Karen Confuses The Restaurant Owner With A Waiter, Treats Him Like Garbage, Ends The Night With An Unexpected $4k Bill.
Karen, a female archetype who is self centered, snobbish, and has nasty attitude has no place in this world. In this story the owner had to face Karen however he decided to teach her a lesson in the best way possible. Hope people like Karen understand that being humble and having a modest attitude makes them a better person in the beautiful world. (This story was sent to us by Hayden).
My grandparents immigrated to Canada from Italy in the 70s and opened up a restaurant. When they passed away the restaurant went to my parents, over the decades they grew and expanded it. I have been working at the restaurant since I was 15. Over time my parents got older and eventually retired becoming snowbirds (go to Florida for the winters). They left the restaurant to me about a few years ago but still retained a small % ownership as an additional revenue stream along with their savings and annuities.
Soon as I gained control I pretty much modernized the old place. Remodeled the restaurant, changed the logo, reached out to the local and national papers to put out ads, invited food critics, bloggers, vloggers etc. It was very slow at first and I began to worry that the loan I took out to do all this was the biggest mistake I had ever done and I ruined three generations of my families business but eventually it began to work and a local semi famous YouTube featured us in one of his videos and that was the catalyst for more people to come and review and eventually we were seeing 5x-10x the business we usually get even if it’s a Monday.
We became a hot spot for major events and it wasn’t uncommon for a celebrity to come. On those nights I even arranged for special high profile chefs to visit and cook for our guests. (costs a fortune) So during the holidays we were beyond packed. It got to the point where people would have had to make reservations in July to get a table in December. (this process took years to get to where we are now)
When it gets busy I don’t just sit in the back office I’m on the floor doing whatever needs to be done. Even if that means I greet people, busing tables or even mopping the floors. Other nights when we have high profile guests or events I’m in a blazer and am acting in charge tho.
On one night a group of 6 women walked in. 5 of them look like they are still in their early 20s and the head of the group looked like she was in her mid 20s. Best theory she was one of the other four girls’ older sisters or possibly an older sorority sister to incoming college freshmen maybe.
I was greeting at the door, as they were walking up queen B Karen was telling the baby Karen’s on how this place is awesome, food is amazing and there might even be celebrities here. When she came up to me she told me she needed a table for 6. I replied “of course can I please get the name on the reservation”. She looked at me and said “oh, I didn’t make one but it’s ok the owner is a personal friend of mine, he said he always has one or two tables that he keeps open for special guests and said we can have one of those tonight“.
Now generally this is true of many high profile restaurants and lately I have been doing that as well but I had no clue who this woman was and she definitely never spoke to me about any of this. I did get she was trying to get in without a reservation but she literally picked the worst person she could possibly talk to and tried this.
I told her “I am sorry but we can not seat anyone without a reservation as you can see we do not have any seats available”. I didn’t want to go all out and say I’m the owner and we have never spoken before so I never promised you a thing because I didn’t wanna embarrass her in front of the other girls she was with. (AT FIRST!!)
She then went on and said out loud to one of the other girls to take a picture of me, she will speak to the owner and make sure I’m either cleaning the toilet or fired by the end of the week. The other girls following her lead where like “yeah kiss your minimum wage job goodbye”. (I’m not sure if they were in on it with her or they honestly thought she knew the owner).
Queen B Karen then went on and said “look you can just give us a table or I can make life very difficult for you, this is not worth losing you job.” constantly pointing just trying to put me down saying things like obviously you aren’t anyone here because if you were you would know who I am and never even try to tell me anything other then yes or of course. Constantly trying to belittle me and get that table.
At this point it was a long day for me and the way I saw it. I had three options. 1) tell her I’m the owner and just call her out on all of this. 2) just give her the table and let it be 3) teach queen B Karen and her little minions a lesson.
I chose option three for various reasons. Including some personality flaws I am aware that I have but I like to think it was at least 50% really wanting to teach her a lesson. I smiled at her, said of course ma’am follow me please and I gave her one of the 3 tables we keep open in case a celebrity comes (happens from time to time). I told her I apologize for everything and she is right. It would be simpler to just give her the table. I also told her that the first three rounds of drinks will be complementary.
I sat them down and personally served them. As they were sitting down I told them we do need one of your credit cards and IDs just to keep on file and we will give it back to you before you leave. Queen Karen gave me her cards, and told the baby karen minions that tonight was on her. I took their orders and got them their free drinks and told them due to how busy we are tonight there might be a delay on the food. All the girls were thinking of and cared about where there free rounds.
They ordered there 3 rounds and still had no food, they eventually called me and asked me to check on it the whole time, giving me the world’s most nasty attitude since even before they ordered. I told them I will check on it but also asked if they would like any more drinks. They ordered two more rounds by the time the appetizers arrived. At this point they are all drunk. Having done nothing but drink on an empty stomach most the night and only having had salads after.
As more food arrives the more drinks are ordered. What these girls never realized was they are at our VIP table which alone costs a few thousand just to sit in (but i didn’t charge them for that) what I did charge them for was all the super expensive cocktails they had throughout the whole night (except for the first three rounds) in addition the table they were sitting in as mentioned was VIP so the menus were a bit different for one they don’t say prices on them (trade secret) and in addition it had certain higher end menu options such as white truffle, black caviar dishes and specially imported west coast oysters among other things.
At one point in the night I was honestly rethinking what I was doing and thought I might be going to far with these poor girls they might not know any better but some things reassured me through out the night. such as one of the baby karens ask me if I felt like my life was worthless since all I ever became was a waiter also one of my other employees told me how they were discussing how to “f*** with me” to the point that they can just do this when ever they want and I will know to always give them a table. I also over heard them say “he’s cute but I would never date a waiter like that he is such a pushover” there were a bunch of comments like that the whole night. So I kept on with there life lesson.
By the end of the night each girl racked up a bill in the range of $500-600 per girl. When I handed queen karen the bill of $4,232.23 with tax and tip included of course. I have never seen anyone sober up so quickly. She went from laughing and giggling with her friends to nearly in tears. She called me over instantly and asked if this was some kind of joke. I took the bill, looked it over and said oh, yes I apologize I will get you the correct bill in a moment. Again she felt a complete sense of relief thinking she got someone else’s bill, called me a idiot and went on to talking to her friends.
To be fair I did make a mistake. I did forget to count her 8th order of a dozen oysters that costs about $120 per order. So I gladly just went back and added it to the order.
When I went back to give her the correct bill she flipped out again. Going crazy. I just asked if there is something on this bill that she didn’t order. She and the girls in shock go over every single line of the bill including the first few lines that show there original 3 rounds which say “complementary”. They then took out their phones and line by line went over everything line by line for the 100th time adding everything up. extremely rattled queen B karen simply said one second I need to use the washroom. Part of me thought that she might just pull a dine and dash and leave the baby karens with the bill but kinda low key I did in a way remind her we had her ID and CC without making it obvious I thought she was going to run out on the bill.
10 min later she comes back with new makeup (obviously she has been crying) and makes up a whole story on how the food was awful, the drinks were bad and so on. demanding that as bare minimum I should cut the bill in half with the agreement the baby karens will chip in even though she originally told them the night would be on her. Then as if a light bulb went off in her head she again mentioned her relationship with the owner as if it were to give me additional incentive to cut the bill in half.
Holding back a grin at this point I told her no. Just no, I can’t change the bill. She whips out her phone and shows me a series of texts with someone called “(my restaurants name owner)” which pretty much I realized was what she was doing in the bathroom. Just probably changed one of the other karen minions contact name and deleted previous texts so start this new script.
I read them then clicked on contact info and told her that’s not the owner’s cell number. Her reply was “he has multiple phones for business and stuff of course you don’t know all his numbers”. I remember wow this girl thought of everything except i’m the actual owner”. I told her how about this. If we call him and he says that it’s ok to take 50% off the bill then i will do it. Her reply was yelling and screaming over the time where the few remaining customers all began to start looking and I knew it was the right time to end this. I told her already in a less accommodating voice, “cut the crap little girl, you don’t know the owner, you have never been here before and if you keep yelling I will call the police”.
Her demeanor changed and she was trying to defend herself the best she could. My reply to her weak comebacks was “my grandparents founded this restaurant, my family has been running this place for generations. I have worked here almost my entire life. I am the one and only owner of this restaurant and I have never once seen you, heard of you and I definitely never made a stranger I don’t know and have never met before tonight any promises.
The mini karens just froze and didn’t even know how to react. Queen B Karen was in tears. I said “Now I gave you the table you wanted one of your specially reserved tables for high end clients which I didn’t charge you for and I gave you three rounds of free drinks, if you don’t pay your bill I will call the cops and and hand them your ID.” In tears queen Karen signed the bill and the mini karens took out their purses to give her whatever cash they had which equaled to maybe a couple of hundred, with the promise to pay her back more.
Two days later a man walked into my restaurant fuming and asked one of my bartenders to speak to me, I was in the back office for a bit working so he waited a good half hour for me. He was queen B Karen’s father. She was with him too, keeping her head down. I took them both to my office and showed him highlights of the security cameras which were especially good quality of audio because they were in the VIP which we had to keep good records of because we have had other unrelated incidents before.
So I showed him most of it, their comments, their orders, everything. When all was said and done he stormed out with her and was screaming at her the whole time they were walking away. Haven’t seen or heard from either of them since but the original bill I gave them (the one that didn’t count the $120 oysters) is framed on my desk.