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Restaurant refuses to refund money after a death

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BowdonUK, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. BowdonUK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 3,217

    Man 'disgusted' as Michelin star restaurant refuses to refund £660 reservation after his dad dies
    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/restaurant-660-row-mans-death-17593308

    It still always amazes me the short sighted stupidity of some businesses when it comes to dealing with unusual situations. Rambling on about terms and conditions knowing that not refunding the money is bad PR.

    Just take the £660 hit! Their reason for not refunding it was because they had hired people in to prepare the foods. Well, if the food is being made share it out to the other patrons and refund this guys money. That way everyone in the restaurant will be praising the business, and this guy would be praising the business. But no, we have a jobs-worth still fighting his way out of a paper bag. Talk about short sighted people.

    That's my ramble for Sunday :D
     
  2. rubberduck

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 8, 2004

    Posts: 3,925

    Agree with restaurant. Why are the relatives that fussed about the £660 when they have lost a beloved family member? Is it really worth it to sully his memory with such a news story? I suspect they are just looking for someone to be angry with.
     
  3. Orionaut

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2012

    Posts: 7,135

    Hmmn, My reading of that is that the restaurant was willing to refund the person whose dad had died, just not the entire parties
     
  4. thenewoc

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 9, 2012

    Posts: 5,318

    Location: West Sussex, England

    I'm sure the food can't be that stale that it's on it's last day for use. Either the table gets booked or accommodates a walk in patron or gets used the following day with an adjustment if necessary to a future produce order.
     
  5. Vargas

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 15, 2012

    Posts: 5,044

    Location: Rannoch

    99% chance they will say it a management error and refund now it’s in the press.
     
  6. Greebo

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 20, 2005

    Posts: 32,997

    Location: Co Durham

    this. I don’t see why a business should have to suffer anymore than that.
     
  7. Orionaut

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2012

    Posts: 7,135

    Indeed, where would you draw the line otherwise.

    Say, somebody had booked the entire venue for 50 people and then wanted to cancel at the last moment because "One" guest had died.
     
  8. Diddums

    Perma Banned

    Joined: Oct 24, 2012

    Posts: 18,783

    Location: London

    Chicken Cottage would've refunded.
     
  9. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 44,556

    Why do people feel so entitled because someone died? In this case their mate's dad?

    It’s life, it happens to everyone, literally every adult will have had people close to them die at some point. It doesn’t mean that others need to take a significant financial hit on your behalf or you’ll try and make some story go viral because people get emotive etc... especially when it actually concerns not the relatives of the person who died but the friends of the relatives of the person who died!

    So the son was due to attend, on NYE and the restaurant has offered to refund both the son and his partner - that seems like a nice gesture to me, but apparently that isn't enough and they want 4 other friends to be refunded too? WTF?

    Why should 4 other people get refunds for a NYE event because they're friends with a couple, one of whom has had a death in the family?

    Like it's sad for the son, no doubt he probably won't be out partying on NYE and his partner will probs be staying with him too - thus nice of the restaurant to refund them.

    Does that mean that all his mates are expected to stay home and grieve too... frankly they can jog on - a random business shouldn't need to take a £600 hit for someone else's loss.

    Likewise you get similar re: holidays or some story not too long ago about some supposedly heartless student landlord whose tenants all wanted to move out mid contract and not have to pay any rent because their housemate died etc...
     
  10. muon

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 8, 2006

    Posts: 18,320

    Location: London

    It's not 50 people (but 5) and it's the guy's birthday they were going for.

    Blowing it out of context wins no arguments. The other 4 people aren't random people but there to celebrate the guy's birthday.

    Businesses dealing with customers can go by the T&Cs if they want. But they will get bad press like they have here. Unless the business are saying this happens frequently they must be rubbish to not be able to suck up £600.
     
  11. Domi

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 6, 2008

    Posts: 763

    I do not even understand why anybody would even think it is reasonable to expect the restaurant to refund completely.

    Would you expect your 6 tickets refunded for a music concert at the last minute ? the restaurant offered them a 3rd of the money back 2 of 6 booked seats.

    Note the restaurant did not make £660 it lost whatever would have been spent on drinks as well this was a very expensive event.

    Honestly I think whoever took that to the press is scum.
     
  12. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 44,556

    It was also a NYE event, as if the 4 other people wouldn't celebrate NYE.

    I suspect that if it wasn't a NYE event, with the extra staff hired etc.. then perhaps it might have been an easier cancellation too. In fact they probably wouldn't have had to pay up front in the first place!

    It isn't about whether they can suck up £600 but rather whether they should - I mean why should they? They've offered a nice gesture in the form of a refund to the couple, something they didn't have to do and the couple decided to be rather ungrateful/spiteful and go to the press.

    Edit - in fact at the time the restaurant offered to refund the couple they were doing so on the basis that a relative of the couple was ill, the father unfortunately passed away on NYE itself.

    So the actual request was to cancel the NYE booking, at short notice, for all 6 people because one member of the party has a sick relative. While a sad situation and one the restaurant attempted to rectify by both offering a refund and trying to find people on the waiting list to take the tickets I really don't see why they are supposed to be on the hook for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  13. muon

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 8, 2006

    Posts: 18,320

    Location: London

    Anyone can take anything to the press. It's a freedom we have and it doesn't look like anything printed is a lie.

    Dealing with problems and unexpected events in business is normal. If you can't deal with some then it suggests a pretty bad business model. Customer service is important, in high end restaurants more than others.
     
  14. Domi

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 6, 2008

    Posts: 763

    And I think the business handled it perfectly well and the people who complained are a symptom of a much wider problem in society.
     
  15. muon

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 8, 2006

    Posts: 18,320

    Location: London

    If you think they handled it well why is this being publicised a bad thing? You called them scum. This should be good publicity right?

    As for some symptom in society, good luck running a business dealing with consumers. Customer service is everything. Anyone can buy something and sell it with a small markup. There is a reason this restaurant is supposed to be able to charge £660 (likely a large markup).
     
  16. Things change I've changed

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 27, 2005

    Posts: 11,652

    Location: The Orion Spur

    The business handled it very poorly, I help manage a popular restaurant and I would of refunded without question, every customer is a potential investment for me, you don't destroy your investment, you learn when running a business that it's not all about sticking to T&C's and saving every penny you can, one of the most important things is keeping up good public relations, go above and beyond to look after your customers and they will look after you.
     
  17. Domi

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 6, 2008

    Posts: 763

    I called who reported it to the press scum as it clearly was not the restaurant and I believe the reason it was done was to essentially blackmail the restaurant in to paying up.

    A very cheap trick indeed.
     
  18. Orionaut

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2012

    Posts: 7,135

    It lost more than that. The restaurant would not realistically have "Saved" anything by having an empty table that eventing. Effectively that entire £660 would represent a top slice off the profit they might otherwise have made (And that doesn't begin to include the drinks sales they might have made)

    I do not know off hand what the size of the venue was or what overall profit they had planned for for a NYE event. But it is quite possible that £660 would represent a significant chunk of it for the owner after all costs wages etc had been taken into consideration.
     
  19. muon

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 8, 2006

    Posts: 18,320

    Location: London

    Maybe for a single event. But if the owner lives and dies by the profit on any given day, then they are up for a big wake up call. Especially if it damages your reputation which is what a restaurant charging £120+ per head requires.

    That £660 also wasn't lost. They could have just fitted them in another day when there is spare capacity going.

    The only thing that was lost was the ingredients if indeed they couldn't be reused or any value derived from them.
     
  20. Em3bbs

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 26, 2011

    Posts: 4,840

    Location: City of London

    I doubt anyone will be put off going to a Michelin star restaurant by this non-story.