You Can’t Please Everyone, Especially Old Shrewd People
I woke up early today, 8am so I could go to work early and finish some reports. I also had a scheduled reservation for, let’s call her Mrs. B, 20pax at 12noon. I got to work before 10am and gathered some data from the server for my report. I also followed up some requests I made from marketing and the purchaser.
By 11:30am, a couple of guests from Mrs. B’s reservation arrived. Let me just give you a brief background. Two days ago I spoke with Mrs. B who wanted to book a reservation for 25 people. I gave her my booking spiel and gave her options. She said she didn’t want an exclusive function, just a long table reservation. I informed her that we would still place her group inside the function room since they wouldn’t fit in a long table at the main dining area. She also couldn’t decide if she was going to get the ‘group meals set’ or the ‘per head function package’. I told her that the function package is usually for an exclusive party, with the choice of having an a la carte or buffet set up. She said she would get back to me the next day to confirm her decision. She also paid Php3,000 as downpayment for her reservation.
It was my day off the next day, and I admit, I was at fault for not endorsing this to one of our supervisors. I totally forgot about it.
Around 12:30 this afternoon, one of her guests couldn’t wait for them any longer and had the food served since the rest of the party was on their way anyway. When they finally arrived, I overheard someone say “Isn’t this supposed to be a buffet?”. Mrs. B looked for me and asked me what happened. I tried explaining but they would not accept my explanation. She said I never mentioned anything about the buffet rules, and that if I did, they would have just gone to Yakimix, the buffet restaurant right next to ours. She was pissed off and told most of her guests about the incident. It is not possible that I did not mention the procedure to her. The buffet rules is part of my spiel, a spiel I have memorized by heart in my 9 months of working at Gerry’s Grill. A spiel I recite almost every day at my former outlet. Argh.
A while later, a woman arrived, let’s call her Mrs. A, and Mrs. B told her what happened. Later, I saw Mrs. A talking with our manager and I was informed that she was friends with one of our big bosses.
I tried my best to serve them as best as I can. Our manager told me to inform Mrs. B that we’re giving her party 10% discount for the trouble. Mrs. A later on called me and asked what happened with the arrangement. Again, as I tried to explain our rules, they wouldn’t listen and kept insisting to call the big boss so she could talk to her. All the while I kept thinking, “If you’re really friends with the big boss, why don’t you call her using your personal line?” Of course I told my manager about this and he showed me his text exchange with the said big boss. She did know Mrs. A and told us to give them discount.
Their party went on for another 2 hours with games, to think this was supposed to be a non-exclusive reservation, they occupied the whole function room, which was okay since it usually ends up like that with big groups. We also gave them 6 servings or leche flan, on the house, for the 6 birthday celebrators. We even sang our birthday song and they seemed happy with it.
When they finally asked for the bill and I gave it to them, some of the women wanted to get the senior’s discount. I then informed them that it is not allowed since they availed of the function package which was already discounted, plus we already gave them the 10% discount. But before I could finish saying that last phrase, they already went on and on about how that was wrong and we should give them the senior discount because it was their right. Mrs. B said, “Nevermind, it’s okay” I guess she realized that we already gave them a discount. One of her friends was saying something about “the BIR will hear about this” and so on. Another asked me if this was instilled by Gerry’s Grill and I told them that it’s the procedure I learned. SMH. To shut them up, I just said I will inform our finance department about their concern.
I saw her collecting money from everyone beforehand so I was kinda surprised when she pulled out her credit card so I told her that if they use the card, they only get 5% discount. That’s when they got hysterical and pulled the “call the big boss” card again. I informed them that the procedure is 10% discount for cash payment, and 5% for credit card. Mrs. A kept saying she would call “big boss” when she gets home, and again I couldn’t help but think “why can’t she call her now?” I also heard someone say “They wouldn’t give us the senior discount and they wouldn’t allow the 10% discount for using the card?” At this point I was so pissed off because THEY WOULD NOT ACCEPT OR EVEN LISTEN TO ANY EXPLANATION. That was the procedure for EVERY ESTABLISHMENT. I had to tell my manager about it and he said to just let them have it. He’d have to explain to the bosses afterwards. I was soooo frustrated, I even told him that if the complain gets to the head office, I would gladly write an incident report. There was a miscommunication but these people obviously just wanted to get the most out of the situation.
It’s hard to argue with closed-minded people who expects to get their way because they believe they’re always right. The best thing to do is just smile and apologize even if it’s not your fault. I just have to do a better job at marketing, expand my connections, and increasing our sales. Bah.