What would you do as a restaurant owner if you gave a customer the wrong order (and charged them for more)?

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Here’s a scenario which I heard recently:

On New Year’s Eve a customer went to a restaurant and ordered a calamari starter. When the bill came, the restaurant charged her for a main course calamari. When she complained, the restaurant would not rectify the situation. What would you do as a restaurant owner?People are very particular about their restaurant experiences. If the food is good and the service is good, they rave over restaurants. And even if someone says something bad about the restaurant, they’ll brush past it. This is how loyal customers can become. But when there is bad service at a restaurant, customers won’t go back and they’ll tell several people about what happened.

Here’s a fact:

?On average, customers who have had a bad service experience tend to tell about 9-15 people about their experience. However, with social media and online review platforms, this number could be significantly higher if they choose to share their experience online.

I tried to tell the person who had been to the restaurant and had received bad service that I went to the very same restaurant and ordered the same calamari starter which was delicious and there was no problem with the bill. But the more I sung the praises of this restaurant, the more the person I was speaking to got agitated and insisted that she did not want to go there again. You see, once you’ve made a mistake like this in your restaurant, customers have no more faith in you and it’s hard to pull them back. I really don’t know how this happened and it’s hard to believe but I don’t doubt the person who told me their experience. I really don’t. But there’s no way you’re going to change her mind. This is why it would have been far better for the restaurant owner to have done something about it. Surely they could have changed the bill. I mean it’s quite simple to do. Why they didn’t do that, I have no idea. It’s important to admit your staff’s mistake and rectify it. But there’s another thing, if you treat customers like this, you are actually commenting on their integrity, saying that they are not telling the truth to you. In fact, it’s saying that they are lying to you. How can you let this situation happen where you are accusing a customer of lying? Yes, you’re going to get some that will lie. There’s no doubt about that. You get chancers everywhere and if somebody can get something for nothing, they’ll take the chance. But on average, the people who go to a decent restaurant are honest folk who just want to enjoy their meal, enjoy the occasion, whatever it is, such as in this case, it was the celebration of the old year year with the new year coming in.

The point:

It ‘s not worth letting a problem like happen or not solving it on the spot and apologizing profusely. The numbers show that a disgruntled customer is going to tell an awful lot of people about their experience and that may well put off others. I’m a little doubtful or skeptical myself whether to go back to that restaurant. I probably will, but I’ll err on the side of caution.

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