NH Restaurateur to Rude Customers: Talk to Me. Then You Can Leave.
A rude customer on Wednesday pushed the owner of a longtime Seacoast restaurant to post a sign telling customers to ask for him if they have a problem with the service.
It's been a long summer for the service industry which has been found itself short staffed while trying to take advantage of their busiest season. It's also resulted in some customers yelling at staff because of slow service and mistakes which has everyone on edge.
"Please do not mistreat or yell at our crew. They have worked very hard so that Newick's is still here to serve you. We are short staffed and things sometimes get backed up and even make the occasional mistake. If you do run into an issue please bring it to our attention like a calm adult," Steve Newick wrote on the typed sign posted to the (un)Official City of Dover NH Facebook page.
"If however you feel the need to yell and rant and rave like a spoiled child please ask for me, Steve Newick. I will listen politely. Then I will not so politely ask you to leave and never come back. It may not be the best thing for business but we have taken too much abuse over the last year and a half and I will not subject our crew members to more."
Newick's Seafood Restaurant has been serving up food on Dover Point since 1948. Owner Steve Newick told Seacoast Current he posted the sign after a summer of "difficult people" and an incident on Wednesday just put him over the edge.
"A person was yelling at a server that I spoke to, was very nice to me and then when I turned it back over to the server started yelling at the server again. That's when I decided to put the sign up," Newick told Seacoast Current.
The same night Newick had to ask another party to leave over similar behavior. It's not just an idle threat but sadly something Newick has had to do often.
"95 percent of the people who come through here are incredibly understanding of the situation. But there's a small portion that aren't and some of them have been very hostile to the staff," Newick said.
Customers have even come to the defense of his staff when they witness the rude behavior.
"It's only food. We can fix it."
Newick said his staff is far from perfect and owns up to mistakes. But sometimes customers are unreasonable. The customers from Wednesday night insisted it took an hour for their lobster to come out but Newick said the ordering system showed it otherwise.
"It went out within half an hour but they kept saying it was an hour. In our computer system, I can see how long it takes," Newick said. "They were using swear words and were very rude to the server. Then my 83-year-old father comes shuffling in and they went over to him and started giving him grief. That's when I said 'Enough's enough. You just can't stay here anymore.'"
Newick is optimistic things will get better for his restaurant and the business as a whole.
"We're all having a tough time. We ask that people be a little patient, be nice and if they do have a problem please bring it up to us because we will fix it. At the end of the day it's only food. We can fix it.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH
Seacoast Current has been following the issues surrounding local restaurants. If you have a story you want to share, reach out.
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