Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Miss a question? Go here.
Gentle laughter, clinking glasses, soft music -- restaurants should be a happy place. But what happens when they're not? What happens when a guest creates a disturbance in the restaurant force? Obviously, someone's got to go. But when is enough enough? And what would make it so severe that they could never come back?
Romeo Taus, Chef and Owner, Romeo's Euro Cafe
This is our place, not yours! You are a very valued guest and our commitment to you is to treat you as such. We are here to cook and serve you the food, drinks etc. Give us an opportunity to do so. Respect begets respect. If you do not agree with that, please take your money and spend it somewhere else. We would never deny you that opportunity!
Eric Flatt, Co-owner, Tonto Bar & Grill and Cartwright's Sonoran Ranch House
Being a jackass and offending other customers, employees, or managers. Haven't had to do it too many times, but there has been a few so bad we had to call the cops to remove them.
Heather Bryan, General Manager, Zuzu
Getting blacklisted is difficult. One would have to do something pretty unacceptable, usually having something to do with too much alcohol consumption. This includes rudeness to another patron or an employee, not paying the bill, and constant complaining and not accepting a solution if the restaurant is trying to be accommodating.
Michael Monti, Owner, Monti's La Casa Vieja
When they announce out loud to everyone in the dining room they are getting a divorce during dinner on Valentine's Day.
Dana Mule, GM and Partner, Hula's Modern Tiki
The only time we've 86'd anyone permanently was for bad behavior at the bar. We recently had a patron who asked the other patrons sitting there so many bizarre and offensive questions that we asked him not to come back. If your attitude impedes on the enjoyment of other guests, you're not going to be welcome at Hula's.
Danielle Leoni, Chef and Co-Owner, The Breadfruit
Hands down, if somebody is being disrespectful to one of us, we would ask them to leave. Mind you, this has only happened once in the five years The Breadfruit has been around.
Bernie Kantak, Chef and Partner, Citizen Public House
We usually try to make things work out for anyone who walks through our door, but there have been a few instances where people have been asked to leave. I think the worst thing a guest can do is be demeaning to staff.
Chris Osborn, Owner, Cadillac Ranch
I don't want to say because some nut job might read this and come in to take a shot at seeing if it really works.
Chef Peter DeRuvo, Davanti Enoteca
Treating servers in a demeaning fashion, drunk and disorderly, breaking things, rude and obnoxious behavior, and non-payment of bill.
Michael Rusconi, Chef and Owner, Rusconi's American Kitchen
Disrespect and profanity toward any employee, especially my servers.
Zach Bredemann, Corporate Chef, Kona Grill
When operating a business, you never want to turn away any guest. We're pretty lucky that we rarely have to do so, but unfortunately, at times, it is unavoidable. Some sure-fire ways to get the boot are; causing a fight, being disrespectful to other guests, and using profanity toward staff.
Christopher Gross, Chef and Owner, Christopher's Restaurant & Crush Lounge
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We had a couple that wanted a measuring cup to check the wine pour, and they told the waitress, "If you don't fucking get a measuring cup, we're taking the glasses home." Then, the woman said the fish stew didn't taste like the one she had in Marseille, France, and sent it back -- plus they were constantly saying the f-word to the waitress. Paola told them we were sorry we could not make them happy and took care of their check. The man replied if he didn't get a check he would never come back. Paola said, "Precisely, you're not." I had all the cooks clap as they were walking out.