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February 13, 2005



When someone comes up to pick a fight only Ghandi can stand his ground with complete compassion. Calling someone a jackass is not appropriate I agree. But asking if they are willing to work for free, as he was you, is appropriate. Notice he was actually quiet for a moment because there was no argument to that question. That is where it should have been left but the argument continued. That is where we failed. The lesson is say your piece then hold your tongue which is holding your ground. If the cutomer is unsatisfied after dealing with the GM then the customer comes up to the kitchen counter. 99% of the time they are not looking for resolution at that point. They are looking to fight, argue and make a scene. That puts you in an awkward position because you are dealing with a crazy person.You've got a counter between you and a knife in your hand. Little harm can come to you. Just let them rant and look like the lunatic they are.


was the customer warned when he requested the sauce that he was going to be charged?

I had an experience at delfina that is a bit similar: my girlfriend ordered some food which was served with potatoes. She asked if it could be possible to substitute the potatoes with some greens. The waiter said yes, she could pick any of the sides. Then he asked a question that we thought was weird: did she still want the potatoes on the plate? We shrugged, heck no.

Came the tab: in turned out we did not substitute, we actually had ordered a side for like $5. We actually only noticed after we left the restaurant, but we were pissed. Not because $5 was much, the bill was $200 and we could not care less. But because we felt betrayed by the server.

Now here is what happened next: my girlfriend wrote a letter to delfina, explaining how she felt. And we received an apology back from delfina, ensuring us that the matter was serious and was being dealt with, and please find enclosed a $75 coupon.

Back to your sauce: even though $2 is nothing on the end tab, if the customer thought that it was coming as a part of the oysters, I would understand he got frustrated. Unless the waiter told him beforehand: we can get you the sauce, but because of the effort involved, we'll have to charge you, and he had a chance to decline the charge at this point.


We told him, "we have no cocktail sauce in house. We can make you some but we'll have to charge you $2."

His argument was that "cocktail sauce always comes with oysters. Bring me the ketchup and i'll make it myself."

When we explained we make everything in house (including the ketchup) and that we were happy to bring him the sauce but he would have to pay for it, he asked if we made the pepper on the tables.

I could post my version of the entire exchange but I won't.

He felt he should get something for free and we felt he should pay for the ingredients and our time.

Like I said I handled things poorly and in general am much more hospitable. I could offer the tired excuse that I was at my best friend's memorial earlier that day but really I don't need to insult anyone, for any reason.

Glad to hear about the good resolution at Delfina. It's one of our SF favorites.

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