What is wrong with parents? They don’t miss a chance to school little Emma or Noah on the importance of eating their vegetables, listening in class and not setting the house on fire. But what about the dangers of hurling animals in anger? That lapse is catching up with society, as this week’s roundup of restaurant nightmares attests.
Customer nightmare of the week: The snake roll
As we reported several weeks ago, a young man in Florida thought it would be hilarious to toss an alligator through the drive-thru window of a fast-food restaurant. Not to be outdone, a customer of a Los Angeles sushi joint took out his frustration with the establishment’s no-animals policy by lobbing a 13-foot python into the dining area.
Earlier, Hiroshi Motohashi had been chastened by the management of Sushi of Tokyo for brandishing a much smaller snake at the end of a $200 meal. The critter had apparently been curled in a pocket. Angered that his patronage wasn’t sufficiently valued to except him from local sanitation laws, Motohashi left at management’s request and returned with the scarier bright-yellow reptile. Then he hung around to watch the mayhem, eventually helping police extract the snake from a cashier’s station.
Instead of being thanked, Motohashi was arrested for suspicion of making threats. He’d apparently never heard restaurateurs’ contention that Yelp is a veritable haven for snakes.
Management nightmare of the week: Robbed during the job interview
Hiring qualified candidates is tough enough. The manager of a Popeyes in New Orleans had the added challenge of an applicant’s interview being interrupted by a robbery.
Fortunately for the store, the interviewee was made of firm stuff. Instead of running out in disgust or fear, 18-year-old Devin Washington helped manager/interviewer Danyanna Metoyer stop and hold the thief until the police could arrive.
No one was injured, the money was recovered and Washington got the job.
Customer nightmare of the week II: Stiffed on appearance
Apparently, the last bastion of dead-tree-based communication is the POS-printed guest tab. As we’ve reported before, restaurant staffs have a tendency to use the paper slips to note unflattering attributes of the customer as a visual reference point for servers and runners. This week brought proof that insulting observations flow the other way, too.
A waitress at a Zombie Burger in Des Moines, Iowa, was reportedly stiffed on her tip because of a customer’s conviction, duly noted on the tab, that “tips are only for normal looking people.” The server had dyed her hair pink and wore a nose ring.
The customer must have thought a place with a zombie theme would only hire waitresses in pigtails, bobs and pixie cuts.
‘Enough already’ nightmare: Is it worse than a wailing baby?
Parents must also be shortchanging their charges on a facts-of-life orientation, too. The sight of a nursing mother remains a flashpoint in restaurants, as a parent learned this week while visiting a sushi-and-steak restaurant in Katy, Texas. A server made the mistake (and illegal move) of trying to cover a nursing mom and her baby with a napkin because a nearby table full of men had complained. The mother made sure the media heard about the incident.
Whether restaurateurs like it or not, the law dictates a response to customers who are upset about public nursing: “Just look away.”