First time posting (and I have three years worth of stories to share at some point) but I had to rant about this one customer I dealt with today first.
I work in a small, family-run restaurant in a tiny town. Restaurant policy is to add 20% gratuity to parties of SIX or more. This is automatically included by the computer, based on the number of guests you enter for a given table.
One of our regulars, M, was in today. M is... unique. She's a former beauty queen (and claims to have had an affair with JFK) who's in her late sixties and has certainly let herself go downhill. I'm not trying to be mean, but she smells horrible and you can smell her from several tables away. She also set her house on fire a few years back due to her own ineptitude, which came very close to setting the restaurant on fire as well. So she's not exactly welcome, but the owners never turn her away.
My coworker, S, got to deal with her today. S had given her the check, and I was passing by M's table when she stopped me.
M: Excuse me, but what is this!?
She points to her check, where there is a 20% gratuity added. It takes me maybe half a second to notice that at the top of the check is says GUESTS: 15. Obviously a mistake on the part of S, and one that can easily be fixed.
Me: Oh, I'm sorry, that's a mista-
M: This is outrageous! I live down the street and have been coming here since the restaurant opened and I have never seen anything as ridiculous as this in my life!
Me: Well, there was just an erro-
M: Do you think this is anyway to keep customers!? You people rely on the tourists and your regulars, and do you really think either group is going to return if you force this outrageous tipping policy on them!?
Me: That gratuity was not supposed to be on your-
M: I can't believe you are doing this to your customers now! You need to go tell the owner right now that I am not going to settle for this, and neither are any of the other locals who come here! You go tell him that he needs to stop doing this because this is unacceptable!
Me: Let me explain-
M: Do you really think you can get away with adding a gratuity for us? DO YOU!?
Me: (trying to get SOMETHING out so she would start listening to me) Itwasamistake.
Me: The gratuity on your check was a mistake. If you look at the top here, the wrong number of guests was entered into the computer. (points to where the number of guests is listed)
M: Well what difference does that make?
Me: We add a 20% gratuity to parties of six or more, which is clearly stated on our menu. The number of guests for your check was incorrectly entered, so the gratuity was accidentally added to your bill.
M: Well this needs to be fixed immediately!
Me: If you would give me just a minute, I can easily remove it from your bill for you.
So I take her old check, give it to S and quietly tell her what happened and not to talk to M about it, because I didn't want her going off on S as well. S gives her the new check, and M leaves.
The best part? 20% gratuity was $2.69. M tipped $3.00.