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Caught Eating at the Cash Register


A colleague and I were between client appointments and decided to stop and buy a healthy take out meal from a fast casual restaurant.  While our orders were being prepared, we noticed that the cashier took what she probably thought was a discreet bite of food from a plate that she had under the cash register.  Since she was not ringing up a customer at the time, she probably thought that it would be okay to “sneak a bite or two”.

When it was time, we stepped to the counter to pay for our orders and as we walked up to the counter, she took another bite of food.  We were surprised that she would do this right in front of us.

We thought that this situation presented a teachable moment.  The cashier was a young lady who appeared to be college aged.  After she rung up our orders, no other customers were behind us so we thought that this would be a perfect time to gently explain why eating food while at the cash register would probably not be looked upon favorably by her manager and that she was not projecting the best image for the restaurant, the restaurant chain or herself.  She said that we were correct but said that she was hungry and could not help eating while working at the register.

We asked if she was scheduled for a break and if it was possible to eat at that time.  She said that she was soon scheduled for a break but could not help simply taking a quick few bites to take the edge off the hunger.

She said that since we noticed, it was possible that other customers noticed and that she would not practice the behavior again.  She said she appreciated us, as customers, taking the time to bring everything to her attention and for not telling her manager.  She said that she is, in fact, a first year college student with a hectic life trying to balance school and work schedules and learning how to live on her own for the first time.  She also thanked us for not berating her and for not embarrassing her in front of other customers.

We assured her that we understood what it is like to be a college student and the challenges that come with it.  As we left the restaurant, we felt assured that the young lady would remember our chat and will make strides to present herself and the restaurant in the best image in the future.

I love my job and I love teaching and coaching about how to deliver customer service—even if it is at the cash register of a restaurant.

Always provide the best customer service to every customer every time.

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