dispute with rude customers

Northern Michigan restaurant closes early due to ‘rude’ and ‘arrogant’ tourists

If you work in the service or tourism industry, every once in a while you will have to deal with rude customers. Often, tourists can be the worst of them all. Especially after the COVID19 pandemic, which has left many restaurants heavily understaffed, rude customers are becoming increasingly normal. For this general manager, the incredibly rude tourists mistreating her staff became the final straw. On one of the busiest weekends of the year, she closed the restaurant and left a note saying that rude customers won’t be tolerated.

Restaurant Closed Because Of Rude Tourists

The Venetian Festival in Charlevoix, Michegan is one of the biggest, busiest events of the year. It brings in an incredible amount of tourists to the downtown area. Naturally, these people spend a lot of money in restaurants and entertainment while they’re in town. This year, during the 92 installment of the festival, the East Park Tavern was experiencing a heavy volume of patrons, as usual. Despite the money coming into the restaurant, however, general manager Larah Moore decided to close the restaurant mid-festival. Why? Because of the incredibly rude tourists coming to dine. (1)

She posted a handwritten sign on the door of the restaurant explaining that their restaurant was closed due to the extreme mistreatment of their servers. For this reason, the kitchen was closed. She then posted a photo of the sign on the restaurant’s Facebook page, explaining the situation a bit further.

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“I’ve worked in downtown Charlevoix most of my adult life during Venetian. It’s usually great, busy, but fun and worthwhile.
I’m so incredibly disappointed and embarrassed by the Fudgies we have this year. My staff took a BEATING all week. Last night was our last straw. Too many rude comments. Too many arrogant individuals acting like they can throw money at us to get their way. Too many cocky jerks.
No one gets to treat my staff like trash. They are the absolute shining stars in my life and I love and appreciate the hell out of the few of them that I am lucky enough to have. If you push your servers, watch them start to push back. We are here to ensure great food, drinks and quality of your time spent with us. We are not here to be abused. We will not tolerate that anymore.

Larah Moore, Manager at East Park Tavern” (2)

Read: Restaurant Shuts Down for a ‘Day of Kindness’ After Customers Make Its Staff Cry

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A Viral Message

The photo quickly went viral. It struck a chord, especially with other people who work or have worked in the service industry. Rude tourists and customers are sadly not a new phenomenon. Many people who work in restaurants, hotels, and other service establishments are used to regularly being treated poorly by clients and patrons. 

Most often the things that are upsetting the customers are things that are largely out of their control. On top of that, servers are just people, only when they have a bad day they can’t hide behind their laptop or in their cubicle. Whatever is happening in their lives, they still have to put a smile on their face at work and pretend that it isn’t happening.

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Doing The Best They Can

Moore explained that, like many restaurants post-pandemic, staffing has been an issue. They are short-staffed, meaning that service is slower than what people want. At first they were at least a bit understanding, but now people are tired of hearing “we’re short staffed because of the pandemic” everywhere they go. Unfortunately, that frustration gets taken out on the servers.

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“They expect a lot more out of the service industry because they’re tired of hearing that we’re so short staffed,” Moore said. “They expect something when they come out to eat, and we are here to give that service to you, absolutely, 100 percent to the best of our abilities.”

She continued.

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“We shut down the roads so we can have people out wandering getting to-go drinks. So now my one bartender has the floor to serve. Plus her bar. Plus to-go drinks. And people don’t have a lot of patience when they’ve been drinking, so they’re snapping at our bartenders, they’re snapping at the servers for faster service, they’re just not really being kind.”

Moore says that she is already thinking ahead about next year and what she can do to try and make things better for her staff. Hopefully, people will be kinder and more understanding.

Keep Reading: Chef Returns $1,200 Bill Of Rich Diner Who ‘Disrespected’ His Waitress, Bans Them From Restaurant

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Sources:

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  1. Charlevoix restaurant closes early due to disrespectful touristsUpNorthLive. July 25, 2022.
  2. Larah Moore. Facebook. July 24, 2022.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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