Things We Hate Most About Customers...

Local restaurateurs turn the tables on difficult diners

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They’re lauded and lambasted in equal measure, so we thought we’d give some of our favourite local restaurateurs a chance to turn the tables on their more difficult diners.

We asked a select number of chefs and proprietors to give us some examples of the ghastly behaviour they’ve endured at the hands of local ‘gastronomes’. Below are some of our favourites, in no particular order. See if you can spot anyone you know!

1) A lady refusing to pay for a Caesar Salad, because it had anchovies in it, which according to her, a Caesar salad should not have. She told me I obviously knew nothing about food.

2) A gentleman asking me why he had to wait ten minutes for his full English and then telling me that I should cook it all in advance like most good restaurants - he refused to pay as he had to wait nine minutes.

3) A gentleman refusing to pay for his £30 bottle of wine (which he had drunk all of) because it come in a Stevin closure and not cork. He said that he should have been told in advance.

4) A group of ten women demanding free wine because we didn’t have room for their ten prams to be positioned next to each other.

5) A man walking out when he was asked to remove his mountain bike from next to his table where he had propped it up.

6) A man who refused to pay for two bottles of Barolo at £85 each because he felt it was too young. I locked the doors and we sat in the restaurant until 1.30am until he eventually paid the bill vowing never to return.

7) The one time I accepted a cheque as a form of a payment because I knew that the person was local. The cheque bounced but when I spotted the customer on Chiswick High Road and asked him when I could receive payment, he said that had never been to or even never heard of my restaurant.

8) A christening party booked for 50 people who failed to tell me that the number had increased to 70 until the moment they arrived for their lunch (although we did eventually manage to magic up food, staff and seats in the end!)

9) A customer refusing to pay for a bottle of wine that they had completely finished because he was not told that it was French.

May 30, 2008