Note: we are republishing this story amid a surge in reported confrontations between food workers and customers during the coronavirus pandemic. More on that here: https://www.today.com/food/food-workers-discuss-pandemic-confrontations-angry-customers-t224537
A woman's interaction with a "rude" restaurant manager completely backfired after a clip of the confrontation went viral (video below).
In the video, the woman can be seen arguing with the manager while her sister records the interaction. The two were eating at the unnamed establishment with their children, who were seemingly being too loud for the manager's taste.
"If you don't expect to have families with children coming in here, how do you expect to maintain your establishment?" the woman asks the manager.
"All I initially said was, 'Can you try to keep the kids a little quieter?' Then I walk away and you say 'That's eff'd up,'" the manager responds. He insists that he's not trying to upset the mother, explaining that he was simply asking if she could attempt to get them to quiet down.
The woman then tries to justify her children's behavior, saying they were simply talking to their mothers and one another.
"We have other customers in here, and you have to consider that, as well," the manager responds, saying that the children were "screaming." He apologizes once more for upsetting the mother, and she responds by threatening to call his supervisor. He welcomes the call, prompting the mother to criticize him for making her and her family feel "unwelcome."
"I didn't mean to upset you, I simply came over with a simple request," the manager says. "You're the one that started dropping f-bombs about the whole situation."
"That is not the problem," the woman's sister responds.
"Well, that is a problem," the manager replies.
The woman then reiterates her issue and refuses to pay for her meal.
"Absolutely you are," the manager says. "You can sue me but you're paying for it."
The woman tells the manager that she's filming their interaction and threatens to post the video online. Finally, the manager asks the sister to stop recording before walking away.
The clip went viral, with many viewers dismissing the mother's anger and siding with the manager.
"The only thing it did was show how badly SHE is behaving," one reader commented on Facebook. "She was rude, condescending, and annoying. Kudos to the manager! Having worked in the restaurant business, I've seen children running, taking food off others tables, kick people, scream, and much much more while the parents just say, 'they are just being children' Ugh! I hope she paid for her food, if not, spread this so her face is all over and other establishments know her!"
"Restaurants are not babysitters," another added. "If you bring your children it is your job as a parent to watch your children. Anyone that lets their children run amok in a restaurant should go to McDonalds playland instead."
Some sided with the mother, believing the restaurant should expect noise if it decides to welcome families.
"I see what everyone is saying and I agree that when you go out you keep your kids in line however, the kids on the video were all under 5 they were all there at the table, but yes [a bit] loud and fidgety, still it clearly states that this was a FAMILY FRIENDLY restaurant which means little kids acting out or being noisy should be expected," one reader commented.
In a similar incident, a McDonald's restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa, sparked controversy over a fight that took place between a customer and an employee regarding a meal. Amanda Gravely told KCCI that she was buying her children ice cream when she overheard an "irate" customer and started filming.
"I took out my camera and recorded her just to see how far it would go just in case and it just escalated really quickly," she said. The customer reportedly hit the manager in the face after being given her food.
"The manager looks like she’s going to hit her back, but she kind of backs off like she doesn't want to get in trouble," Gravely said. "But as soon as the woman makes contact with her, then she’s just at it."
Police were looking for the customer after a clip of the incident circulated online.
"The safety and security of our customers is a top priority and we are partnering with law enforcement because it is still an open investigation," a McDonald's spokesperson told KCCI in a statement.
WARNING: This video contains strong language.