Author Topic: Sharing pics of customers' messy table  (Read 8466 times)

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TeamBhakta

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Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« on: August 07, 2013, 11:52:15 AM »
This cafe owner asked some customers to leave because a child was screaming and yelling. The owner later posted a FB picture of their table, where there were scone crumbs left behind by the kids. What do you think ? Was it rude to FB post the picture ?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/07/lorraine-macduff_n_3714700.html?utm_hp_ref=parents&ir=Parents

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Crumby-Facebook-post-gets-cafe-owner-in-hot-water-218447501.html?tab=video&c=y

One of the customers outed herself on UrbanSpoon when she posted a review about the experience (click on "Diner reviews(4)")
http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/1/1648461/restaurant/Seattle/Rainy-Days-Caffe-Lake-Stevens#posts
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 12:02:35 PM by TeamBhakta »

CakeBeret

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 12:02:29 PM »
Eh. I think the whole thing got way overblown.

I think it's bad business practice to post anything negative about a customer or customers on social media.

The moms should have cleaned up after their kids and should have left earlier because of the tantrum.

The business owner should come to grips with the fact that some patrons will leave huge messes. It's not right, but it's a fact of the restaurant business. Deal with it.

I don't think the mess show in the photo was even that bad.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 12:06:29 PM »
One thing that isn't clear--did she name the guests? Or make any allusion to the incident that led up to it?

If she didn't name the guests, I think she was not in the wrong. Of course, that won't change the fact that people will THINK she is in the wrong. It was a bit harsh. And phenomenally unwise.

Particularly in light of that article I found about the effect that seeing rudeness happen in front of you in a store has a negative effect on your customers.

I think the mom outed herself. And so any sort of public notoriety, she brought upon herself.

(The funny thing is that I didn't think her post was so much sarcastic--I immediately assumed she was *actually* thanking the customers whose kids do not make a mess, and not sarcastically "thanking" the customers whose kids did.)

The other random thought I have is that it can be hard to clean that sort of mess up, and little little kids just are messier. If I ran that coffee shop, I'd have some sort of plastic mat to go under kids' chairs, or I'd have a lineoleum section that was specifically for little kids.

I also wouldn't have said, "You have to leave, you can come back but you can't bring your children."

I'd have said, "You have to leave, it's too unpleasant for the rest of my customers, and besides, the boy is so unhappy. You can come back, but you'll need to be more practice about the behavior of the kids next time." I wouldn't tell them "don't bring your kids" until they'd had a couple of strikes.


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The business owner should come to grips with the fact that some patrons will leave huge messes. It's not right, but it's a fact of the restaurant business. Deal with it.

I don't think the mess show in the photo was even that bad.

I agree w/ CakeBeret. If I were the mom of a kid who had left that mess, though, I'd be apologizing and leaving a big tip.

Erich L-ster

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 12:07:21 PM »
Why would it be rude? They didn't identify who made the mess, the customers identified themselves. I think parents have to responsibility to minimize the messes their kids make by having them eat over a plate so the crumbs fall where they're supposed to.

I also despise the attitude of "get over it" and "it's your job, clean it up".

Also, they point out that they're "military wives" I suppose so everyone will side with them. Not every military wife is a saint, a good mother or even a good person. Jerks are jerks and they come in every position in society.

LadyL

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 12:08:23 PM »
Eh. I think the whole thing got way overblown.


POD. Everyone looks bad here - the parent with the screaming kid who managed to get what looks like 1/4 of their scone on the floor (it's not a huge mess if it were a full meal but for only pastries that does seem pretty messy to me). The business owner misusing social media to shame a customer. The people who are responding to that misstep with DEATH THREATS. Death threats, over a photo of some crumbs that was probably never traceable to that mother.

TootsNYC

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 12:10:30 PM »
Also, they point out that they're "military wives" I suppose so everyone will side with them. Not every military wife is a saint, a good mother or even a good person. Jerks are jerks and they come in every position in society.

I agree.

And I think it's funny that one of those news stories says, "the cafe owner, a military wife herself,..."

Shoo

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2013, 12:10:40 PM »
Ugh, this is my town.  It's big news around here.

The cafe owner posted pics of the mess the patrons left behind.  She did not name names (not sure she had names), but the woman recognized her own mess and the situation, I guess, and shared the pics on her own FB page.  So, in essence, she outed HERSELF.  No one would have ever known who made the mess if she hadn't done that.

I am on the fence about it.  I think the cafe owner over-reacted, but then, I think the customer acted like a complete jerk too, trying to garner sympathy by relating how she was a "military wife" etc.  How that matters, I do not know.  IMO, it doesn't.

Anyway, opinions in my town are kind of split.

Goosey

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2013, 12:14:06 PM »
I don't think parents are beyond reproach and I don't think business owners are supposed to just lay down and take it when ever a parent lets their kid have a crumb explosion on their floors.

"Kids make messes" is not an excuse. If your kid makes a big mess, you offer to clean it up or leave a tip to compensate. They should have taken the scone away when the kid started crushing it into oblivion.

"It's your job" does not make it acceptable. We need to be polite to people in the serving business and not create more work for them.

I do think the whole thing got blown out of proportion but I hate the "Just be quiet and take it" mentality that is pushed on servers.

ETA: As a military wife, I hate when military wives try to use it to garner sympathy.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2013, 12:15:20 PM »
Why would it be rude? They didn't identify who made the mess, the customers identified themselves. I think parents have to responsibility to minimize the messes their kids make by having them eat over a plate so the crumbs fall where they're supposed to.

I also despise the attitude of "get over it" and "it's your job, clean it up".

Also, they point out that they're "military wives" I suppose so everyone will side with them. Not every military wife is a saint, a good mother or even a good person. Jerks are jerks and they come in every position in society.

POD. the owner just posted a photo of the mess, NOT the customers or their names, which I doubt she ever knew, unless they're regulars.  MOm outed them by posting about it on social media.

And quite honestly, the fact she's a "military wife" means nothing to me. It doens't have any bearing on the incident whatsoever.

Roe

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2013, 12:17:04 PM »
Customers can be jerks and leave a mess.  Staff should clean it up and not post about it on FB.  It's rude to the customers and may make those that weren't involved feel awkward about the situation. (as in a nice, polite mom won't take her child there in fear that her child make a mess)

Manager is dumb.  Customer is a jerk. 

LadyL

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2013, 12:25:20 PM »
And quite honestly, the fact she's a "military wife" means nothing to me. It doens't have any bearing on the incident whatsoever.

Yeah, it strikes me as manipulative. The type of person who would out themselves on their own bad behavior and try to make it about being a military wife doesn't seem like a great customer to me. The business owner was foolish and snarky but the mother strikes me as being quite a pill.

Eeep!

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2013, 12:28:44 PM »
Customers can be jerks and leave a mess.  Staff should clean it up and not post about it on FB.  It's rude to the customers and may make those that weren't involved feel awkward about the situation. (as in a nice, polite mom won't take her child there in fear that her child make a mess)Manager is dumb.  Customer is a jerk.

Totally agree with this - particularly the bolded.  I know I wouldn't for exactly that reason.  Sometimes my boys make a mess. In a very short period of time.  I can try to clean it up but really it is A LOT easier for an employee with a broom and a dustpan to quickly sweep that up versus me crawling under the table try to somehow gather crumbs. Now I do ALWAYS leave a bigger tip if there is a mess, and I try to pick up larger pieces but there really is only so much that I can do. (And in my experience, almost everytime I have been trying to clean up I have had an employee tell me not to worry about it.)  I realize in this situation, there was a lot more problems with the mothers and kids than the mess.  But I still would avoid that place.
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shhh its me

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2013, 12:50:29 PM »
  I listened to the interview . A person on the street? commented "she should sell the ice-cream cones if she didn't want a mess"  I'm not 100%sure I heard it correctly and the decor looked really kid friendly.  I do think if you server quintessential family food and your restaurant/cafe has a "family friendly" ambiance you're more likely to draw more customers with kids.

 I also don't think its fair to ask someone to leave and then complain they made a mess, how can the clean up if you asked them to "leave now".

Intending to be snarky to about a customer seems rude to me. (she said she meant to to be snarky and funny)

JoieGirl7

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2013, 12:53:36 PM »
Something similar happened in Raleigh some years ago where two mothers and their overtired children stopped in at a café for lunch after hitting a local child play spot.

The kids were in full meltdown mode and they were asked to leave.

One of the mothers was a local news/features reporter and she made a huge deal about it all.  She drew both support and scorn.

Generally, it is the person who can be identified who is the one who draws the fire.  In the case in Lake Stevens that person was the café owner.  The mother, while "outed" on the review site is still anonymous to all but her friends.

Etiquette wise, I think that the moms were in the wrong for both disturbing the peace at the café with a child having a melt down and taking kids there who were going to be that messy.  I wonder if that mom lets those same children sit in a carpeted area in her house and eat scones.

It seems that people are happy to let their kids go wild and make a huge mess as long as they are not the ones cleaning it up.

For the time being, I'm going to side with the business owner because in one of the articles I read, it said that she apologized but that the women didn't like her apology.  That tells me that they might have no shame.  And if so, how can they complain about "being shamed?"  They are just ticked that they were called out and want some kind of revenge.

Rohanna

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Re: Sharing pics of customers' messy table
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2013, 12:58:40 PM »
Honestly regardless of the behaviour on either side, I was really expecting a bigger "mess" than that- it just looks like crumbs from messy eating, not the obnoxious garbage and smeared goop mess that shouldn't be left and smacks of deliberately carelessness and disrespect. It would be easy to not notice a kid dropping crumbs- it's less excusable when people leave diapers/torn sugar packets/smeared outside babyfood. That kind of carpet isn't easy to clean without a sweeper or a broom, and it's kind of an odd choice for a place serving things that are crumbly.
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