Years of observing people throwing pizzas at you and throwing temper tantrums in the middle of a busy restaurant can affect different people in different ways. Yes I am lucky enough to have had a pizza thrown at me and the shocking part was that it was by a wealthy old man but that is another story.
I have seen people at their worst in thier reactions to food or service they don’t like. I have seen a man yell for fifteen minutes and threaten to get a young female cashier fired because he received a one litre bottle of Pepsi where the advertisement said the special came with a 1.5 litre. I have basically seen alot of yelling and veins popping out on people’s heads.
I feel embarassed for these people, they may get another meal, they may get their food for free, they may make some poor waitress cry but one thing is sure they will look like idiots. When you really think about it, it is food, even if it’s undercooked or burnt or the wrong order, it’s only food. A temper tantrum is not the solution. I have had people call back after ordering a pizza and claim they are coming in to beat up the cook or the manager, and they are serious about it. I don’t understand this. I am not a man without emotion, I do get mad but I don’t believe that a unsatisfactory meal gives any reason to throw anything or yell at anyone.
I am not saying that a person should not tell their server if there is something wrong with their order, they should, but without the fireworks. Being nice about it will increase their chances of getting it resolved. I’ll tell you why. Chances are that if something was messed up with an order it was because the place is busy and the kitchen is having a hard time keeping up. The servers have probably dealt with multiple assholes by the time you get there. If you lose your temper what the server is going to say to themself is fuck this asshole, if he’s going to be like that I don’t give a shit if there’s a hair in his soup. If you are a jerk they may actually make it extra hard for your problem to be resolved because now they hate you.
If you are nice about it the server may genuinely feel bad about your problem and may actually get you a new meal or some other sort of compensation.
I have the opposite problem from the pizza throwers, after seeing how worked up people can get over food I can’t bring myself to complain at a restaurant. I don’t think I’ve ever complained about a meal since I’ve started working in restaurants. Thats been almost twenty years. This doesn’t mean that my meal has always been perfect or correct but I’m not going to ruin somebody’s day by complaining. If a drink or bread or something is missing I will ask for it but I will do it very nicely. If you are nice to them will be nice to you. One thing to keep in mind is that these people are handling food that you are going to eat. Cooks and wait staff do actually do horrible things to peoples food if the situation is bad enough, I’ve seen it done and I have to admit I’ve never stopped anybody from doing it if the customer deserved it.
My wife gets frustrated with me for not complaining when I get something at a restaurant that is completely wrong or disgusting. This is where I tell her that I just can’t force myself to be one of those people and besides I will eat anything that doesn’t try to eat me.
Sometimes I try to talk her out of complaining even though she does complain in a very calm manner. At these times she really doesn’t like me. I have had conversations about this with numerous people over the years and more than a few times I have heard people say that they have a right to throw a fit because they are the paying customer and think its okay to flip out it you are not getting your moneys worth. I inform them that if they are regular at a restaurant and also a chronic complainer that all the staff will all roll their eyes when the see them come in. They have set themselves up for bad service by their constant bitching. All I can tell these people is that they should go work in a restaurant for a couple of months and then we’ll talk.