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Massachusetts eatery temporarily closes after customers make staff cry

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Since restaurants have begun opening up from the closures in Massachusetts, there have been many reports of restaurants being short staffed and/or customers being impatient and at times unruly. Another one of these incidents happened recently at a Massachusetts eatery which caused management to take action.

Apt Cape Cod in Brewster decided to close for breakfast on Thursday morning.

The restaurant issued the following statement on social media.

“As many of our guests and patrons treat us with kindness and understanding, there have been an astronomical influx daily of those that do not, swearing at us, threatening to sue, arguing and yelling at my staff, making team members cry. This is an unacceptable way to treat any human. So Chef Regina and I have decided to take the day and give the staff time deep clean the restaurant, train, and treat my staff to a day of kindness. We will be open again for breakfast tomorrow (Friday). Please remember that many of my staff are young, this is their first job, or summer job to help pay for college. We have had to make adjustments due to the increase in business volume, size of kitchen, product availability and staffing availability, we are not trying to ruin anyone’s vacation or day off.”

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45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. Virginia Swauger & Monique Swauger

    July 11, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    I agree with you decided to do. 10 stars for you, we as customer should have some compassion for those who are working they are trying to do their best. It is not easy tasks to serve the public they should try to be in there shoes for an hour to see if they can handle the same situation with a smile and be kind and said thank you hope you come back with a smile sincerly yours a person with an out standing customer service awards for people in general with public Mrs, Swauger

  2. James leland

    July 11, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    About time , there is no need to act that way in a public place, dont like service,food,or wait time
    Leave do not abuse staff.

  3. Anne Ponticelli

    July 11, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    I, too agree..we have tho be patient with our servers..help is a problem right now. I was at a restaurant in Fall River where they only had one waitress..Although there was a longer wait than usual, she was outstanding, taking and serving orders, bussing tables, etc..and still did this with s smile. I informed the mgr that Jen was a Gem!! He agreed, telling me good help was hard to find.

    • Beverly Truehart

      July 12, 2021 at 9:50 am

      Well hopefully she’s making more than $4 an hr. I personally would not put up w any customer bullshit and if it were my restaurant I would tell them to leave

    • Frank Chervoni

      July 12, 2021 at 11:57 am

      Bad service bad tip good service good tip. No need to be rude.

      • RG

        July 12, 2021 at 2:03 pm

        Wrong solution. Would you work for $4.00, only have to be judged by people like you to earn enough to pay the rent? I’ll bet you aren’t even vaccinated.

        If you can’t cough up a meager 20% tip no matter what, find another way to entertain yourself.

        • Karl F Eisenhofer

          July 13, 2021 at 8:58 am

          If that is the rule, then why don’t restaurants just add the tip automatically? You get tipped for good service, or other positive interactions. I’m not going to give extra if my server failed to provide decent service. This rarely happens but when it does I want some recourse. Otherwise I am stuck ruining my already less than acceptable experience by having an uncomfortable conversation with the manager. If you can’t accept that your effort was worth less than 20% in that case, find another way to earn a living.

        • Fred

          July 13, 2021 at 9:12 am

          What does the vaccination have to do with anything?

        • irishfinn

          July 13, 2021 at 4:52 pm

          RG are you stupid ? Pay the rent ? seriously if you’re paying the rent with restaurant tip money and the minimum wage for waiting tables then you probably royally screwed up before hand. These are young adults most likely part timing it for summer cash or maybe even a young adult supplementing a full time job. Lets not get our selves confused here.

          Now, I work 2 jobs, one FT, one PT, I like both my jobs, I do well but thats because I work hard. If a waitstaff doesn’t do well , I’m not going to tip them well, this isn’t california where you’re paid to breathe….

        • Annie Hamilton

          July 14, 2021 at 5:44 pm

          What on earth does vaccines have to do with this discussion? Talk about off topic.

      • John

        July 13, 2021 at 5:54 am

        Tipping should be outlawed. If you own a business and can’t afford to pay your employees a proper wage, your business is a failure.

        • Anonymous 😉

          July 13, 2021 at 11:30 am

          It’s a way to show your appreciation for the hard work and difficult situations that the workers have to deal with. The least you can do is be a little polite to the people that are making YOUR food. If you don’t like it, try and make the food yourself! Sincerely, a 12 year old with good education.

      • L. Sherman

        July 13, 2021 at 10:58 am

        This remark shows your ignorance of restaurants difficulties in finding help post Covid shutdowns. After finding alternative ways of earning income, increasing numbers of former waitstaff are no longer putting up with the low wages for the hard work involved. This is causing restaurants to be unable to hire enough staff. Finally people are no longer willing to work incredibly hard for ridiculously low wages. Housing costs have skyrocketed as well due to COVID. About time restaurant workers have decided to find work that pays reasonably.

  4. Steven Sadezwicz

    July 12, 2021 at 7:49 am

    I applaud your decision to close. But I also identify with unreasonable wait times. I’ve been out for breakfast waited 2 1/2 hrs for food needles to say it was lunch time my sugar was crashing I was actually getting dizzy. I feel every business has a responsibility to do their job in a reasonable manner and time if you can’t do your job wait till you think you can to open back up. Nothing is going to change by tomorrow I’m pretty sure.

    • Christopher

      July 12, 2021 at 11:04 am

      You should know going into a service related business that there could be a problem with the amount of staff on. If you have an issue with extended wait time then you shouldn’t put yourself in that situation and stay home. This goes for not just restaurants but for any service industry like supermarkets, hardware stores, gift shops or any retail business. Just my opinion.

    • jack froth

      July 12, 2021 at 11:10 am

      Do you think it’s in the restaurants control how many people are waiting outside? By the way as I’m sure you know that’s a sign of a great restaurant is when there’s a long line out the door. if it’s too long to wait and you can always go somewhere else…

    • DN

      July 12, 2021 at 6:59 pm

      Are you kidding me. People still need to make money for a living. Restaurants are not going to wait to fill a quota of staff before opening, and as others said, some things are out of their control.

      • John

        July 13, 2021 at 5:57 am

        If you don’t have enough people to staff the business, its because you’re paying to little

        • steve guy

          July 14, 2021 at 10:45 pm

          That is total B.S., Nobody can get help, no where. If they were to put the prices where they should be, then YOU would be crabbing about the increases. people like you are clueless.

    • TL

      July 12, 2021 at 9:01 pm

      Your health issues and lack of managing them properly are not a restaurant crew’s fault. If you have health concerns, maybe you should eat at home instead of trying to place the blame at someone else’s feet.

    • Jeb Scott

      July 13, 2021 at 12:09 am

      Steven Sadezwicz, you’re obviously lying about that 2 1/2 hour wait. That never happened.

      And,if it had, and you got dizzy from hunger as you claim, why is it the restuarant’s fault that an obese diabetic slob didn’t bring something to keep his glucose from crashing, or have the common sense to leave at an appropriate time to get that needed food elsewhere? How about a little personal responsibility, Jabba?

    • Tammy

      July 13, 2021 at 7:20 am

      If you have sugar issues, you should always be prepared and have something with you. As the pandemic caused hardship on many businesses and unfortunately made it too easy for people to just want to stay home and not work. Businesses are trying to find help. The government has caused a great disservice to the livelihood of to many Americans. Show some mercy.

  5. Constance Breslin

    July 12, 2021 at 8:26 am

    I agree with all three comments above. If you can’t treat someone kindly and are too hungry or impatient to wait, then LEAVE. KUDOS TO APT for treating employees well.

  6. Mark Ryder

    July 12, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Frankly, we should feel lucky to have access to dining out at all. With severe staff shortages we need to understand that many more than the usual number of the workers will be new and still learning. There are also supply shortages and food cost increases.
    Against all evidence, many people are under the mistaken belief that the pandemic is over. Case rates are up 50% this week in the US and most of the world is in much worse shape.
    If we have to wait longer than usual or deal with a few more mistakes than usual while we have the luxury of living mostly normal lives, that is a small price to pay.
    Also, get vaccinated already or stop complaining.

  7. Lauren

    July 12, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Wow how nice you close then have them work as slaves deep cleaning your restaurant. You are such wonderful people.

    • Anthony F

      July 12, 2021 at 3:28 pm

      I think what they meant is that they gave the staff the day off and the owners deep cleaned the restaurant.

    • Merrilee

      July 12, 2021 at 4:49 pm

      Never assume.

    • Sandra

      July 13, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      That’s what I was thinking. give the staff the day off from making tips/real income and make them deep clean your restaurant instead? That’s not beneficial to the staff lol.

  8. MishK

    July 12, 2021 at 10:10 am

    First of all – I love this little restaurant with its amazing food and the fabulous staff that makes each visit a delight. Vacationers come flooding into Cape Cod expecting fast service and cheap prices… You know what? Go to Hampton beach if that’s what you want – every place is short staffed and the individuals WILLING to work for a paycheck are doing their best. Have a little kindness and patience for this season in our lives people – seriously, take a deep breath, you’ll live longer.

    • John

      July 13, 2021 at 6:01 am

      The short staffing can only be blamed on the stingy “small business” owners.

      Staffing issues seem to disappear when you pay a proper wage. It’s like its supply and demand or some other kind of natural law at work

  9. Robin Fletcher

    July 12, 2021 at 10:27 am

    It has happened, and of course still is happening, in Dallas too–and our idiot governor reopened everything 100 percent weeks and months ago. Many restaurants barely survived the pandemic. It takes time to get back to March 2020. I’ll wait an hour to get my food as long as I have water, coffee or tea available to me while waiting. WTH is WRONG with people? Americans are so entitled and selfish. Thank you for being neither of those and showing your staff such kindness. Make certain you have an appropriate sign on the door, and on your web page, to explain why.

  10. Juboo01

    July 12, 2021 at 10:57 am

    Wow Steven Sadezwicz, have a little compassion. Better yet, it would probably be less stressful for you if you go to a fast food restaurant. Very little wait there. But be respectful of the servers at fast food restaurants also. And watch that sugar level. Can make one very grouchy. Hope you have a better experience eating out.

  11. Shempherd

    July 12, 2021 at 11:27 am

    People often forget that an owner of a business has a right to refuse service. Perhaps they needed to be removed and reminded the value of the meal that they should have politely paid for, and the service that should have been appreciated, and the atmosphere that they could recreate at their own dining table if they had thought, care and taste. If they don’t have taste, their behavior reflects that, but perhaps so should their dinner, I suggest those people eat at home, and cry over their burnt toast and store bought gravy instead of ruining someone’s day at work. And I’m confused, is the person on vacation doing more important things than the preson at work? Or should the respect be for those working? I think that’s often what most wealthy entitled people believe, that rewards are for those working. Being that they were on leisure time they’re not priority#1 by their own standards, undoubtedly. Perhaps after fixing their own meals at home, they should enter the service industry. And then they should be treated with equal gratitude that they displayed. Only through their own experience can the truly selfish gain any perspective. Only through the looking glass of the self, sadly and unfortunately, those types never can find the ability to reflect, only to project their insecurities and personal faults onto others that are more than likely more kind-hearted but also more than likely better Co-workers and employees. It is a shame how the privileged share the unique circumstance of never gaining perspective. This is how they fail to see how disruptive and detrimental that they truly are to every member of their social groups and every interaction within the walls of our society, housing business as usual, a cutthroat world of minds closely akin to privateers and mercenary merchants. IDK. A lengthy and openly opinionated way of saying; “for God’s sake, just enjoy the meal.”

  12. Cynthia Walsh

    July 12, 2021 at 11:48 am

    To management…utmost respect for the care & concern given to your employees. To the staff…young, old, inexperienced or experienced, there is an expression (I) tend to apply in such situations; having dealt with ignorant & rude customers. Keep in mind, it’s merely suggestion but has worked 9 times out of 10 for (myself). You can’t change everyone but mean will always be present in some people. It can be approached with kindness or humor…whichever issue applies…’reply with kindness or humor’…stop & make a person think twice about [their] inappropriate behavior.
    “I apologize [your] experience today has been unsatisfactory. May (I) be so blunt to ask for PRODUCTIVE FEEDBACK so (I) might apply it to future incidents, as I am still in the learning process?“ *the ‘kinder’ method. If a customer continues to think belligerence is [their] entitlement, “I apologize if the service provided seemed unacceptable. The option to make a formal complaint to management is an option, so you may choose.” *the humor {AND professional} response.
    And simply walk away, inform management of the Issues the customer presented & your response to such.
    The customer service industry can be wrought with misunderstandIng. HOWEVER, it is no customer’s given right to present angrily, aggressively nor ‘holier than thou’…so much to the point of hurting an employee to the point of tears, feeling of insecurity or inadequacy. Move on with pride, self-esteem & knowledge you handled a tough situation with grace & politeness. Sadly, some folks are never satisfied.

  13. Mike Gallant

    July 12, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    I appreciate the half day of ‘kindness’, but managers and owners are going to need to stand up to abusive customers more aggressively, deny them service, and tell them they are not welcome to return under any circumstances.

    • Joe

      July 12, 2021 at 9:50 pm

      How about tell people how long the wait is rather than make them sit and wait for nothing. If it were me I would just leave.

  14. Niceto meet you

    July 12, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Most customers need to held accountable for their behavior. As adults this SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN. Owners need to be more stern in how their employees are treated (not this particular owner, they made an amazing gesture for their employees). And hold all customers that swear, yell or insults their employees accountable and asked to leave. Who wants anyone’s money everyday that is just a straight up a******. You’ll only have a higher turnover of employees. No ones built to be treated like a piece of s*** each day.

  15. Kathy money

    July 12, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Kudos to the management and all staff for taking a step back to breathe, regroup, train and renew yourselves, and then return to work with renewed focus, strength, and continuing determination to do the best you can.
    We the customers should be grateful you are there and working, and allow you to do the best you can.
    In May, I was “on vacation on the Cape,” – can I say that if I’m retired? I loved being back on the Cape, but also was aware that there was/is more to re-opening than just opening the doors. I was at one restaurant that had 8 or 9 tables outside in the parking lot and tables inside. They had 2 servers doing both inside & out, and at times someone from the kitchen brought out food. They were all over the place clearing and setting up tables, doing drinks, orders, checking in, bringing needed lemons, butter, bussing tables, etc whatever as needed. I and others had to wait a long time for tables to be cleared, etc. Anyone with eyes could see that they were running like crazy, and getting upset or angry with anyone would be foolish, because they were doing everything they could with what they had. They checked back while waiting for a table, and then after once seated, etc. I knew it was going to be a longer than usual time before I went, and while I was there, so I was prepared, and I kept encouraging those servers, it’s OK, I know what you’re doing, and I also told them that yrs ago I too had been in their shoes as a server, and it was not a party going thru what they were doing. In the end, I received my order, enjoyed my meal and left a 25% tip to show my appreciation and encouragement for all that they were able to do.
    We have been thru turbulent and terrible times, and now we are on our way to re-opening to a NEW normal, whatever that may be. We are not taking up our lives where we left off. That is impossible, life has gone on, these are different times, and hopefully we have gained some new insight and info along the way to help us manage these current times.
    Because, Even now, we are still in the throes of the virus. We in MA are in somewhat better shape than elsewhere with a higher vaccination rate, but a renewed/mutating Covid virus is still all around, and it is not done with us yet, even if we want to think we are done with it and with Covid health restrictions and guidelines.
    If only life was so simple, and that what we want is what we get. That is not what life is all about. Life is what happens while we make plans… our plans are hopes only, and more often than not they do not unfold as we wished. Sometimes much later, we realize that we were lucky to not have what we’d planned, since what did happen turned out better than we ever could have imagined. And sometimes what happened was indeed terrible, and we had no control over that, too.
    What really matters is how we respond to what happens, whatever becomes real for that time, whether war, pestilence, illness, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc, COVID. Accept its reality, learn as much as you can about it, follow best practices and recommendations as much as possible, keep on doing what is necessary, keep on supporting others, keep on adjusting what you have to do to survive, because no one has all the right answers at first, and all info needs to be reviewed and revised as newer info becomes known. And most of all, we need to keep forgiving and allowing space for each other and ourselves everyday, so that we can go home, sleep and renew ourselves for whatever happens the next day, whatever – we have to acknowledge it and again learn whatever else we need to do, to get thru each day.
    Life is messy, and yet it is also wonderful, beautiful, meaningful, and worth it, so long as we realize and accept that we cannot control what happens, we can only deal with by how we choose to respond to it, and to each other. A little forbearance and a lot of forbearance goes a very long way in helping all of us to get through this day with some grace and laughter, not tears or fists or abuse.
    To all may you have peace, love and many blessings this day on and forward, and a shoulder to lean on in trying times; are there any other?
    Kathy, be well and do good always, a (?retired) social worker.

  16. David Morris

    July 12, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    You no get soup!
    Soup Nazi? Seinfeld?
    Lol!

  17. Stephanie Rivers

    July 12, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    No one should be swearing at restaurant staff ever!! If you can’t be patient, compassionate, and understanding, stay home! Barbaric behavior. New England may be higher than other parts of the country in having people vaccinated but the rest of the country is not and at poor numbers for vaccinations. Places are short staffed because People are still afraid to go back to work right now. And yes, unemployment is paying people well right now so they have a little bit of relief however, mentally we are all drained thanks to the pandemic. It’s appalling to read these reports of how people are treating other people right now. Just stop it. If I was the business owner, I would shut down the restaurant for the rest of the week and then open back up by reservation only. Even before COVID, some of the more favorite places to eat on the cape had long lines and either you waited or you went somewhere else. Just stop the insanity already.

  18. Charlie

    July 12, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Masshole is a term that was earned… not given.

    • Mahky Mahk

      July 13, 2021 at 2:32 am

      Ya it’s more vacationers from NY/NJ or the Newton/Lexington/Brookline/Andover’s with NY roots. “Threatening to sue” is all you need to know. MassHoles don’t threaten to sue they threaten to F ya Mutha

  19. Joe

    July 12, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    So are you lowering prices or giving something free for your paying customers that are putting up with bad service or food. I assure you it is not the case. There are 2 sides to every coin buddy.

  20. Miranda DeWitt

    July 13, 2021 at 7:51 am

    As a “local” I dread the summer tourists on Cape Cod. So many are rude, in a rush, and simply feel entitled. They cut in line, trespass, drive like idiots… “We’re not on your vacation”!

    Unfortunately a whole bunch decide to move here permanently–gross people year round. Ugh.

  21. Rolly Costa

    July 13, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    charge an additional tax on the NY / NJ / CT types for the privilege of coming to the Cape

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