Cafe Refers to Child as ‘Terrifying’ on Receipt — They’re Apologizing

Working in the food and beverage industry is a job in itself. You have to have patience and a customer first attitude.

One woman recently discovered that an employee described her family as the “fam with the terrifying kid” on their receipt. FYI the kid being referred to is two.

It’s one thing to describe a family to waitstaff — it’s unprofessional, but no one is supposed to hear it. Most places have a number system worked out so that this kind of thing is avoided at all cost.

On Saturday, Kim Sze ordered breakfast for her family at the Christchurch location of a local chain Coffee Supreme — and then she saw the bill.

The receipt for the family’s meal was $64.50 which was apparently an overcharged amount. So in addition to the staff referring to this woman’s child as “terrifying” they charged her too much. That’s enough to make anyone mad.

As parents do these days, Sze took to Facebook to call out the coffee shop.

Sze pointed out that her 2-year-old daughter was well-behaved during the outing. In the post she was prompting management for the coffee shop to apologize both personally and publicly for the entire incident.

eta: we’ve received a couple phone calls today from some supreme management and they’ve been awesome. We appreciate the…

Posted by Kimberly Sze on Friday, November 1, 2019

The mom posted, “Hey Coffee Supreme NZ you might want to train your staff at Coffee Supreme Welles Street a little better. Writing ‘family with the terrifying kid’ on our ticket AND intentionally overcharging us… nice one.”

She continued, “We come almost every weekend and my daughter is nothing but polite and friendly and we’ve never left a mess. She’s never been a terror, never had a meltdown, never caused any problems and the same people working today always comment on how cute and sweet she is.”

We’ll take that with a grain of salt because no two year old is a saint.

Sze added, “We just walked out before even getting our food because this is some disrespectful bulls—. We showed one of your staff the ticket and said we didn’t appreciate it and he didn’t say a word. You lost some regulars today.”

Doubling down on the apology, the coffee chain’s food and beverage manager Tim Norriss even made the long trip from Wellington to Christchurch to meet with Sze in person and apologize.

“It’s totally below the standard we set for anybody in the company, so we sincerely apologize to her family,” Norriss told the New Zealand Herald. “It’s not something we accept as a past of hospitality at Supreme, it’s extremely disappointing but we are going to do everything we can to make it right.”

Sze was offered a full refund for the meal gone wrong, and the worker who wrote the note has been placed on leave for the time being, Norriss said.

A spokesperson for the chain also apologized on social media.

We made a mistake over the weekend and offended a customer – a young family out trying to enjoy a moment of normality….

Posted by Coffee Supreme NZ on Sunday, November 3, 2019

“We made a mistake over the weekend and offended a customer — a young family out trying to enjoy a moment of normality. We are incredibly sorry and wish to apologize publicly,” a rep wrote on Facebook on Nov. 3. “If you’re the parent of young children, we know how it is and would like to shout you and your wee one a coffee and fluffy [a frothed milk drink with chocolate] at Customs or Coffee Supreme Welles Street — they’re on us from tomorrow through to the end of Sunday. We love fluffies too.”

Sze was understanding that Norriss was “very upset” by the rude receipt and that she appreciated Coffee Supreme’s quick response. She expressed, “I can see the culture that they have as a company, the shared values of hospitality and inclusivity and creating a positive culture and this one thing that’s happened is not a representation of their company.”

Norriss eventually highlighted that everyone is welcome at the cafes, especially families. He said, “We really love families coming into our spaces, we want everyone to feel comfortable, and we’re incredibly disappointed that something like this has happened.”

A Coffee Supreme spokesperson was not immediately available for further comments.

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