Last week proved to me even more that there is a serious disconnect between business owners and the customers who patronize their businesses. Myself and a few others were leaving Give & Take: An Artistic Experience, a black-owned art gallery, when we were called upon to come to the aid of a young lady who seemed to be in the middle of bickering with one of the employees of Spring Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant located just a block up the street from the gallery.
The argument was about money, of course. The young lady ordered food and asked for the food to be cooked in a particular way. The employee didn’t honor her request so the customer asked for her money back. Her father originally paid for the food but either way, this customer should have been granted the money back for the food that she didn’t receive. There was no valid refund policy posted in the store yet, the employee kept pointing to the wall and referring to one.
The customer asked for her money back and her request was denied, although we backed her because there was no refund policy in sight. After about 20 mins of going back and forth, the police was called. The argument didn’t escalate past verbal exchange but they showed up. After telling the police what happened, the officer advised the young lady to take the situation to small claims court. We thought that was completely absurd. The argument was over a six dollar refund that could have easily been given back to the customer.
Someone that was with us was nice enough to just give the woman the six dollars so that we could leave and so that the situation didn’t escalate further. The fact that this is a business that makes most of its money from black customers is what’s most upsetting. If this was McDonald’s, Chick -Fil-A ,or even a sit-in restaurant like Outback Steakhouse, this young lady would have received her money back. Since this is an establishment with no real structure or regard for how business actually works, they are able to scam their customers out of money especially if the customers are ignorant to how real businesses are supposed to operate. Hopefully, this incident will encourage other independent business owners to reality check themselves and also cause consumers to be mindful of whom they are spending their money with. Places like this are usually just there for the collection of money and the owners usually don’t care much about their customers. This is a prime example of that. Is the customer always right when it comes to independent owned businesses? Probably not.