Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sometimes Bosses can be...

Ridiculous. They can. We all know it.

I was tending bar on a night we host karaoke. Although this event can bring in good business, ours attracts people who nurse one beer or try to get a glass of free water for the whole evening. I had the pleasure of serving a couple who spent a total of $15 on drinks and bought one small app in the 6 hours they were there. They spent less than $4 an hour. Not a huge deal. Whatever, right? Would have been except they ordered a "bucket" of beer. Bottled beer put in a bucket with ice. We've all seen this right?

The bucket they ordered was split; half one type, half another. One of the beers was on special if you bought a bucket of it. I charged them full price, $1.50 more than the special price. They didn't order the special, right? They come in every week. The specials haven't changed in the two years I have worked there.

They complained to my boss. About $1.50. He bought them both a beer. He bought them both a beer because they felt I overcharged them.

Am I the only one who sees the issue with my bosses reaction? I can understand wanting to keep customers happy. Really, I do. I want them happy too. I think buying one of them a beer would have been good enough for this situation. Basically, he bought them the equivalent of about 1/3 of what they spent all night.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think bosses are scared to lose any business so they cough up whatever they can to keep the customers happy and coming back.The cheap ones though just take up space and time. A big waste.

AK said...

Yeah, my bosses are quick to do things like that, too. Anything to show the customer "we care" I guess, but the fact is that if the couple is cheap now, they're going to be cheap next time they come back.

EarnBiggerTips said...

I feel your pain. I worked in a similar place a few years back. Pop drinkers and cheap as can be at that!

I can understand your boss's doing what he did. He might even dislike those people very much. But there's just more to the picture. You've simply got to keep them happy as long as they don't cross the line of trying to rip the place off. That's when the boss has to say enough.

If I were in your shoes I'd apologize to those customers. Just say you don't know what you were thinking and the loud music must have gotten to you for a moment. I know it sucks but it's so much better to have freinds than enemies in a bar. Especially when they keep coming back!

Good Luck to you.

P.S I worked Karaoke on Sunday nights for almost a year. I HATED it so bad. I seriously couldn't think straight after about 2 hours of that horrible off key singing all night. lol

LW said...

Unfortunately, if I apologized they'd expect me to give them the same thing for the special price next time as well. The manager that was working this time is the only one who would allow that. The other two wouldn't even hear of it.
It's hard to have managers not on the same page, ya know?

BB said...

It's always annoying when you feel like you are doing the right thing and the manager comes along and makes it all better. I dunno about you.. but where I work I can't give someone a free drink or lower the price of a drink without the manager's approval. So, in the end, I always look like the bad guy.. and the managers look like the good guy.

Sometimes, if I know I'm right about something.. like charging the right prices on tabs.. I will get very offended when the manager gives the customers what they want, in this case a much lower tab total. Because then it makes me look incompetent.

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Sarah said...

This situation sucks! I also bartend at a sports bar and we have these evenings where we serve 25 cent wings with a drink purchase...OH you wouldnt believe the cheap people that come out for that!!! They can get an order of wings for $2.63 and then they complain about having to purchase a the extra $2.00 is going to leave them broke!!! The best part is that these people leave the change for a tip or no tip at all! So 37 cents...awesome! But, at least 37 cents is something...

As for your situation...these people shouldnt receive the bucket for the special price. I would tell them if they order the bucket with all Coors Lite (Just picking a beer here) that it is going to be 10 dollars (special price) but if they order the bucket with 3 Coors Lite and 2 Budweiser, the bucket price will be 11 dollars. People always will ask if you can still give it to them under the table, but the answer should be no. You told them what you could do and now they should decide. That way, there is no reason for them to complain. You spelled it out for them and they knew the consequences. I cant believe they would complain!! SO LAME!

I always tell customers what the specials are as they order any drink. If they say, Oh I want a Miller Lite, I will ask if they want to take advantage of the bucket special or a special price on the pitchers. That way, they know up front the price. I hate to hear your story because these people come in your bar all the time. They should know the prices...kinda makes you wonder if another bartender is giving them the special price all the time....what do you think??

LW said...

I actually watched this the week after. The regular bartender does the same thing I did. I think they were taking advantage of me being "new" (they had never seen me before and thought I was) and that the push-over manager was working that night.