*You’d think a restaurant that charges you a mint to eat there, simply because they can, would at least have servers with a modicum of class. But that’s not necessarily the case. Over the past months we have read numerous stories about restaurant servers writing vulgar, racist, downright nasty messages on a customer’s receipt. And it is the customer who ends up seeing the obscene message upon receipt of the check. Now come to find out this latest act came from servers at the high-priced Peter Chang restaurant in Arlington; an authentic Sichuan eatery that was opened by the Chinese embassy chef turned serial restaurateur.
As the four customer’s (all wearing plaid) awaited their food, the server brought out their rice in a family-style bowl (a large bowl that everyone eats from, generally using hands only). This presentation surprised one of the diners, who had lived in Beijing for nearly a decade and he made a comment to the server, saying “‘Oh, you guys don’t serve them in individual rice bowls?
This, as relayed by another diner in the party, who asked to go by his first name, Matt.
The server told the group that when rice is served to three or more diners at Peter Chang, it comes in a large bowl. The person who formerly lived in Beijing thought this was odd, if for nothing else, because the family-sized portion ran counter to the personalized bowls he encountered in China. But the server did a turnabout, and asked the foursome would like individual rice bowls instead.
“She said, ‘No, no, I can bring it for you,'” Matt related. “He said, ‘No, no, don’t worry about it. It’s fine. Just wanted to let you know that’s the way it’s done in China. It’s not a big deal.’ . . . It just got really awkward.”
So the diners, thinking this was the end of the awkward moment, go back to their friendly banter.
Until the check arrived and they asked to split it 4 ways.
The server responds, “That’s totally how they do it in China.”
(Scroll down). Look closely.
“I obviously had no idea what that meant, because I’m just a white guy from Arlington,” Matt said. “But my friend from China, he told us after she left, ‘In China, one person pays for it. That’s not at all the way things are done in China, so she’s being sarcastic.’ Then we saw the receipt.”
Let’s start from the very bottom, where you see the date. Now, counting up 6 lines, right above the word subtotal, a note reads, “I have a small penis (the word is smudged, but there’s no doubt that’s what it is). Two lines up before that reads, “I’m a plad a****** (the word plaid is misspelled).
A manager was summoned.
The manager, who apologized profusely, then summoned the server(s), who claim they were just joking and meant to delete the messages.
“I would say they seemed slightly embarrassed,” Matt said. “It wasn’t like, ‘We’re so sorry. This is unprofessional. We mean to treat our customers better.’ It was more like, sorry-this-is-embarrassing-it-was-a-joke sorry.”
When restaurateur Qian Cheng was reached for comment on Monday he, too, was very apologetic; and added the servers had been cautioned about writing offensive notes previously.
“They always do that. I’ve told them so many times,” Cheng said. “And they did it again.”
Cheng, who gave the customers a $20 gift card for their trouble, is weighing whether someone should be fired, but has made no decision as of this writing.