Restaurants Telling Me To F-Off

30 June 2011 | talking about Customers, Management, Small Business

restaurant credit cardSure, strong title. Yeah, maybe I am over dramatic, but let me paint a picture for you. I walk into a mid-grade restaurant. You know the type. The type of restaurant you go for a quick snack, or maybe a few beers with your buddies. Not a night club were there is a high chance of people getting drunk and making poor decisions. You might sit around the bar or outside on a patio. Then after being all friendly with the server and placing your order for your first round of drinks the server says “could I get a card to hold”? The server wants to hold on to your credit card to make sure you do not run out without paying the bill. I am never mad at the server I am sure it is a restaurant policy. By doing that, the restaurant management is telling me: “We don’t trust you to pay your bill, we need insurance”.  I translate that to the restaurant telling me to “F-off”.

Imagine you walk into some sort of shopping store and someone greeted you and said “Let me see your wallet, I want to make sure you can really buy something here”. I would call that pretty insulting. Restaurants are doing the same thing. They are insulting you.

I know the restaurant takes the risk of serving you food before you pay. I am asking the restaurant to take all the risk here. Yes, I am sure people dine and dash every year at almost every restaurant. However, I am rather certain that the percentage of people that pay vs. those who try to steal is very inbalanced. I would think I would go as far as estimating that less then 1% of the customers try to steal from the restaurant. A restaurant is telling us ‘we would rather say “we don’t trust you”’ to 99% of their customers instead of just taking the loss on less than 1%. Sounds like greed and not caring about the customer.

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