'These fried eggs aren't round enough' - exasperated Musselburgh restaurant manager hits back at rude festive customers
"Before you are allowed to eat out and go to pubs you should have to work as a waiter."
It’s the most wonderful time of year, and throughout the festive period many Edinburgh residents enjoyed the indulgence of being able to eat out and let somebody else do all the hard work for a change.
But for those who take on this work it is the busiest time of year, and many hospitality workers feel the strain of increased stress and workload as the rest of us take time off.
For one general manager of a South American restaurant in a Musselburgh retail park the pressure proved too much, and he has taken to Twitter to vent his frustrations at rude, demanding, and sometimes mystifying customers.
Incidents reported by the restaurateur, who uses a pseudonym on Twitter and wishes to remain anonymous, included fried eggs sent back because they were “not round enough” and a customer refusing to pay for a meal despite it being “lovely”, as the chef had “cooked the chicken too quickly for it to be done right”.
Another customer reportedly sent a strawberry daiquiri back for having “too much strawberry in it”, while one complained that a roasted vegetable fajita had “too much veg in it for me to enjoy”.
The manager gave many more examples of incidents over the festive period, adding: “I deal with this sort of s*** on a daily basis. It is incredible.”
He told of one occasion when customers had complained of a hair in their meal, which matched only their own hair.
“I had a table demand their entire bill be comp’d a few days ago as one of them found a long blonde hair in one of their meals,” he wrote. “I employ no one with blonde hair. And they all had long blonde hair.”
On another occasion, a customer complained that their daughter couldn’t eat much from the restaurant menu.
“She was allergic to milk, eggs, gluten, mustard, soya, kiwi, green peppers, fish, crustaceans and molluscs,” the manager said.
“People become incredibly difficult to deal with over the festive period, the manager told the Edinburgh Evening News.
“I'd imagine it is down to a combination of stress and the general uplift in business of all the shops, added in with the generally horrible weather, but no, people are getting no worse.
“They have always been like this. You'll just hear about it more, due to social media.
“Customers will always manage to do something that completely catches me off guard, once it think I've seen it all, that means this job is never dull.”
“Most people won't realise just how difficult they are being, due to never having worked in this sector before,” he added.
“I stand by my thoughts that before you are allowed to eat out and go to pubs you should have to work behind a bar/as a waiter, to experience what it is like to be on the receiving end of some "interesting" treatment. It would hopefully make them more empathetic to us as a whole.
“My staff are brilliant and make everyone that dines with us leave happy, but that can be a very challenging at times.”
The restaurant, which employs around 30 staff, was open until 11pm on Christmas Eve.
It closed only for Christmas Day, and was open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
“I love my job. I wouldn't do this if I didn't and the people make it,” the manager added.
“Every day is a new and interesting challenge, but I really need some time off over the next month.”