Veteran restaurateurs are quick to profess they’ve seen every form of bad behavior a guest can muster. That may explain why some were hyperventilating after developments this week. Clearly the outer limits have moved, as this quick roundup proves.
Customer nightmare of the week: Clawed and cuffed
Two patrons of a buffet restaurant in Manchester, Conn., were arrested last weekend for fighting with at least two other customers over the unlimited crab legs. Although authorities say they are unsure about what sparked the dispute, they know one participant, a woman, pepper-sprayed the male of the husband-and-wife pair who were later cuffed. The restaurant had to be closed until the irritating air could be vented, and all the food from the buffet had to be discarded. Police initially said they would not press charges against the woman with the pepper spray because she was clearly defending her 21-year-old son, whose tooth was broken in the melee.
Customer nightmare II: ‘I wanted bacon!’
Police were also summoned by a Connecticut resident because her pizza delivery ordered had been botched. The patron called 911 because she’d ordered bacon on half the pie and the pizzeria, an independent called Empire Pizza, had topped the pizza with hamburger instead. The unidentified woman called Empire and demanded her money back, and the establishment apparently offered a replacement, but the woman said she had already eaten half the pizza. When it balked at a refund, the police were called. They declined to intervene.
Customer nightmare III: Torturing Ronald McDonald
Regardless of what the public may think of McDonald’s, it’s hard to find fault with franchisees’ most visible charity, Ronald McDonald House. The program provides families with a homey, inexpensive place to stay when they have to travel for a children’s medical treatment.
Some residents of Vermont apparently have a problem with that concept. It’s an understatement to say they savaged the Ronald McDonald icon standing outside a House near the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital in Burlington. The statue’s head and feet were lopped off and the whole thing was burned. A replacement was dispatched by car from Springfield, Miss.
Customer nightmare IV: ‘I’m like a king!’
Being a head of state doesn’t automatically bestow restaurant privileges, but someone forgot to tell the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. During a visit to New York City this week, he popped into the celebrity haunt Mamo and promptly upended operations. He insisted the waiters handling his table be replaced for the night by people from his team. Dishes had to be disinfected with vodka, and his doctor was dispatched to the kitchen to serve as a human litmus test for poison.
The New York Post summed up the bad behavior as Nazarbayev releasing his inner Borat.