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Customary Response to Being Doused with Food?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

What is/should be the customary response by a restaurant's management if a customer is doused with food while dining?

 

This morning my husband and I went to one of the local cafes for breakfast. When I picked up the maple syrup pitcher to pour over my pancakes, the bottom dropped off, bounced on the glass topped table, rolled on to me and then the floor. I had syrup in my hair, my shirt, pants, socks jacket and shoes. Unfortunately, none of it ended up on my pancakes. The waitress came after calling for her three times, and brought a damp cloth, but even after a trip to the ladies' I was still soaked and sticky. 

She comped the coffee and the pancakes, but not the rest of the meal. Nor did she offer to cover dry cleaning expenses.

 

I was the center of attention for the whole restaurant-Humiliating! as if I had done something wrong!

 

In my considerable time as executive chef in a number of different venues, if a customer was doused with food, wine, water-anything!- the whole meal was always comped and dry cleaning paid for. 

 

Am I crazy to expect a little more than a wet rag and free coffee?

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post #2 of 14

1)  There is no executive chef here

 

2)  Yeah you should expect better.  Maybe in their mind they were doing you a favor by providing you with a washroom.  

post #3 of 14

 

As a native Manhattaner, I would write a complaint letter to the Owner with a copy to the General Manager if you have not already. Another point, the waitress is working for minimum wage and she is incapable of dealing with customers, besides, why deal with her ?  Go to the top and get results, however, remain calm and collective and Deal Only With Facts, and Witness ( the man you were with ) ... Do you have copy of bill or bill from credit card for the meal you had paid for ? Do prepare 

and get organised and go to owner.

 

Remember, the waitress had a room that was probably busy, so do not blame her. Do not blame, (it was probably a bus boy or waiter who put the maple syrup dispensers on all the tables ) however, Deal with what you wish to obtain, and no blaming.

 

 

post #4 of 14

Ironically, Friend Wife had exactly that experience several years ago in a cafe in Montana. Oddly, she had already used the syrup dispenser before it happened. Presumably it was being held in place not by screw threads but by some sticky syrup.

 

Be that as it may, the waitress could not have been more helpful; she took Barbara to the washroom, helped her sponge off, comped the whole meal, and talked to the manager to arrange dry-cleaning reimbursment. And this was by no means a fine-dining establishment.

 

It doesn't matter whose fault it was. The restaurant is responsible for any accidents caused by its staff. Obviously, some places recognize that without prompting, while others need a kick in the butt.

 

I certainly would have talked immediately to the manager, given your experience FoodFoto. There is no excuse for your server's behavior.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 14

When you walk into a resturant  and handed a meny, it is a contract you are agreeing to pay what they promise on the menu(the actual contract)  Since getting doused was not part of that you are entitled to full credit. In fact they have insurance for this type of problem. I would have insisted they comp and clean. The waitress is a rep or agent of management   who is responsible period.

 

I would bet you probably left her a tip also. Hope you didn't

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #6 of 14

Posted by chefedb View Post


When you walk into a resturant  and handed a meny, it is a contract you are agreeing to pay what they promise on the menu(the actual contract)  Since getting doused was not part of that you are entitled to full credit.


There may be some states other than the State of Confusion and the Altered State of Consciousness in which this is true.  Or not.

 

Okay.  Not.

 

BDL

 

 

post #7 of 14

BDL  Isn't the restaurant agreeing to supply x and you are obligated to pay x. both being forwarned?

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 14

How did you get syrup on you from HEAD TO TOE when you picked up the bottle yourself as described in the opening post and the bottom fell off. Where you doing a long pour?   It "bounced" on a glass table top?  How high were you holding it over your head and how much was in the bottle? 

 

As a former owner I will tell you that if one of my servers spilled it on you while serving you or another customer than yes, it would be my obligation to pay for your dry cleaning and your meal.  If you spilled it and it was an accident, sorry but not much I would do to help you other than maybe a cup of coffee.

Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #9 of 14


Posted by chefedb View Post

BDL  Isn't the restaurant agreeing to supply x and you are obligated to pay x. both being forwarned?


That's not a meaningful question in this context. 

 

Short answer to what I think you're actually trying to ask:  Not all commercial transactions sound in Contract.  You could say, I suppose, that there's a sort of implied contract involved in ordering food, but -- in most jurisdictions -- it would certainly not extend to dry cleaning.  The syrup incident would probably fall into "Negligence," and not (Breach of) "Contract."   As a practical reality, if there were rights involved they'd be litigated in Small Claims, where fine legal distinctions aren't as important as fairness.

 

Even there, I don't believe the restaurant was under any sort of legal obligation to pay for cleaning. 

 

I'm not sure what being "forewarned" has to do with anything one way or the other.  Forewarned of what?  Are you trying to get at some sort of "assumption of the risk?"  Forewarning -- which I'm going to assume means entering a transaction with some knowledge of its meaning -- is only important insofar as their "full and fair negotiations" during the contract's formation.  Ordinarily, it's not a big part of ordering pancakes.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 12/8/11 at 9:07am
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
How did you get syrup on you from HEAD TO TOE when you picked up the bottle yourself as described in the opening post and the bottom fell off.

 

Here's how-

The short stack was in the center of the table (hubby and I were sharing) and the little B&B plate that held the syrup pitcher was next to it. I picked up the syrup by the handle, pulled back the little lever thing to pour the syrup onto the pancakes. When I moved the pourer closer to my plate the glass vessel holding the syrup that screws into the top fell off the top (it was not screwed in properly but just stuck onto the top), bounced off the side of my plate, rolled onto the table, then onto my lap and onto the floor next to my feet. 

I have longish hair which I wear to one side, so as the open syrup vessel was traveling to its destination by my shoe, syrup flew out in every direction and pretty much stickified my whole right side.

 

See here for picture of said syrup pitcher-

http://www.amazon.com/Tablecraft-Products-Honey-Syrup-Dispenser/dp/B0000CF5GX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323376662&sr=8-1

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply
post #11 of 14

And even if it had just been a figure of speech, Foodnfoto, it doesn't change the basic point: which is that it was the restaurant's fault, and they should have assumed responsibility for it.

 

sorry but not much I would do to help you other than maybe a cup of coffee.

 

Helps explain why you're a former owner.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 14

Our servers hated refilling those syrup and ketchup bottles.  They were a PITA to clean and it took a minute longer to get the table turned.  You had to remove everything from the caddy, make sure the caddy's clean, wipe the bottoms on all the bottles, return to the caddy, wipe the bottom of the caddy, set it back on the table.   Sometimes kids would unscrew the tops of the pepper shakers and if it came off when a customer used it we would write up the busser.

post #13 of 14

Those condiment containers on tables are potentially dangerous and can be pretty gross when not cared for.

I had a cigarette butt come out of a catsup bottle once and when I told the server she told the manager who accused me of putting it in there to get a free meal.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

And even if it had just been a figure of speech, Foodnfoto, it doesn't change the basic point: which is that it was the restaurant's fault, and they should have assumed responsibility for it.

 

sorry but not much I would do to help you other than maybe a cup of coffee.

 

Helps explain why you're a former owner.


Actually I am a former owner because I got smart, got a real job making more money and working fewer hours, it had nothing to do with the way I treated my customers.  They filled my seats every night for 3.5 years before I left.

 

If a customer makes a mess on themselves and its not the fault of the restaurant staff why should they buy you dinner.  That is like the customer who spills coffee on themselves and sues you for getting burnt, I guess its my fault for not telling you its hot.  The OP made it sound like it was spilled from a tray being carried by a server and covering her from head to toe, which if thats not the case  I for one find hard to believe. 

 

Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
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