Restaurateurs Miffed at Rude Customers

Staff Writer
These 2 restaurant owners wrote about customers who ticked them off last weekend
Restaurateurs Miffed at Rude Customers
Veer/Blend Images Photography

This morning we reported on New York Magazine's feature about Per Se's blacklisted customers (from those who vomit during meals to those who have sex in the bathroom). Well, it looks like more restaurant proprietors are airing their grievances.

In New York, Alex Stupak of Empellón spoke up about an incident this past weekend that prompted a negative Yelp review. "The owner was disrespectful, and actually downright nasty, to a few of us because of where we were standing at the bar (and ordering drinks). It was the end of the bar, close to a table where Michael J. Fox was sitting. The owner was nasty because he heard that we were commenting to each other about a celebrity sighting," the reviewer wrote.

Stupak took to the web site in defense, saying that celebrity gawking is "downright rude," and that "all we do is respect [celebrities'] privacy and try our best to give them a great experience." All of this was under a post titled, "When Is It Time to Fire a Customer?" Ouch.

In Evanston, Ill., Eddie Lakin of Edzo's Burger Shop crafted an angry blog post about a customer he calls "Rude Woman." His burger joint, best known for creamy shakes, truffle fries, and fresh-ground burger patties, is also known for small seating spaces and crowded Saturdays.

Lakin put up a sign in the restaurant asking customers not to grab seats unless they have food in their hands. "We find that, regardless of how busy we are, if people follow this rule, we nearly always have enough room to fit everyone in," he wrote on his blog, chicagomatic. On Saturday, Lakin confronted a woman who decided to sit before her party ordered, and through persistance, got her way.

After the meal, the woman reportedly went up to Lakin to complain. "First of all, she says it was rude of me to 'embarrass her' in front of her group and the other customers," Lakin wrote. Eventually she left, after poring over an itemized receipt, but then called the store and asked to speak to the manager (not knowing Lakin is the manager and owner).

"Obviously, she wanted to go above my head to get me in trouble. In my situation, that obviously won't work, but it really pissed me off to think about the fact that this woman was doing this," Lakin wrote.

What do you think? Is the customer always right? Or should owners be allowed to fire customers?

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.