I rejoice.

1.  The fucking salad bar.  I can’t tell you how happy I am that the new place does not have a salad bar.  I will not have to fight with people about sharing it, I will not have to listen to people bitch because the salad bar doesn’t come with every meal.  I will not feel like crushing someone’s skull for being the 10th person at a table to ask, “Can I just have the salad bar instead of the side dishes?”


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Saffire
    May 03, 2011 @ 18:16:36

    Oh wow, how I’m could she be??
    You don’t practically beg people to come back and you sure as hell don’t force them to buy desserts if they don’t want them, I know I for one don’t order a dessert after my meal if im either too full or don’t feel like having any of the desserts on the menu.
    No amount of pressure is going to change that and I’ll only get annoyed if they push it.
    Actually I’ve never had someone try to push me into ordering something at a restaurant but I’m alittle snobbish when it comes to eatting out and prefer the classier more expensive places (make up for the expense by not eatting at restaurants often =P )
    Goodluck at the new place!

    A $3 dessert isn’t worth losing a customer. She needs to figure that out.


  2. DarcKnyt
    May 03, 2011 @ 19:19:27

    Yeah, it’s hard to figure why the restaurant’s folding. Next winter should be interesting when she’s driven off every customer she might have with pressuring them to buy something they don’t want.

    IF it’s even still in business then.

    The locals will either find somewhere else to go or tell her off.


  3. DarcsFalcon
    May 03, 2011 @ 23:27:41

    People, especially men, can smell “desperate” a mile away.

    HAHAHA! Don’t I know it!

    She’s driving business away, and come next winter, no one there will have you to blame. I wonder who the fall guy will be?

    Probably Darren.


  4. skippymom
    May 04, 2011 @ 04:11:51

    That would drive me nuts – and they were so polite. I don’t know that I could’ve been. That is the kind of service I don’t want/need and I would’ve cut her off – owner or not.

    I wouldn’t have been polite either. I don’t like being strong armed.

    Glad you are close to being gone from there.

    That’s what you think.


    • Rachel
      May 04, 2011 @ 08:29:23

      There’s a store that I used to go to that I don’t anymore, for the same reason. I liked the clothes…but every time I walked in, I got assaulted by somewhere between 3-4 employees asking me how I was, if I needed anything, to tell them if I wanted something, exc. I just can’t shop like that…and I can imagine what it would be like trying to eat like that!

      I warn sales people off me once, then I get mean. Same goes for overzealous servers/managers/owners.


  5. wigsf
    May 04, 2011 @ 04:52:06

    Geez that’s annoying

    More than a little.


  6. Rachel
    May 04, 2011 @ 08:27:44

    This is why restaurant owners and corporate staff should stay the hell away from their restaurants if they know what’s good for them. I have yet to meet one owner or corporate paper-pusher who actually understood how to talk to customers, make them comfortable, or run a restaurant with any efficiency. At best, they are an annoyance…and worst, they are trying to powerfeed customers desserts to make the restaurant an extra 3.50.

    Something I haven’t addressed is how much she pisses off the servers. I know employees don’t count, but when you don’t have any help they become a little important. Servers rely on tips and work really hard to make sure people are happy and want to be generous. The SW acts like we don’t understand the concept of making people happy and she explains it to us Some of us have been in food service far longer than she’s owned a restaurant and we live and breathe customer relations. It’s is condescending to explain this shit to us and frustrating to watch our hard work go down the drain for a fucking dessert.


    • Rachel
      May 04, 2011 @ 21:01:50

      Ugh–she sounds like a piece of work. This is the same woman who chased off a young couple over a b-day sundae? Common sense does not seem to be her friend.

      Yep. Same one.

      And it would appear that the experienced servers are fleeing her her restaurant like rats from a sinking ship. I feel that when they hold seminars for these mindless paper-pusher types to take, they should throw in the hint that when your experienced staff starts deserting you, you know that your business is in trouble.

      If one of my senior servers refused to come to work one day and gave her notice the next day, I’d want to know why. She’s never even asked. Summer help comes and goes, people who have been there for years don’t usually refuse to come to work unless it’s important. I haven’t missed a day of work (other than scheduled vacations) in 3 1/2 years. Again, if I were her, I’d have to ask why.


  7. paulac7
    May 04, 2011 @ 10:33:34

    I agree with everyone else–I fucking *HATE* to be ‘vultured’ at–

    (Vultured=like when you walk onto a car lot and within a millisecond, 15 salesman are fistfighting each other to get to you…….Yes, I make up my own words as I go along, or it might be a Western PA thing–not sure).

    Great term! I might have to steal it.

    Isn’t it kind of neat, when you are in your ‘notice’ period of employment, how much stuff you see/hear that aggravates the living crap out of you?? It’s almost like your whole perception changes…..

    This stuff irritated the crap out of me, which is why I am in my ‘notice’ period. Now, I just smile and remind myself it won’t be much longer.

    I hate when the corporate people come down, and annoy me with trivial things like “why are you wearing a bandanna, instead of our crappy company-provided hat?”–I usually tell them

    they should go bother the servers who are munching right off of the customers plates in the pass-thru while waiting for the rest of the order

    WTF?! That’s just WRONG.

    and leave me the hell alone. (that’s why I work BOH with my sharp knives and scissors that most likely could cut a finger off…..).

    I would SO love to work a shift with you–the trouble we could cause !! Bit far to commute, though……

    We would be fired in no time. 🙂



  8. Hira Animfefte
    May 04, 2011 @ 20:38:28

    It sounds like the SW believed the training guy’s sales BS. Was she there at that event? It doesn’t matter. She’s drinking the same kool-aid…and it doesn’t work! If a customer wants dessert, they’ll order it.

    No, she wasn’t there. Everyone needs to put the Kook-Aid down.

    Nagging customers to come back will ensure they never will. I know I wouldn’t. Yikes.

    Me neither.

    It’s almost over!



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