The frustration for Yuzu Sushi & Robata's Bua Bun reached the boiling point on Friday night. She heard a male customer hurl obscenities at her and her host when the two refused to accept money to allow the customer to skip the hour wait for a table for four. It's the second time Bun's witnessed this behavior at her family's restaurant this month, and she resorted to a Facebook post to share her anger.
It's a growing problem for Yuzu, said Bun, and their 40 tables that routinely see 45-minute to an hour waits during weekend rush times. The abrasive language delivered by the customer was too much — he repeatedly called them a word the rhymes with "witch" and asked them why they didn't take the money. She says she has no interest in accepting money from abrasive customers who disrespect those who had the sense to make reservations or those who have been courteously and patiently waiting. The party of four was asked to leave.
"There will be a customer that comes in, [and] when they see wait, the host, they'll take out a $100 bill, $50 bill, $60, $70 and just shovel it into the hostess' hand," Bun said.
Bun said she tried to act professional, and was conflicted over posting her grievances on Facebook. But she's kept quiet in the past only to see agitated customers post nasty reviews on Yelp. A quick look at the site shows a couple incidents here and there.
In some cases customers will continue the harassment with phone calls after they leave, Bun said. Her Facebook post was an attempt to combat that practice. It was particularly busy last week with the opening of Forbidden Root across the street, as customers would stop in to eat after trying a few beers at the new brewpub.
This behavior happens about once every two months, Bun said. She wants to be clear about what she thinks of these angry customers, as ethics are important to her.
"I think the main goal is just to inform these people who plan to come in and bribe us to not come in; we don't care about your money," she said. "We just want to inform the customer that's waiting in the line that we're not going to let them jump in front of you. It's just not fair."