The Jack Nicholson, Five Easy Pieces, Restaurant Scene
Mardi Milligan, MBA, Copyright 2009
Everyone remembers the classic scene in the movie, "Five Easy Pieces," with Jack Nicholson. It was the typical situation of a restauarant, so bound by rules that it was impossible to order a plain omlette. Jack creatively came up with an unbelievable list of "hold this" and "hold that" to get what he wanted.
With today's dietary needs, high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., it's hard to imagine restaurants not bending over to satisfy a customer's special request. We went back to the "no eye contact" restaurant again this week (Read previous "Fine Tuning Tip "Eye Contact - How Important Is It?") and we found they didn't do substitutions.
This time we had a different waitress who was very pleasant, she wrote down the special order for the cinnamon roll french toast, and she confidently said "no problem." She comes back a few minutes later and says, "We can't do that." My friend says, "You did it for me last Sunday." She says, "I'm sorry, this cook doesn't want to do it." My friend says, "May I speak with the manager."
A few minutes later the manager comes over and asks if there is a problem. My friend says, "Instead of regular bread, I'd like to substitute a cinnamon roll, slice it into three slices, dipped them egg and grill them." The manager says, "We can't." My friend says, "You did it for me last week; the wait staff even tried it and said it was great. The cook even came out to the cash register and said it was easy to prepare and tasted great. They sold it to another customer right after me."
The manager said, "Well, we'll do it for you this time, but this will be the last time." We said thank you, and he walked away. The waitress delivered it and apologized. She said if we would have come in on a different shift, the cook would have been glad to fix the cinammon roll french toast.
Cinnamon rolls are $2.50, and regular french toast is $5.95. The cost of the cinnamon roll french toast? $6.50, which my friend would have gladly paid every weekend for who knows how long! However, we will not be going back again.
Fine Tuning Tip of the Month:
When a restaurant gladly complies with a request for a substitution, let them know how much you appreciate it and that you'll be coming back!
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