When an arrogant woman mistreated a restaurant owner after mistaking him for a waiter, he had three options: toss her out, offer her and her friends a table, or teach her a lesson. The owner decided to play along, getting his revenge.
John P. Mitchell, 79, and the owner of Restauranté Da Hoté, came to New York when he was 15 years old. Back then, all he had were a few dollars and the confidence that he'd make it big in life, as he'd promised his late mother.
He began his career as a dishwasher in a small restaurant, but after a few years, the idea of becoming his own boss crossed his mind. So he enrolled in business classes at a nearby community college and later opened his own restaurant.
Mr. Mitchell owned a luxury restaurant | Source: Shutterstock
The kind man with a big heart and a wide grin couldn't believe how far he'd come. His restaurant, which had become a spot for celebrity events and high-end parties, had initially been an old, abandoned structure with an ominous vibe.
However, looking at the present gigantic hotel, hardly anyone would believe it -- similar to the fact that Mr. Mitchell, who was a millionaire now, didn't just sit in the back office but was usually doing whatever needed to be done, even if that meant greeting visitors, busing tables, or even mopping the floors.
One evening, he had been taking on the responsibility of greeting his customers when a mishap happened — a young woman mistook him for the waiter and mocked him, but Mr. Mitchell didn't let her off the hook easily...
"Wait, what did you just say? A no? Do you even know who I am?" Clara Bamford lashed out when Mr. Mitchell told her he couldn't provide her with a table. "Look, mister…whatever your name is, I want a table for three right now, and you better arrange it!"
"I'm sorry, but that's not possible, ma'am. I apologize for the inconvenience," Mr. Mitchell gently replied. "We do not provide tables without a reservation. Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Clara was really rude to Mr. Mitchell | Source: Pexels
Clara smirked. "Do you really not have any free tables, or are you doing this on purpose? Listen, if you think I'm going to bribe you with a few dollars and then beg for a table, that's not happening!"
"I would never do that, ma'am, and we strongly oppose such behavior in our restaurant. We have a reservation policy, and we expect everyone to abide by it."
"A policy?" Clara burst out laughing. "Listen, you might not know this, but I'm friends with the owner of the restaurant. So you can break the rule once in a while, you know..." she told him quietly.
Mr. Mitchell raised his brow. "You know the owner, Mr. John Mitchell?"
You will be treated in the same manner in which you treat others.
"Of course, she does!" Clara's friends whispered quietly. "We hope it won't be too difficult for you to find us a table now."
But Mr. Michell shook his head. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but rules are still rules, and we can't let you in."
At this point, Clara lost her cool. She instantly got her phone out and took a snapshot of Mr. Mitchell without his consent. "I'll make sure I send these pictures to your boss and get you fired! You moron!"
"I'd like to request that you delete the image, ma'am, and refrain from causing a commotion here," he said politely. "Please."
Mr. Mitchell maintained his composure despite Clara's insults | Source: Pexels
"Why the hell would she delete the picture?" Clara's friend, Amanda, lashed out. "Do you acknowledge your class now? You can't order us around, but we can. We pay our drivers more than you earn in an entire year!"
At that, Clara and Amanda burst out laughing, and their friend, Rachel, began mocking Mr. Mitchell. "Look, take our advice and don't be a fool! Just get us a table and sort it out!"
"As I previously stated, ma'am, that is not possible," Mr. Mitchell replied, showing them the way outside. But Clara and her friends weren't done yet. They caused a commotion in front of everyone, forcing manager Frank Wilson to intervene.
"I'm sorry, but is there a problem here, ma'am?" he inquired, giving Mr. Mitchell a concerned look.
"A problem? Why have you hired an old dumbass who can't even understand simple English? I'm the owner's friend, and he can't book me a table? What on Earth is wrong with him?!"
"Uh, ma'am..." Frank swallowed and cleared his throat. "I believe there is some mistake, but this man here is not..." Frank was about to reveal the truth to Clara, but Mr. Mitchell stopped him.
Mr. Mitchell decided to provide a table to Clara and her friends | Source: Pexels
"I'm really sorry, Mr. Wilson, I shouldn't have done that," he said, turning to Frank. "Please let me handle this. Would you please follow me, ma'am?"
"Oh no, no, no!" retorted Clara. "I'm not going to let you off so simply. You must first properly apologize to me. Girls, record his apology on your phones so that he doesn't dare show us a temper next time!" she told her friends.
Mr. Mitchell swallowed the humiliation, formulating a plan at the back of his head. He could have revealed his identity, but he felt the young woman needed to be taught a lesson, so he escorted them to one of the most expensive tables in the restaurant – one reserved only for celebrities – and personally catered to them.
"The first three rounds are on us, ma'am since I'm truly sorry about how I offended you," he remarked as he served the drinks. "Would you like to place your orders now? Or shall I come later?"
"Now that's a good waiter! We'll place our orders for the starters now, and we'll let you know later about the main course." Mr. Mitchell gently noted down the orders and walked away.
When 20 minutes passed and the starters didn't arrive, Clara became impatient. "Waiter! Waiter!" she called out, a little dizzy on the first two rounds of drinks. "The food! Why the hell is it taking so much time? We are literally starving!"
"I'm sorry, ma'am, but we have a busy day today. I'll get it here in 5 minutes!" Mr. Mitchell said, preparing to leave. "And yeah, I'll bring the third round of drinks as well," he said, smiling as he departed.
Clara and her friends enjoyed a hearty meal at Mr. Mitchell's restaurant | Source: Pexels
Throughout the evening, Mr. Mitchell paid personal attention to the three women and brought them whatever they ordered without any delay. By the end of the night, the young ladies were pleased with the service and promised Mr. Mitchell a hefty tip.
Mr. Mitchell smiled at them and laid the bill on the table slowly. When the young women saw the bill, they sobered up instantly. "$3000! Are you out of your mind?" Clara lashed out.
"That's excluding the taxes, ma'am. And since you were seated in our celebrity lounge, I'm afraid there are some additional charges too."
"What?" Clara and her friends sprang to their feet right away. "Look, this is too much! You never told us…."
"I already advised you, ma'am, that we didn't have any tables. We had reserved this table for one of our guests, but we had to cancel it at the last minute. So you have to pay the fees for that, but wait... oh! I made a mistake!" he added, taking the bill.
"See! That's what! The bill would never come up to…."
"I forgot to add the charges for the spaghetti. Oh, I'm sorry. Let me get a new bill for you."
The bill came as a shock to Clara and her friends | Source: Unsplash
Clara's face turned pale when she heard that. She knew she and her friends couldn't afford to pay, so they tried to pull their old trick again. "Hey, you know we are Mr. Mitchell's friends. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if we dine here for free for once. We can settle it quietly. What's the point in creating a fuss?"
"Let me confirm that, ma'am. Let me ask Mr. Wilson to call him." Mr. Mitchell summoned Frank and told him to call the "restaurant's owner." Frank proceeded to make a call and when his phone rang, Mr. Michell took it out from his pocket. Clara's face fell further.
"Hello and good evening. My name is John Mitchell, and I own this restaurant," he replied, smiling. "Now, because you mistreated me assuming I was a waiter, you would have mistreated any of my staff, so either pay the bill and quietly leave, or please head to the kitchen where the dirty dishes are awaiting cleaning."
Clara and her friends had no choice. They had to clean the dishes to pay the bill that night.
What can we learn from this story?
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