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Topic: Great Story
Message: Posted by: james prince (Jan 23, 2013 07:11AM)
I’m on the Café this week, hunting for Bicycle Bridge double facers
While I’m around let me share a great little story with you –
One of my friends, Tony, runs a very successful business but also finds time to be a busy semi-pro magician
He worked a Greek restaurant once a fortnight
Recently the restaurant ran into trouble and needed bailing out financially
Tony stepped in and found himself owning half a restaurant
So he now can be found there, rather more often, as a manager/host
Of course he still has a few tricks in his pocket for the regulars
That’s set the scene – here comes the story –

Tony’s just finished a trick at a table and wanders over to a nearby table to ask if they are ready for their food to be served
Before he can open his mouth, a man at the table, who presumably has seen him doing magic, says loudly in a very rude way – ‘We don’t want any here, please leave us alone’
Tony tries to explain – ‘Actually I just came over to…’
He is not allowed to finish – He is cut off by Mr.Angry saying – ‘I said we don’t want any, please go away’
‘Most unusual, are you absolutely sure?
‘YES’
We’ve all been there, doesn’t happen very often but there are people like that out there, all we can do is put it behind us and move on

But we don’t own the restaurant –

Tony went into the kitchen, cancelled the order and waited......
After about 20 minutes, they called a waiter to complain about the delay
He in turned called the owner over to the table
Tony with his best innocent expression explained that he had come to their table to ask if they were ready to eat and they had insisted they did not want any and asked him to go away
Magic? who said anything about Magic?
Against expectations they stayed but Tony made sure they had another long wait before they finally got their food
Petty and unproffessional– yes of course – but that customer will think twice before he’s rude to a table hopper again
Oh and despite Tony’s cavalier attitude on this one occasion, the restaurant is going from strength to strength
Message: Posted by: M Sini (Jan 23, 2013 09:24AM)
Excellent story. Made me smile.
Message: Posted by: Paul Rathbun (Jan 23, 2013 09:40AM)
Sounds like a good way to get fired. I like a good revenge story as much as the next guy, and I really don't pompous like jerks, but this is bad for everybody.

First off, I am pretty sure that NOBODY believed Tony's story about the misunderstanding. It sounds pretty obvious that everybody would be able to figure out what was really going on. This is bad for magicians as this is the impression being left with this group of people about magicians. It is bad for the restaurant because those patrons may not return (or possibly anybody they tell about their bad experience.) It is bad for that table's waitress as she probably got stiffed on a tip.

It sucks when people are rude (or even belittling), but unfortunately when you are working to please clientele for someone else you have to do what is best for their business not your pride.

Just my 1.5 cents.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 23, 2013 10:07AM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-23 10:40, Paul Rathbun wrote:
Sounds like a good way to get fired.
[/quote]

For a magician, yes. But did you read the part that tells that he is co-owner of the restaurant?

I doubt though, that this will cause Mr. Angry to think twice about being rude. ****** are pretty resilient.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Jan 23, 2013 10:25AM)
I disagree with Paul here. This was the co-owner of the restaurant and technically, he has the right to refuse service to anyone he sees fit. Just sayin...
Message: Posted by: Paul Rathbun (Jan 23, 2013 11:39AM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-23 11:07, Michael Baker wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-01-23 10:40, Paul Rathbun wrote:
Sounds like a good way to get fired.
[/quote]

For a magician, yes. But did you read the part that tells that he is co-owner of the restaurant?

I doubt though, that this will cause Mr. Angry to think twice about being rude. ****** are pretty resilient.
[/quote]

My bad, I was skim reading and I did skip over the part about him being co-owner of the restaurant. In that case, he had the right to just tell him to leave. When he asks why, tell him "the jerk-store called, and they're running out of you!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KmTTy_MM5w

Seriously though, I can't stand guys like that, and when a person in power (i.e. the owner) has the ability to take them down a few notches I am all for it. Now if it had been a magician hired to table hop in someone else's establishment (like I thought it was) then I would feel as I originally posted.
Message: Posted by: Paul Rathbun (Jan 23, 2013 11:42AM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-23 11:07, Michael Baker wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-01-23 10:40, Paul Rathbun wrote:
Sounds like a good way to get fired.
[/quote]

For a magician, yes. But did you read the part that tells that he is co-owner of the restaurant?

I doubt though, that this will cause Mr. Angry to think twice about being rude. ****** are pretty resilient.
[/quote]

My bad, I was skim reading and I did skip over the part about him being co-owner of the restaurant. In that case, he had the right to just tell him to leave. When he asks why, tell him "the jerk-store called, and they're running out of you!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KmTTy_MM5w
Message: Posted by: nathanmorris (Jan 23, 2013 02:07PM)
Great story!
Message: Posted by: Daz Buckley (Jan 23, 2013 04:06PM)
A great story. Just shows you can't control idiots but you can control whether they inhabit your world.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Jan 23, 2013 04:35PM)
Once had a boss teach me sometimes the customer is NOT right. While Mr Rude may not come back and he'll tell his friends...him and his friends are not the kind of customer the owner wants to attract. Just like biker bars don't want vegans, and vice versa, it's long term branding and building of the restaurant.
Message: Posted by: Presarian (Jan 23, 2013 05:01PM)
What a great read! Shows that you should not jump to conclusions even in everyday life. Serves you no good in most cases >.>
Message: Posted by: Rodney Palmer (Jan 23, 2013 11:59PM)
I think TONY needs to learn how to run a Successful Business. What TONY forgot is that WORD of MOUTH Travels like a WILDFIRE in this situation. Tony, made the wrong call and was very un-professional. This could come back and bit him in the you know what later on. I have seen many business fail because of Tony has done. He treated a paying customer very bad. And from what I gather Tony worked at this same restaurant and who is to say that they had seen him there before and knew he was a magician and they simply did not want to be bothered. Yes, the customer was rude but you have to expect that in running a business.

Rodney
Message: Posted by: pepka (Jan 24, 2013 03:29AM)
I agree that he did handle it wrong, even though it sounds like the customer was being a jerk.

I have the opposite reaction at one of my regular places. People often think I'm the owner. I always welcome them and get everyone's name long before I say anything about magic. Sometimes they want to compliment me on "my" place, ask me to recommend something on the menu, or have a question about the town. I have no problem answering because I've been there for 7 years and grew up in the town.

Not sure I'd have the cajones to act as he did. If I owned the place maybe, but Rodney is right, word of mouth can make or break you.
Message: Posted by: Daryl -the other brother (Jan 24, 2013 10:59AM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-23 08:11, james prince wrote:
wanders over to a nearby table to ask if they are ready for their food to be served
[/quote]

Is this a typo? I have been asked if I was ready to order but I've never been asked if I was ready to have my food served. What kind of answer would you get? "No, we're still talking, just leave it under the warming lights for a few more minutes".

I agree with Rodney and Pepka. Deliberately canceling their order and letting them sit there? He was a bigger jerk than the customer.
Message: Posted by: Countage (Jan 24, 2013 11:18AM)
Why is that good for business. Just because someone is rude does not mean you have to respond in a unprofessional way. If I invested my money in the restaurant I would be more interested in saving my investment than my face. However I would have made it clear to the guests that I was at there table as owner not magician. I think a experience performer should be able to out vocalize most people.
Message: Posted by: themagicguy (Jan 24, 2013 04:15PM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-24 11:59, Daryl -the other brother wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-01-23 08:11, james prince wrote:
wanders over to a nearby table to ask if they are ready for their food to be served
[/quote]

Is this a typo? I have been asked if I was ready to order but I've never been asked if I was ready to have my food served. What kind of answer would you get? "No, we're still talking, just leave it under the warming lights for a few more minutes".

I agree with Rodney and Pepka. Deliberately canceling their order and letting them sit there? He was a bigger jerk than the customer.
[/quote]

He obviously went over to show them some magic. They told him to go away. So, he gets got all upset goes to the kitchen and cancels their order for revenge.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Jan 24, 2013 05:06PM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-24 04:29, pepka wrote:
I have the opposite reaction at one of my regular places. People often think I'm the owner.
[/quote]
I'm impressed! People think I'm the water boy.
Message: Posted by: bunkyhenry (Jan 24, 2013 05:20PM)
Maybe he should polish up his "attention getting" phase of the magic act...or make his approach more entertaining...or be a better entertainer.
Message: Posted by: james prince (Jan 25, 2013 08:05AM)
Interesting set of responses -
Those who think he acted unprofessionally - yes I have to agree, in fact so does Tony, he introduced the story to me, with a ‘I shouldn’t have done this’ opening
He seems to have got away with it though; the business was failing and is now rocketing upwards and I’m sure his knee jerk reaction won’t be repeated
To clear up a point, the customers are always given breads and olives, dipping oils and so on, when they sit down and many choose to chat, have a drink and are often in no rush for their starters. So it is the policy of the restaurant to always ask if they are ready or would like a few more minutes, they often opt for a few more minutes and this is good news for the restaurant in terms of wine sales and the customers appreciate not feeling rushed
And rights and wrongs to one side – it’s still a great story
Message: Posted by: Daryl -the other brother (Jan 25, 2013 10:17AM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-25 09:05, james prince wrote:
it is the policy of the restaurant to always ask if they are ready or would like a few more minutes, they often opt for a few more minutes[/quote]

Yes they ask if they are ready to order not if they are ready to eat their entree.
Message: Posted by: mrsmiles (Jan 26, 2013 06:40AM)
I think Tony acted with admirable decorum and restraint.
It was a Greek restaurant - he could have smashed the plates on the guys head. I'm Greek, I know that's what I would have done.
Oh... ok, you caught me out, I wouldn't have done that - but a guy is allowed to fantasise!

Reatuarnt customers however should always remember the old chineses proverb:
'He who say rude thing or act bad to waiter - he get spit in food'...
Message: Posted by: FatHatter (Jan 26, 2013 10:52AM)
Not a great story. Not even a good story. It's a tale of look what I did to that guy who didn't want to see my magic.
Rude? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Sees Magician working a table and when approached says he doesn't want any, in a tone of voice that means business.
I missed the social contract that says when out to eat you have to placate anyone who approaches your table, especially when you have just witnessed them working a table.

If there is any rude in this tale it's on Tony.

I don't work restaurants cause when I'm out to eat the last thing wanted is to be bothered and don't want to be the one intruding. In fact the whole restaurant entertainment thing is beyond me. I sit at a table to eat, I go to a show to see a show.
The cold approach is just that, cold. How dare someone bristle at cold!
Message: Posted by: Countage (Jan 29, 2013 08:13AM)
Not everyone wants to see strolling entertainment at a restaurant. However some do. It has to be placed in the right restaurant on the right night. The entertainer needs to be able service those that want to enjoy it and not bother those that don't. I can often spot tables that I think do not want to see magic or get a balloon. I hit all of the tables that are no brainers first, you know the ones where the kids are falling out of the booth to see you. Although occasionally I run into situation where the parents will say no thank you no matter how much the kids want to see it. After approaching these tables I go back to all of the other tables, greet them, and light heartily apologize for skipping them. I find the tables that would normally firmly say "No and go away" laugh and say that were fine. Every now and then a table that I guessed would not be interested says they would love to see some entertainment.
Message: Posted by: patrick flanagan (Jan 29, 2013 02:19PM)
Interesting attitude Fathatter. I think a simple, "No, thanks." would have been sufficient. I'm not supporting Tony's behavior either. Be the magician or be the owner. When approaching a table, to avoid confusion, he should announce which role he is portraying.
As far as the customer, the guy is an unhappy tool. I'm sure he acts this way with most people. Tony should have politely excused himself. He could have taken pleasure in knowing this idiot would be handing him money at the end of the night.