We've all had run in with waiters and waitresses we've thought could have gone a little better. Whether it was a small misunderstanding or a matter of life and death, it's usually hard to know who is in the right. You may adamantly argue that the "customer is always right" and believe everything is the fault of the staff, but your server probably thinks otherwise.
Whichever side you fall on, 2017 and 2018 have brought up some interesting stories concerning the goings on in the restaurant and service industry. Not only have we seen grand acts of kindness and the coffee donut, but we've also seen vegans being spiked and a lot (and I stress A LOT) of blatant racism. The latest case has raised a few eyebrows.
A French waiter has filed a discrimination complaint with Canada’s Human Rights Tribunal after his restaurant fired him for being “aggressive, rude, and disrespectful” to customers. As unusual as it sounds, Guillaume Rey insists his skills are actually top-notch, thanks to the excellent training he received at hospitality school in France.
The problem according to him is his former employer, Canadian casual-dining chain Milestones Grill and Bar, which he accuses of “discrimination against my culture” for terminating him. You could say he thought au contraire (mon frere).
His complaint suggests Milestones - a “familiar and friendly,” 45-location chain - didn’t appreciate that they had Guilliame, whose Gallic tableside demeanour just “tends to be more direct and expressive” than some other servers. He argues he was “direct, honest, and professional,” and that, minus the whole “aggressive” and “rude” thing, the restaurant even agrees he was good at his job.
For its part, Milestones argues Rey’s attitude violated its employee code of conduct. The company claim that his “unacceptably rude” behaviour persisted - despite multiple “verbal and written performance reviews” - leaving managers no choice but to fire him.
The chain apparently tried quashing Rey’s legal complaint, too, after he filed it, but the tribunal in British Columbia has denied the request. Both parties now ultimately have to appear in court, although the tribunal also writes the burden is on Rey to explain “what it is about his French heritage” that people are specifically at risk of misinterpreting “as a violation of workplace standards of acceptable conduct.”
As well as being known for their rudeness, the French are well known to be risque (probably why we adopted the word from them to describe the emotion). Paris in fact recently opened up the first nudist restaurant, aptly named O'naturel.
O'naturel is the brainchild of twin businessmen, Mike and Stephane Saada. Former insurance salesmen - though not nudists themselves - they spotted a money-making opportunity in a country that enjoys a reputation as a top naturist holiday destination. It debuted on November 2 in the residential 12th arrondissement and so far, it's received pretty good reviews.
The reason behind this, Stephane likes to believe, is because "people only get to be nudists in the summer." The 42-year-old suggests that his restaurant offers the perfect experience during the colder months. Despite there being roughly 460 designated outdoor nudist spots around France, most of them are beaches and campsites, and people felt like there needed to be some change.
So here's to the French: A nation who seem to do what they want and not really care otherwise.