A word to rude or annoying restaurant diners: yes, your servers are talking shit about you. In the recent case of some servers at a Chinese restaurant in Virginia, they entered their opinions about a couple of customers into the restaurant's computer system... then forgot to delete them from the printed check. Oops.
Servers trash customers in private note on check — then forget to delete it
Management at the Peter Chang restaurant in Arlington, Virginia apologized to customers who were the recent targets of a server's snark after a Saturday night dinner. On the check, under the notations for customer designation, they were identified as "im a plad asshole" and "i have a small penis."
Two servers had apparently typed the comments into the restaurant's point-of-sale system as a joke to one another, then neglected to delete them before presenting the check.
The whole thing was apparently set off as an awkward exchange over, of all things, a family style bowl of rice. According to The Washington Post:
One of the diners, who had lived in Beijing for much of the 2000s, was surprised by the rice presentation and made a comment to the server, saying "'Oh, you guys don't serve them in individual rice bowls?'," related another diner in the party, who asked to go by his first name, Matt.
The server told the group that when rice is served to three or more diners at Peter Chang, it comes in a large bowl. The former Beijing resident thought that was odd, considering the family-sized portion ran counter to the personalized bowls he encountered in China. The server then asked if the foursome would like individual rice bowls instead. They declined.
"She said, 'No, no, I can bring it for you,'" Matt related. "He said, 'No, no, don't worry about it. It's fine. Just wanted to let you know that's the way it's done in China. It's not a big deal.' . . . It just got really awkward."
Later, when the diners asked to split the check four ways, the server apparently said, "That's totally how they do it in China." (Damn, coming at them with some wicked sarcasm.) And then they saw the receipt.
Managers were summoned. Apologies were issued. The diners were given a $20 gift card for their discomfort. Later, manager Qui Cheng told the Post that the servers had previously been warned about leaving offensive comments in the system.
"They always do that. I've told them so many times," Cheng said. "And they did it again."
This explanation and the manager's handling of the situation were not sufficient for owner Peter Chang. The restaurant subsequently issued a statement apologizing to the guests and announcing that both Cheng and another manager, Lydia Zhang, have been fired, as well as the two servers involved in the incident.
I sincerely apologize to the guests who were offended on 05/07/2016 when they dined at my Arlington restaurant. I am deeply disturbed by the incident. I am sorry, my respected guests. I also apologize to all my friends who have had trust in Peter Chang. We made a mistake and let you down.
We made a mistake and we must correct it. The following is what we are doing to correct and improve:
My company has fired Qian Cheng, the manager on duty on 05/07, and the waiter and waitress on duty. Manager Lydia Zhang will also be fired after the investigation is completed.
My company is contacting a professional management company and will have it as our consultant in improving the management of all the restaurants in my company. My goal is to enforce discipline, supervision of all employees and to better the training of services [sic] so as to build a managing team that is professional and effective, so that the quality of services will be guaranteed.
My company will make greater effort in improving the food quality monitoring system so my insistence on offering fresh and healthy food with Chinese characteristics will not only be upheld but improved and perfected.
We accept guests’ complaints and/or criticism wholeheartedly. Please call Gen Lee, who is one of the founders of my company, by dialing (434) 227-0006 if you are unsatisfied with any aspect of my restaurants. He will contact you quickly.
Dear guests and friends, I found dignity in being a chef due to your support and encouragement. I need more of your help in supervising my employees, so my restaurants will be nicer places for you to enjoy fine food in the future, and I will have a stage to continue to present my culinary skills.
As you know, I'm not much of a fan of restaurant staff who leave insulting, often racist comments on receipts. In this case, it was straight-up rude, disrespectful and unprofessional. These employees more or less deserved to be fired, especially since they'd been warned about doing it before.
But man, I can't lie -- I'd also be pretty annoyed if some white dude who allegedly spent some time in Beijing felt compelled to educate me about serving a bowl of friggin' rice and "the way it's done in China."