Anyone who has worked in the hospitality industry will tell you how it can humble you. Whether you’re working at a local cafe or an internationally-renowned fine dining restaurant, people expect to be treated like royalty when they’re dining out and paying for the privilege. In some instances, dealing with such demanding customers can be highly frustrating and push you to breaking point.
As was seen in a recent incident where late-night talk show host and famous comedian James Cordon was 86’d from a high-class establishment in New York City for allegedly being abusive to the waiting staff. Reactions to the story have been divided, with some expressing utter disbelief at the famous funny man’s conduct while others are dismissing the incident as part and parcel of life in the service industry.
Regardless, it takes some cojones to stand up to a high-net-worth celebrity like James Corden. But that’s exactly what Keith McNally, owner of one of NYC’s top restaurants, Balthazar did. And rightly so, mind you! We’re always talking about the importance of customer care and how companies need to bend over backwards to please people’s requests. However, this time round, the figurative (restaurant) tables were turned!
Of course, this doesn’t mean to say customer care should be thrown out the window. Even if one’s making use of a service such as playing at a no-deposit online casino, good customer care is one of the most sought-after features. Just ask John Holmes, who’s the Marketing Director at NoDepositHero:
‘I must admit, this story did make me chuckle. But it also reminded me how we should never overlook the fact that respect is mutual. Our providers are some of the top-ranking ones in the industry, and this means that apart from ticking many other boxes in our endless list of criteria, customer care is certainly one which we take seriously. Unfortunately, we’ve heard of instances where certain customers feel that they have some God-given right to be rude to customer care representatives, and this happens more often than one might think – or wish!’
The Back Story About Some Eggs
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The story began on Monday, 17th October, when Cordon and his wife were out for breakfast at Balthazar. Following their visit to the restaurant, Keith McNally, the powerful restaurateur known for sharing his controversial opinions on social media, took to Instagram to notify the world that he had taken it upon himself to ban Corden as a customer from his restaurant.
McNally explained that Corden had spent the morning berating restaurant staff for various errors with his order, including one where Corden’s wife had ordered an egg yolk omelet which had supposedly been served with some egg white included. He went on to share what he referred to as the ‘funny man’s treatment of my staff’ two times Corden came into his restaurant and claimed that this behavior was what he had come to expect of Corden having dealt with him at his previous establishment, Cafe Luxembourg.
In his Instagram post, McNally described Corden as ‘a hugely gifted comedian, but a tiny cretin of man. And the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.’
Although some may have disregarded McNally’s statement as just another overworked restaurant having an angry on his soapbox, the initial post was widely circulated and served to tarnish the British entertainer’s overwhelmingly favorable image as a genial master of ceremonies. Moreover, the publicity around this particular incident resulted in other social media users resurfacing past accusations of Corden’s less-than-exemplary public behavior.
Since experiencing all of this negative press attention, it seems that Corden has seen the error of his ways and has issued a formal apology to McNally and his staff.
In response to the apology, McNally graciously accepted, saying;: ‘Having f–ked up myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances.’. The restaurant owner then went on to joke that if Corden would let him host the Late Late Show for nine months, he would happily rescind his ban from Balthazar!
It’s still early days following this run-in between James Corden and Balthazar owner Keith McNally, but this incident does tell us a lot about the changing nature of the customer service industry. While top restaurants will no doubt always go the extra mile to ensure their patrons have a phenomenal experience, this case has highlighted how the leaders in the profession will no longer stand by and accept unfair treatment by customers.
As for celebrities, the lesson here is that your money and fame don’t count for anything if you aren’t able to show a little humility and treat fellow humans well. In the age of social media, even the best PR teams will be hard-pushed to do damage control following an incident like this, so no matter who you are, it is important to be on your best behavior.