customer spills entire plate,what do you do?

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drsmoke02
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2006/02/17 12:11:04 (permalink)

customer spills entire plate,what do you do?

i recently had a customer spill his entire filet mingon platter on the floor, he wanted a new platter at no charge, i said ,no way.my fault,i pay,your fault,you pay.was i right?
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    drsmoke02
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 12:13:56 (permalink)
    make that mignon
    #2
    varelas
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 12:16:36 (permalink)
    Good customer service is to replace the meal at no extra cost to the customer.
    #3
    varelas
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 12:18:33 (permalink)
    Good customerservice would be to replace the meal at no extra cost to the customer.
    #4
    Rusty246
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 12:21:58 (permalink)
    Replace it unless 3/4 of it was gone????
    #5
    V960
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 13:49:06 (permalink)
    New plate, no charge.
    #6
    V960
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 13:53:28 (permalink)
    Just thought of something else. You lost a customer and he will now complain to everyone he knows for the next five years about what a crappy place you run. The story will get better and better until it has you requiring him to clean up the mess or buy new carpet.

    Bad news by word of mouth of an actual customer is not worth $25 retail.

    #7
    dinerminer
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 19:29:11 (permalink)
    Jeez, why wouldn't you replace the meal at no cost? That's called Restaurant Management 101.
    #8
    BT
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 20:20:12 (permalink)
    Nobody here seems to care what kind (price range) of place it was. In an upper tier restaurant where labor costs far outweigh the cost of the uncooked food and where service expectations are rightly a lot higher, I'd think the customer would probably expect a new plate of food. He may not say so, but I think he'd think a lot more highly of the place, be more likely to return, and be more likely to rave to his friends about it and the cost to the restaurant wouldn't be excessive because the cost of a new raw steak wouldn't be a huge fraction of what he's paying anyway. On the other hand, in a "roadfood" type place, if the "accident" is clearly the fault of the diner, I think they are being unreasonable expecting an entire new plate of food at no cost. Yes, they may bad mouth you if you don't give them one, but IMHO they'll be wrong to do so. Perhaps you could keep them happy by offering a free desert or something less costly to you than a new filet? On the other hand, if there's any question it wasn't entirely the diner's fault, give a new plate and smile.
    #9
    saps
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 21:03:35 (permalink)
    Doesn't really matter if it is a high-end or low-end restaurant. Management should be proactive in providing new plate regardless of how it occurred. The goal in either type of restaurant is to create a good dining experience.

    Not only will the diner feel good about the place, but other diners will see the generous customer service as well.



    #10
    Adjudicator
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 21:06:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rusty246

    Replace it unless 3/4 of it was gone????


    Rusty has a point here, folks.
    #11
    nyczoo
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 21:18:34 (permalink)
    You never want anybody leaving your place feeling ripped off. And keep in mind...someone later that same evening might leave half of a 30$ bottle of wine behind. Grab it and drink it and feel like you recouped!!!!
    #12
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/17 21:31:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by nyczoo

    You never want anybody leaving your place feeling ripped off. And keep in mind...someone later that same evening might leave half of a 30$ bottle of wine behind. Grab it and drink it and feel like you recouped!!!!


    You ARE kidding, RIGHT???
    #13
    BT
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 00:21:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by nyczoo

    You never want anybody leaving your place feeling ripped off.


    You don't want them to but some people are always going to. Some people are impossible to please. I still think it's perfectly reasonable to make a decision about when the presumption that the customer is right is overcome by the facts. When that happens, the management has to decide whether to retain some profit on the meal at the expense of probable future business. It's not an easy decision but I think the answer is not as pat as some of you are making it out to be, especially in a low end place.

    Now--those of you on the other side of the issue aren't going to admit you're wrong and niether am I, but at least drsmoke2 has both sides of the issue.
    #14
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 01:55:35 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Part of this discussion seems to depend on whether the establishment was part of the problem...slippery floor or table, etc.,
    or was the client at fault, careless, infirm in some way, or just trying to rip the establishment off.
    It seems clear that if the establishment was at fault, fully or partially, then the dish should be replaced.
    If the client is suspected of causing the incident, then it becomes a matter of profiling. The client may have a medical
    problem (disability or age, etc), may have an attitude, or may want to rip off the establishment, or some other reason.
    My question is how much do the establishment profile it's customers?
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #15
    caratzas
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 05:47:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BT

    Yes, they may bad mouth you if you don't give them one, but IMHO they'll be wrong to do so.


    My driving instructor used to tell the class there's such a thing as being "dead right." Look, you, the manager, can stick to your principles and save a few bucks but lose that customer and all his friends (because believe me, he'll be telling everybody he knows about what a cheapskate joint you run) forever. Or you can or swallow your pride, be a hero and win his business for life.

    You know when people rave about a place to all their friends because they're treated like family? How you handle situations like this is what they're talking about.
    #16
    mr chips
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 08:51:00 (permalink)
    I would give him a new plate. It engenders good will at fairly low cost.
    #17
    V960
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 09:03:23 (permalink)
    We all should have asked more questions and maybe even had the ones asked answered before we went farther but we made assumptions and went forward. I made the assumption that w/ a filet platter on the menu the place wasn't a WH knockoff or even a meat and two. Filet is pretty high end, IMHO.

    All kinds of other things enter into comping a filet platter which I will admit to but be flamed for. How was the guy dressed, his manners, wife and kids or a single and was he a jerk?
    #18
    Tedbear
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 09:35:01 (permalink)
    The costs of doing business sometimes include having to accomodate a customer who is a jerk. That can be a hard pill to swallow, but if you are interested in maintaining, and hopefully, building your business, this type of accomodation may be necessary at times.

    There is an old saying that goes something like this:
    A satisfied customer tells 5 others. A dissatisfied customer tells 25 others.

    I may be a bit off on the exact numbers in the original saying, but I think that you get my idea. People love to gripe and to gossip, so a negative experience is likely to generate much more conversation than a positive experience. Do you really want your restaurant's name to be bandied about in a negative fashion by a potentially large number of people? And, as was previously said, by the time that this customer's tale has been retold many times, it could evolve (or is it devolve?) into something even more negative for your restaurant.

    My advice is to suck it up, and replace a plate at no charge in this type of situation. Of course, if this particular guy happens to have an "accident" like this again, then I would suggest that you ban him from your restaurant.

    #19
    nvb
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 09:43:36 (permalink)
    This has happened to me a few times and I've always replaced the meal. The PR you get is worth the meal price 10 times over.
    #20
    Burgerman1
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 10:51:57 (permalink)
    OPTION 1

    "Sir, I'm sorry that your filet fell in the floor, would you like that reheated and brushed off?"

    OPTION 2

    "Sir, I'm sorry that happened, let me fix the quickest(cheaper) thing on the menu so you can eat with your wife, and I'll give you a certificate for 1/2 price on your next filet!"
    #21
    Mosca
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 10:59:24 (permalink)
    I'd say short of the guy pushing it off the table on purpose and nastily demanding a replacement, I can't think of a situation I wouldn't put out another plate.

    I mean, come on. Are your customers your partners or your adversaries?


    Tom
    #22
    Adjudicator
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 11:11:53 (permalink)
    So what this all boils down to is that the original poster did not give us enough details concerning this "incident".
    #23
    joanie41
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 11:26:58 (permalink)
    For me, this is a no-brainer. You replace the meal, or if the customer prefers, you give a discounted or free replacement down the road. The only exception is if the customer drops his plate all the time, or willfully picks up the meal and throws it on the floor. If I accidentally spilled and was told "your accident, you pay", not only would I never return, I'd tell everyone I knew of my bad experience. Coming up with complicated "what ifs" is unnecessary in this circumstance. Hell, I've been at crappy fast food places where someone accidentally dropped their food and it was replaced without charge or complaint. You'd expect at least the same level of courtesy in a Mom and Pop or upscale restaurant!
    #24
    drsmoke02
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 13:22:01 (permalink)
    just so you know, we are a roadfood designation, 5 customers sat at a booth for 4.the food was spilled simply because of too many elbows on 1 table,they wouldn't move.my food cost on that plate was over 50%, we were running a special. am i supposed to lose money because someone is stubborn.i substituted beef briskit at no charge.
    #25
    Tdybr27
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 13:30:04 (permalink)
    Well if I was a customer and I accidently knocked off my plate of food, I sure wouldn't expect the restaurant to replace it because of my negligence
    #26
    BT
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 13:52:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by drsmoke02

    just so you know, we are a roadfood designation, 5 customers sat at a booth for 4.the food was spilled simply because of too many elbows on 1 table,they wouldn't move.my food cost on that plate was over 50%, we were running a special. am i supposed to lose money because someone is stubborn.i substituted beef briskit at no charge.


    Sounds like they aren't the kind of people you want back anyway so why worry about it? What's done is done. Next time, I'd use the same consideration: Do I care if I ever see these people (or their friends who are probably just like them) again? Because that's really the main factor--If you go out of your way to please them, you'll probably keep getting their business. If you don't, you probably won't. But some customers you might prefer didn't come back.
    #27
    saps
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 14:43:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tdybr27

    Well if I was a customer and I accidently knocked off my plate of food, I sure wouldn't expect the restaurant to replace it because of my negligence


    Most people probably wouldn't. But if I owned a restaurant and a customer accidentally knocked his plate off of a table, I'd be proactive and replace it. I'd want them to leave happy and not even attempt to assign fault.

    That's the bottom line- you want them to leave happy, and perception is everything.
    #28
    drsmoke02
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 14:56:10 (permalink)
    thank you bt,exactly my thoughts.
    #29
    ScreenBear
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    RE: customer spills entire plate,what do you do? 2006/02/18 15:07:20 (permalink)
    Maybe I'm deluded,
    But here's some thoughts on the case of the wayward Mignon. It's all about costs and image.

    A good acquaintance of mine who owns a restaurant says he can't understand places that give small portions.

    "Amount of food is my least expense," he notes. "It's the electric, the help, the insurance, the mortgage, all the overhead that are my real costs," he exclaims.

    Hence, I think you're taking a calculated goodwill risk if you just replace the Mignon. If it works out, and he tells all his friends what a sport you are, you can't buy that kind of advertisement. If he doesn't appreciate it and is a jerk about it, who feels like he's gotten over on you, don't take it personal. It's just business. Bottom line? You're out about ten bucks.

    Now, if he comes back next week and does it again, you suggest a good neurologist.
    The Bear
    #30
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