John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Restaurant mails a bill for use of restroom; Transaction or Interaction


Restaurant sends consumer an invoice for restroom visit – This story is too crazy to make up. The Flood Zone restaurant in Houston Texas area sends a woman, who used their restroom, a bill for $5.00 for using their restroom.  Besides this being one of the worst Customer service examples ever, the amount of resources this owner used is ridiculous. The owner records the woman’s license plate down as she leaves the parking lot, than has the local sheriff run her plates so he can get her personal information. For some reason the sheriff gives it to him, which is an entirely different story. Then the owner takes the time to sit down and write a handwritten letter asking for $5.00 and mails it to this woman.  I am thinking the owner of the restaurant needs to be spending his time in other parts of his business than this, not to mention the Sheriff. You have to watch the news clip on to truly appreciate the absurdity Restaurant charges woman for use of bathroom.


Too Transaction Focused – Businesses that only focus and train on speed and quality end up having employees who make their Customers feel like a transaction rather than an interaction. Before reading any more, listen to this phone order conversation of a Customer ordering a pizza. Did you catch it? Did you hear it? That phone conversation was like a person being so excited and runs up to high five someone else and the other person doesn’t react by raising his hand. This employee was so focused on speed of order, get the order and getting the Customer off the phone that he did several things wrong;

  • Totally blew off and diminished the Customer incredible enthusiasm, this Customer was a raving fan and was trying to share how happy he was with his last order, i.e. “it was the best pizza I have ever had in my life” and “it was like a $100 pizza”.
  • The team member doesn’t hear the Customer share how he couldn’t figure out how to make a positive comment online, it was either not working or confusing.
  • The employee almost blows the order when he tells the raving Customer that they have a big order going out and it will be about 35 minutes. The Customer starts deciding if they wait that long, the employee person lets the Customer figure out how to get the pizza sooner, instead of the employee suggesting alternatives, i.e. you can pick it up in 10 minutes and reminding the Customer that it is the best pizza he has ever had.
  • The Customer thanks the employee, but the employee never thanks the Customer.

Fast AND Friendly – This is not the employee’s fault. This is clearly an example of the company only focusing on speed of time and zero training on hospitality and Customer engagement. A properly trained employee can totally do all the right things, engage the Customer, share in their enthusiasm, upsell, etc. without it taking any more time on the phone.


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The ringing phone is next week’s paycheck


John R. DiJulius III best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the President of The DiJulius Group, the leading customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on customer experience trends and best practices. Learn more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, America’s #1 Customer Service Conference.



Love your blog posts, pity the telephone conversation link is no longer working.

Comment by Rudi Hegeman

Thanks Rudi, when i click on it, it works for me. try again, if it doesn’t work, emial thanks!

Comment by The DiJulius Group

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