Servers at a well-known Chinese restaurant in Washington, D.C., made a mistake May 7 when they forgot to delete private comments they made about customers before handing over the check.
A group of four were eating at Peter Chang, a restaurant opened up by the former Chinese embassy chef, according to the Washington Post.
The trouble began when the diners were served rice in a family rice bowl.
“Oh, you guys don’t serve them in individual rice bowls?” one of the diners asked, the Post reported.
The diner said he had lived in Beijing during the 2000s, where rice had always been served in individual bowls.
Matt, another customer, told the Post that the female server offered to fix the issue.
“She said, ‘No, no, I can bring it for you,’” Matt told the Post. “He said, ‘No, no, don’t worry about it. It’s fine. Just wanted to let you know that’s the way it’s done in China. It’s not a big deal.’ It just got really awkward.”
The group thought that was all there was to it, until they asked to split the check four ways.
“That’s totally how they do it in China,” the server said.
“I obviously had no idea what that meant, because I’m just a white guy from Arlington,” Matt added. “But my friend from China, he told us after she left, ‘In China, one person pays for it. That’s not at all the way things are done in China, so she’s being sarcastic.’ Then we saw the receipt.”
There were two comments on the check, "I’m a plad a——" and “I have a small penis.”
Although plaid was spelled incorrectly, it was clear the server was referring to the diner’s clothing.
They made a complaint to the manager.
“I would say they seemed slightly embarrassed,” Matt said. “It wasn’t like, ‘We’re so sorry. This is unprofessional. We need to treat our customers better.’ It was more like sorry.–this is embarrassing–it was a joke sorry.”
The manager gave the diners a $20 gift card as an apology.
“They always do that. I’ve told them so many times,” said manager Qian Cheng of the servers. “And they did it again.”
Peter Chang was previously described as “the best neighborhood Chinese restaurant in Washington” by the Post.