Restaurant worker posted pictures of bad tippers online, with insulting hashtags

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May 8, 2011
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Social media no-no has restaurant doing major damage control
Apr. 24, 2013 1:46 AM


If fumanchu85 didn’t like the amount of a tip or a customer’s behavior at Padi restaurant in Hockessin, he let everyone know it.

Sometimes, the restaurant employee took photos of credit card receipts that showed the patron’s name.

Sometimes, the employee surreptitiously snapped the customer’s photo.

Then, to shame the customers, fumanchu85 posted the photos and credit card receipts on an Instagram social media account and added racial slurs, vulgar comments and hashtags such as #deuchbag #cheap #jew #hillbillies.


While social media can be a great tool for attracting business, what happened at Padi serves as a cautionary and painful tale of what can occur when restaurateurs and business owners don’t monitor their sites.

The account with the fumanchu85 screen name belonged to Aaron Kwan, manager of Padi in the Lantana Square Shopping Center off Del. 7 and Valley Road.

Kwan is the nephew of Padi owner Eve Teoh, who says she isn’t computer savvy. She said she didn’t know anything about the Instagram account or a Padi Facebook page or the cringe-worthy comments and photos that were posted. .

On April 13, the day The News Journal ran a story about the restaurant’s social media snafus, a Facebook comment posted at the bottom of the delawareonline.com story under the name and picture of Padi sushi chef Patrick Wang said: “What has been done is been done. Apologies has been said.”

Wang added: “From what I see and hear while growing up in the states ‘white’ people talk more crap and get away with it. Why is that! But for a person from a different background we have to watch what we say or we get the bad end of the stick.”


“These are not the views of the owners of the business,” said Edward B. Rosenthal, an attorney representing Teoh.

David Kincheloe, president of National Restaurant Consultants, a company near Denver that assists food service clients worldwide, said he has never heard of a restaurant manager or employee so blatantly blasting customers on social media.

“Heavens, no. If I was the general manager or the owner of that restaurant, I would fire that guy even if he was my nephew,” he said.

Rosenthal said Teoh and her husband Kay Soon, who helps out at the 130-seat restaurant, are working hard to apologize to customers and to restore their reputation.

“You’re not going to stay in business insulting your customers,” Rosenthal said. “There’s a way to vent and there’s a way not to vent.”

Teoh, who also owns Rasa Sayang Malaysian Cuisine in the Independence Mall shopping center off Concord Pike, has written an open letter to customers that has remained on a counter at Padi since April 19.

In it, she apologizes for “unacceptable and insulting behavior on the part of members of our service team at Padi.”

“We sincerely apologize for those actions, and want the community to know that those actions and opinions are not consistent with our beliefs and values, nor are they welcome at our restaurant.

“We want to assure all of our customers, and members of the community, that those responsible for insulting our customers and members of the community will be held accountable, and that we are taking steps to insure that this type of behavior never happens again,” the letter says.

Rosenthal said Kwan, manager of the Thai and Japanese restaurant since it opened in 2010, was on indefinite unpaid leave..


“We’re holding him responsible,” Rosenthal said, “but we feel there may have been other people [involved].”

The attorney said he will meet with employees this week and offer training so “that they understand they are the face of the restaurant.”

Rosenthal is drafting a social media policy, and Teoh plans to hire someone to handle social media marketing.

There has been some fallout at Padi since the disparaging remarks on the social media sites were disclosed.

Teoh received an anonymous letter from “Big Tippers from Wilmington” who wrote: “Disgraceful! I have been a server for 25 years and I have never done anything like the horrible things I have just read about. My husband and I will not be back to either of your restaurants. There are many others that have nice servers that deserve a big tip.”

Rosenthal said there may have been some drop-off in business, but “it hasn’t had a devastating effect.”

He also said receipts and the social media data still available were being sifted to find and apologize to aggrieved customers.

The Instagram and Facebook pages are no longer available for viewing. The Instagram account was deleted shortly after The News Journal contacted Kwan on April 12.

For four months, Kwan’s Instagram account could be viewed by anyone with Internet access and was linked to the restaurant’s public Facebook page, which he also managed. It also featured posts complaining about customers who allegedly didn’t tip.

When initially contacted by The News Journal, Kwan said he wasn’t sure if he posted the disparaging comments, patron’s photos and credit card receipts.

Later, he blamed the insulting items on other employees, saying they also had access to the Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Kwan said that he often left his smartphone and tablet computer laying around the restaurant and that any employee could post photos on his social networking accounts.

But other restaurateurs aren’t so sure that is what happened.

“I don’t think that it is restaurant specific but I don’t know of anyone that would leave their social media outlets open at home — if you have teenagers at school or in the workplace. To do so is to invite undesired consequences,” said Xavier Teixido, owner of three Delaware restaurants.

“Running a restaurant is like having a hundred faucets on the wall; they’re all going to drip eventually,” said Teixido who runs Kid Shelleen’s, Harry’s Savoy Grill and Harry’s Seafood Grill.

Teixido said that a manager at each of his three restaurants monitors the respective social media accounts on a daily basis.

“Guests will post things on our site that may be offensive and have to be dealt with,” he said. “It’s just another one of these faucets you have to pay attention to it.”

Restaurant consultant Kincheloe said Padi is doing all the things that he would recommend in a crisis situation: Apologize to all customers and find those directly affected to seek amends.

Kincheloe said he would take it even one step further and offer a free meal to the customers who had photos and credit card receipts posted.

“You offer them to come back and have whatever they want on the house,” he advised.

“We are all human. We all make mistakes,” Kincheloe said. “How you respond to the mistake is either you can win a customer for life or lose a customer for life.”

Teoh’s husband Soon said the ordeal has been hard on his family.

“Terrible,” he said. “We can’t sleep.”

Still, he said they now understand the good – and bad – of social media.

“It’s a good lesson for us to learn,” Soon said.
http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20130424/LIFE/304190080/
 

Rockandrollclown

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Oct 17, 2007
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Since I view stiffing servers as a very abhorrent thing to do, I really see no problem with publicly shaming them. Of course I never saw the tip amounts, if this was going on over like 5-10% tips, thats ridiculous. People who stiff are scum though, let the world know that they're cheap bastards.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Those poor restaurant owners are about to go out of business because their nephew (and the sushi chef for no fucking reason) was a douche. You know I believe strongly in tipping more than most, but cmon, you can't do this.
 
Apr 14, 2008
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Wow guy should be fired for that. Disgusting...how could you think this would be a good idea.
From the unbolded:
The account with the fumanchu85 screen name belonged to Aaron Kwan, manager of Padi in the Lantana Square Shopping Center off Del. 7 and Valley Road.

Kwan is the nephew of Padi owner Eve Teoh, who says she isn’t computer savvy. She said she didn’t know anything about the Instagram account or a Padi Facebook page or the cringe-worthy comments and photos that were posted. .
Don't think he's getting fired. ... indefinite unpaid leave. lol
 
Feb 13, 2013
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#14
I give average tips to average servers. I give bad tips to bad servers. I give good tips to good servers.

My logic is that being able to write down things and carry food to my table makes you an "average" server.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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#18
Since I view stiffing servers as a very abhorrent thing to do, I really see no problem with publicly shaming them. Of course I never saw the tip amounts, if this was going on over like 5-10% tips, thats ridiculous. People who stiff are scum though, let the world know that they're cheap bastards.
Maybe people stiffed him because, as evidenced by this article, he is a piece of shit douchebag who probably shouldn't be in the service industry?
 
Nov 10, 2010
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#23
Im a server part time and sometimes the industry forgets that tipping is not mandatory. I would never hold a grudge for a bad tip, even if its a habitual bad tipper. I guess my outlook on this is because my family owns the restaurant, but I think most people know that good service will result in fair compensation.
 
Apr 24, 2009
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#25
Since I view stiffing servers as a very abhorrent thing to do, I really see no problem with publicly shaming them. Of course I never saw the tip amounts, if this was going on over like 5-10% tips, thats ridiculous. People who stiff are scum though, let the world know that they're cheap bastards.
Lol. Tips are meant to commend good service. Stupid how its "mandatory". I don't give a shit about tipping precents. If they are bad they don't get tipped. If they are good they get tipped.
 
Oct 11, 2007
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#28
What you signed up for as your hourly rate is ALL you are entitled to. Anything after that is extra, and not yours to begin with. That's why it's a tip. I've worked as a waiter before, and even I don't understand how people get off thinking they are owed more than they signed up for. Get angry at the company or yourself for having an hourly rate that isn't justifiable to you, not the customer.
 
Sep 2, 2007
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#29
Clearly it's the customer's fault he was getting bad tips and it had nothing to do with his awful personality or attitude.

I left a $2 tip on 30 the other day because the service was awful and I almost always tip over 20%.

When I waited tables, I was stiffed a few times for good reason (I messed up the order, no one greeted their table for 15 minutes, etc.) and other times for what I felt was no reason. So I feel for servers that get stiffed when they did a good job.

I've been tempted to actually leave the reasons on the receipt for why I'm giving a lousy tip.
 

Emerson

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Aug 21, 2006
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#32
Since I view stiffing servers as a very abhorrent thing to do, I really see no problem with publicly shaming them. Of course I never saw the tip amounts, if this was going on over like 5-10% tips, thats ridiculous. People who stiff are scum though, let the world know that they're cheap bastards.
I'm not convinced you entirely appreciate the meaning or implications of the word "abhorrent."
 
Sep 2, 2007
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#33
Oh dear, we already had the preacher. We don't need the sequel to that thread with an actual gaffer lol
Except with legitimate reasons like "you were a ghost, my drink was empty the whole time, order was wrong, rude service" etc. etc.

Yeah I'll never actually do it because a lot of the bad servers seem like one bad customer from stabbing someone in the parking lot.
 

Rockandrollclown

lookwhatyou'vedone
Oct 17, 2007
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#35
I'm not convinced you entirely appreciate the meaning or implications of the word "abhorrent."
At a quick glance: "Inspiring disgust and loathing; repugnant" pretty much sums up my feelings on people who don't tip for reasonable service. I will admit to my earlier point I am not advocating for tipping on shitty service. Terrible service deserves to be stiffed or tipped very poorly. Decent to excellent service deserves a tip.
 
Jan 9, 2011
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#37
At a quick glance: "Inspiring disgust and loathing; repugnant" pretty much sums up my feelings on people who don't tip for reasonable service. I will admit to my earlier point I am not advocating for tipping on shitty service. Terrible service deserves to be stiffed or tipped very poorly. Decent to excellent service deserves a tip.
The acts of a child molester are abhorrent.

Someone who stiffs a waiter out of a few bucks is just a jerk... in the mildest sense.

Words matter.
 
Jun 11, 2012
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What? Do you mean the other way around where bad tippers shouldn't be called out and non-tippers should be condemned?
No. I mean bad tippers, those who instead of not tipping decide to write a shitty note to the server should be condemned.

Not tipping should never be condemned; it's optional in most cases.
 
May 8, 2011
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#44
At a quick glance: "Inspiring disgust and loathing; repugnant" pretty much sums up my feelings on people who don't tip for reasonable service. I will admit to my earlier point I am not advocating for tipping on shitty service. Terrible service deserves to be stiffed or tipped very poorly. Decent to excellent service deserves a tip.
If the service is terrible, why bother tipping at all?
 
Oct 29, 2011
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#47
I give average tips to average servers. I give bad tips to bad servers. I give good tips to good servers.

My logic is that being able to write down things and carry food to my table makes you an "average" server.
And I'm sure that makes you feel very powerful.

I tip everyone well. We all have bad days at work, doesn't mean it should come out of your pocket.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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#49
I never got angry with tips when i was a server. Even if you get stiffed, guess what, you're still making $10+ an hour usually which is more than minimum.

Waiting is an extremely stressful job and you should leave a tip if you have any decency as a human being unless thei service was bad, but screw entitled workers.
 
Jul 26, 2007
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#50
I don't tip at restaurants unless the server looks like they're having to make a lot of extra effort and could benefit from some generousity that particular afternoon/evening. There's not a part of me that thinks they are entitled to more than their wage, in the same way that I won't tip my tailor or barber.

I'll still be nice and polite, though. Like, if I get the wrong drink order I'll say not to worry about it. Same with food as long as I'm still happy to eat it and it didn't cost a lot. I might not tip, but I'm not one of those people that thinks they're owed a flawless service just for getting their credit card out.
 
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