Coffee Mill owner has to “work for a living” so he was too busy to talk his customers.
Friday evening came, I clocked out at the office and wanted to surprise my daughters and take them to our favourite restaurant for supper. I am a single mother with two daughters (16 and 7 years old) and we have enjoyed many years of family meals at the Coffee Mill in the Lancaster Mall. An evening that was supposed to be relaxing for me after a long work week and enjoyable for my children quickly turned into a humiliating, discriminating and very upsetting evening. Let me start at the beginning:
The Service at the Coffee Mill is always great except for this evening. Since I have never had poor service, I thought I would mention it to the manager on duty. After requesting the manager, my waiter returned and told me that he was too busy to talk to me because “HE has to work for a living”. I am sure you can imagine my disbelief, so I just paid for my meal and left the restaurant. There were other customers (strangers) that left the restaurant before me, that were waiting outside the mall to see how my concern was addressed. They were as shocked at the response as I was. As I talked to them about it, I began to get upset, feeling as though I was being discriminated against because I was alone with my children. I re-entered the restaurant and expressed that I had to speak with the manager. When he approached me, I said to him that I needed to come back and speak with him because I was insulted. He interrupted me and said “I don’t care if you are insulted, and I don’t care if you ever come back here”. These were the first words out of his mouth. Of course my mouth dropped along with everyone else in the restaurant. While I was trying to ask if he was a new manager, he interrupted again, saying that he has been the OWNER of this restaurant for 31 years and that it’s been the best rated restaurant in the city for the past 5. He also informed me that he works 14 hour days. I asked how he could talk to customers this way, with everyone in the restaurant hearing and strangers outside waiting to hear the outcome, to which he says; “I don’t care, I have 100,000 people coming through these doors a year”. As I continued to try to talk he continued interrupting by saying “I don’t care”. When other customers came to the counter to pay for their meal, he took their money and apologized for “this” and proceeded to tell me that if I didn’t leave that he was going to call SECURITY. I asked what I had done, to which he responded, “If you don’t leave I will call the police and charge you with causing a disturbance.” I couldn’t believe he was accusing me of “causing a disturbance” because I had kept my composure the entire time. He was the one making a scene. So with that I left the restaurant. As I was leaving he said to me, “See you next week”.
In the beginning I just wanted to express my concern about the service I received, I didn’t want a free meal or dessert, just an apology. But in my re-turn visit I wanted to express utter disgust by his insult. I left this restaurant upset but also felt humiliated as a customer and degraded in front of my children. As I stated earlier I am a hard working mother of two and he made me feel as though I was a lower class citizen not worthy of his time. I know this is a popular restaurant and I can see that the owner is not the reason for its popularity. If he was the face of this company I am sure many customers would not return. I know after this encounter that my daughters and I will be looking for a new ‘family favourite’ restaurant. I can say with certainty many members of my large family and friends have been so disturbed by the treatment I received that they also will not return to this restaurant. Not even an apology at this point will not change my mind.
|1.||1568 George Street (4205.4 km)|