Yes, there’s such a thing. Remember that movie or guy/lady who caused a scene in the restaurant. That guy knows their restaurant rights. Although no amount of bad service should warrant you to go to the lowest of the low in a dining area, it’s critical to know the type of service due to you as a restaurant customer. Think of it as a Restaurant Customer Manifesto of Rights. No customer gets left behind on this one — it applies to EVERYBODY from the most polite customer to the guy still yelling obscenities about his mistaken order to a shaken waitress.
Highly Important! Most restaurants serve their customers largely by what they look like. Wealthy looking, sophisticated diners get treated better in anticipation of a good tip. Younger and not-so-well-dressed customers (who are also not white in some grub joints) are not given upper hand treatment. The tendency to treat diners differently based off of looks is one of the restaurant industry’s biggest service problems.
A reputable restaurant in Harare faced backlash recently after a number of black Zimbabweans complained about not getting stellar service as compared to white Zimbabwean diners in that restaurant. See my point?
We all know that there are certain things in life that deserve more than just lip service, like the customer’s right to be treated without discrimination. So on this day of our lord (not really) we establish The Restaurant Customer Bill Of Rights: 10 Commandments for when you go out with your family or coworkers and find something nice enough to eat at a restaurant today!
Never mind how absolutely ridiculous your order was: You Deserve that dumbass order just how it was sworn to you. Ordered your food extra spicy? If the restaurant promised you that then you deserve to breathe fire like the dragon you are. Ordered your pizza but less meaty? Your tastebuds are terrible, but sure, you deserve to get that boring, rounded pressed bread. As long as the restaurant promised that your order was something they could do, you deserve your food just how you wanted it.
No matter how dickish you as a customer are, or if you don’t tip enough, your food should not be spit in or messed in any way. Any disagreements or arguments that you have with the staff DO NOT mean that you can now be treated as the problem that you are. You are still reserved the right to decent treatment and food that does not have a spiteful waitress’ oral DNA in it.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve faked an allergy just because you didn’t want to eat something – if you say you have something, you have it and your order should be handled as such. That doesn’t excuse servers or cooks from putting your life at risk because they don’t care about allergies. You should be treated with respect, whether your symptoms lead to anaphylactic shock or slightly feeling sick.
Admittedly, some restaurants are busier than others and their servers can be unbearably overwhelmed. This doesn’t mean that they can’t pop in for a second to say “Hi’ and let you know that they’ll be with you in a second. You have the right to top tier service.
We get it. Maybe you’re a talker. Maybe you absolutely love the sound of your voice and want to practice what it would feel like ordering food like the French do. Or perhaps you’re ordering a popular dish that is an utter mouthful? Your. Waiter. Should. NOT. Interrupt. You! Yes, it may be a busy place but they can’t interject just because they want things to move faster.
Trying to hit on your servers or getting hit on by servers or managers or anyone else is unacceptable. You’re in their establishment to enjoy their food and service, nothing else. There is never an instance when this behaviour is excusable. Remember that it works both ways too.
Wrong orders happen. Maybe you wanted your steak tasting like shoe leather (also known as extra well-done steak) but they had the audacity to serve it to you medium-rare. And what about that strand of possibly pubic hair you found in your gravy? You most certainly didn’t order that! Anyhoo…no matter what caused the problem, your server has to fix it. If they argue with you, blame you or anything else out of their job description, that’s a problem.
As a customer, your right is for your concerns to be taken seriously.
Let’s set this one straight…Your waiter has a right to recommend a better way to order your food. If you’re ordering chocolate ice cream but want mint toppings, your waiter can recommend something better, you mixing monster! BUT, of course, they CANNOT force it on you. Only gently recommend.
Under no circumstances can they make crude remarks like, “Oh, ordering the cheese fudge are we? Shouldn’t we be watching our weight?”. The hell, man! Messed up. You should report anyone that says that to you. It’s a no-brainer. Shouldn’t happen.
This is obvious, but we’ve all seen it happen to someone. Part of your waiter’s job is to serve you perfectly – with grace too. Getting soups, drinks or anything else spilled on you is a no-no. If you’re a tipper, your waiter shouldn’t give you the death stare if you decide not to tip.
I hope this list has helped you straighten out any vague advances or events that have happened to you in a food establishment. Have you ever felt disrespected at a restaurant? Did you ask to speak to the manager or did you let it slide? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below. Happy Dining!