Small businesses have once again been reminded of how quickly some customers take to social media to broadcast their complaints, after the manager of a small cafe in the UK made a public apology for the “incredibly unprofessional” actions of an employee who added a comment to a customer’s receipt.
Outraged customer Steve Dempster took to social media earlier this week to denounce the cafe for labelling his wife a “weird freak” on their receipt.
Newshub reports Dempster was dining at Weeton’s cafe in Harrogate with his wife when she ordered a smaller omelette for their 11-month old son, a request which staff reportedly “sniggered” at.
“They said why don’t you just order a normal omelette and she explained that he wouldn’t eat it all so could she just have a smaller portion,” Dempster said in an online post.
“I think she was being served by the cafe manager who was training up a new member of staff. They went to type the request in and my wife noticed that the other member of staff sniggered, so she asked for a copy of the receipt.”
Written on the receipt was “small egg & tom omlette [sic] for weird freak”, which the waiter had written has a note to the chef as the customer had ordered something off the menu.
— YorkshireEveningPost (@LeedsNews) March 27, 2017
Speaking to the Harrogate Advertiser, Dempster called the behaviour “utterly shocking”, and said his wife had not made an unreasonable request.
“It’s not like she’s made some ridiculous demand, not least to say she was really upset and asked them, ‘did I really deserve this treatment?'” he said.
The couple received a refund, and Weeton’s Harrogate manager Keren Shaw apologised, saying action was being taken against the staff member.
“Unfortunately today one of our staff acted in an incredibly unprofessional way and we are extremely sorry,” Shaw said.
“We have made a direct apology to the customer concerned and will be taking up the matter internally with the staff involved.”
A similar incident occurred at a US-based business last June, where the restaurant owner’s son referred to a customer as “fatty” on a receipt. The son, a waiter at the restaurant, apologised on Facebook.
“Due to my actions, I was terminated, rightly so. I would like you to know that I was not raised that way. I hope you don’t judge Allstars or its employees based solely on my actions,” he said.