Archive for November 15th, 2021

Service of Obstreperous Guests: What To Do

Monday, November 15th, 2021

‘Tis the season–there will soon be lots of entertaining going on especially for the vaccinated. Are we ready?

No surprise the subject of guests who cause discomfort came up with friends I saw last week. I reminisced with one about an incident that happened at his dinner table a few years back. We could laugh about the eccentricity now but it made him anxious at the time. My friend and his wife were welcoming a couple to town. The new neighbor put a loaded gun next to his plate. “Is the gun loaded?” he asked. It was. He requested his guest put it in his jacket in the hall. The man argued he never went anywhere without his gun but eventually relented.

Another friend was hosting a dinner party and a last minute guest she didn’t know–a pal asked if he could bring him–wondered if it was OK if he smoked pot and offered the others to join him. Before anyone answered she said she didn’t allow smoking in her home. [Tenants in my apartment house sign an agreement that there is no smoking period–even on our balconies or in front of the building.]

She also told us about an in law of a buddy who arrived at her home badly inebriated. That visitor held hostage the conversation with her angry rants and nobody could get in a word.

I recall a restaurant review many years ago–I’ve written about it before–in which the critic loved the food, service and ambiance but interspersed with her compliments she quoted the boisterous and vicious argument of a couple seated nearby. The restaurant did not receive the stars it should have, she wrote, because the Maitre D’ should have told the couple to keep it civil or leave.

A bunch of friends addressed the restaurateur’s challenge. Some felt the noisy couple should be asked to go and one, who had witnessed a similarly loud fight, felt that she should have been compensated for a free meal as nothing was done to quiet the couple.

The hostess in the instances above asked me “What would you do about a trouble-making, quarrelsome or out of control guest?” a question which I ask you. Should a restaurant manager evict unruly patrons–including shrieking children–in the interest of the comfort of others while at risk of losing a loyal customer or facing a nasty confrontation?



Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay
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