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The Ripe Tomato Complaint - Bad Service - Restaurant

Review by gianna on 2006-06-25
MALTA, NEW YORK -- I have been a patron of The Ripe Tomato several times and never had a problem until today when the owner/manager wrongfully accused me of putting food in my handbag to take home. (I was at their buffet). First of all, my pre-school child, who had a junior buffet, didn't feel well and hardly ate, so I asked the waitress for a box to take home her remaining meal. The waitress told me she couldn't do that at a buffet, even though we had paid for my daughter's meal. Then the owner/manager came over and repeated what the waitress told me. I told him I thought I should be able to take home the rest of my daughter's meal. He then accused me of trying to take food home in my handbag!!!!
Let me tell you, I would never put food in my handbag. It is unsanitary and dirty!! I also never eat leftovers so would have no motivation to do that. I offered for him to look in my handbag, he then started accusing my husband of taking food. As I walked out of the restaurant I told him he lost a regular customer. He said that he would not have expected anything less. This restaurant is NOT CHILD FRIENDLY. The owner/manager WAS EXTREMELY RUDE AND OFFENSIVE TO ME TO FALSELY ACCUSE ME OF TAKING FOOD HOME IN MY HANDBAG. THAT WAS DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER!!!! Customer beware of this establishment!! There are many fine resaurants in Saratoga Springs. Stay away from this one in Malta!!!
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-07-31
Posted by glc on 2006-06-26:
It's just like "deja vu"!
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-27:
Sue the owner, today! Run right down to a local attorney and explain how you were publicly humiliated and defamed. A good lawyer would jump at a chance on such a solid case. Any lawyer who won't take the case is likely in cahoots with the owner. Point out that fact during every first consult or during your opening statement to the court. Don't wait...millions will be yours the sooner you sue. You have an airtight case. Teach that greedy owner a lesson as soon as possible. You just know you're right! Now, go get 'em. tee-hee
Posted by Dr. Kraft on 2006-07-31:
LOL I can't quite figure if Doc is serious or not. First being embarrassed is a fact of life, you have no actionable cause unless you can prove some loss. Eat elsewhere. Most buffets do not permit boxes, people would then overload their plates and get a free lunch or dinner later. It's a chance you take with a buffet. Personally, the concept of a buffet should be a bit offensive in an atmosphere of obesity and overeating that is our western world today. When faced with the choice, I will order a meal, it's often cheaper and doesn't not move one to overeat in order to "get your money's worth".

The manager's actions were completely objectionable, but the premise was reasonable. In other words, he was right, the way he handled it was very wrong. Maybe a letter to the actual owner of the place? Keep it focused on facts. There is no reasonable defamation, don't go there. You might focus on the way the manager chose to handle the situation and try not to defend your perceived "right" to the food. (There are limits, especially if posted with regard to consumption on premises, the law regulates alcohol this way regularly, but I often see buffets posted as such.)

It's a good lesson. Few children are good at buffets...and it is the restaurant's right to gear their food and atmosphere toward specific clientel. Just because you have children does not give you the right to demand that businesses make concessions for the benefit of children. If you are eating with kids, go to a more family oriented place!

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