They say that the customer is always right, but that's not always the case. As we've previously covered, customers will go to some pretty extreme lengths for free Olive Garden breadsticks, even stuffing them in their purses. But one customer takes the entree, quite literally. Allegedly, someone tried to get a free meal by pulling the old "there's a hair in my food" routine. However, it did not end well for them.
Taking to Reddit, one user who claims to work at Olive Garden shared their horror story. They said they caught one customer putting hair in their entree, only it wasn't her own hair it was her daughter's. They wrote, "We caught a lady pulling her daughter's hair out and putting it in her entree. The server told me about it. Naturally, I waited for the complaint....and then it came. I called her out on it and she put up a big fuss."
It ended up being a big scene for both the customer and employees. According to the Reddit user, the customer accused the employees of not wearing hairnets and yelling a racist slur as well. Ultimately, Olive Garden had to call the police. They wrote, "She was escorted out by authorities who had been sitting in the other section of the restaurant....on their lunch break."
Does Olive Garden Require Hair Nets?
It's understandable that an Olive Garden employee may be frustrated by the accusation. Restaurants typically take extra precautions to prevent possible contamination in the kitchen. For instance, many restaurants require their restaurant staff to wear a hair covering of some kind whether it be hair nets, chef hats, or bouffant caps. If you have facial hair, you may be required to wear a beard net as well. This is to prevent the situation as described above. Since hair sheds, kitchen staff wear coverings to prevent it from getting into the food. In fact, the FDA Food Code requires kitchen staff to wear hair nets, making it part of the required regulations for a restaurant to do business.
According to Indeed, Olive Garden staff is required to wear hair nets. Although some employees report not having to wear hair nets, it's likely that they're part of the serving staff, which is not generally required. According to their website, Olive Garden is part of the ServSafe Dining Commitment, which offers numerous guidelines for restaurants to follow for food safety. That being said, mistakes do happen from time to time, but finding hair in your food isn't the end of the world.
The Psychology Behind Free Food
Cases like the alleged Olive Garden ploy above cast doubt on genuine instances when someone has an issue with their food in a negative light. If you discover hair in your food, you probably shouldn't panic as that just makes a bad situation worse. Instead, flag the details to your server and try to find a solution (whether it's an apology, remaking your food, or a refund). The latter of these options seems to be the main reason that one would fake finding hair in their pasta.
It's called the zero-price effect, and it can lead to customers behaving in an outrageous manner. It can lead to people wanting things just because they're free, and it can also lead to these encounters at the restaurant. Dr. Susan D. Blum, professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, told Refinery 29, "I think it has to do with the way the idea of 'free' has been socialized, and the notions of capitalism that give value to something that's otherwise assigned a monetary cost." Free food is appealing to many, but some customers take things to the extreme. Remember a free meal isn't worth jail time.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.