"The customer is always right," or so they say in the service industry. These words used to echo around in my head when I was a part-time waitress in university. And they only added to the stress of that fast-paced job.
When a customer behaves badly and the management sides against their own staff, it's a major blow to self-esteem. So I was touched when I heard about what this restaurant owner did to back up one of her employees.
A customer was dissatisfied with the service he received from a restaurant called Little Italy in Anchorage, Alaska. He called up the restaurant to lodge a complaint. But instead of scolding the employee, the restaurant owner directed her anger at the customer. The reason? The customer in question personally insulted the delivery guy who brought him his order.
It turns out, the driver delivered the wrong food because of an error in the order. But as soon as he realized the mistake, the delivery guy went into his car and got the right order.
The customer still wasn't satisfied, however, and called the restaurant. He yelled and sweared and insulted the driver personally, writes The Mighty.
Among other things, the customer claimed the driver was on drugs. But that was far from the truth. He actually has autism and has a slight speech impediment.
PJ Gialopsos, who owns the restaurant, took the criticism seriously, but she didn't handle it in the traditional "customer first" kind of way. Instead, she wrote a letter to the customer on Facebook:
"You would think, by now the majority of the population would have learned or at least heard about autism. I understand that there is a large portion of our population that is content to remain uninformed and uneducated, but that doesn't give them to right to take that ignorance and turn it into a foul mouthed rant on two of my employees!
Therefore, we have fired this customer. That address, that name and phone number will be tagged with a DO NOT DELIVER DO NOT ACCEPT ORDER message. And won't that customer be surprised later in life to learn that his "idiot strung out" delivery driver long ago turned out to be the physicist, microbiologist or chemical engineer who could quite possibly make a discovery that will save his sorry *** someday."
The restaurant's owner, PJ Gialopsos, (second from the left) after receiving an award for the restaurant.
Her post has received more than 35,000 likes and 8,000 shares, which shows how many people support her decision.
"The fact that he has autism doesn’t cross anyone’s mind at the restaurant. We just work. He just works. That’s it," she told The Mighty.
This woman shows how a good restuarant should be run. She backed up her employee and showed that it's not okay to get personal when complaining about service. Please share if you also think she did the right thing.