Not About Food 88

Air conditioning in the restaurant.

shaogo | Aug 25, 200906:03 AM

What *is* it with some people and air conditioning in restaurants? I understand that some are prone to getting cold (they should keep a cardigan in the car) but for goodness sake, what about the comfort of *other* diners.

It was a terribly hot July, last year, and I'd not been into the rear dining room of our restaurant for about an hour and a half. I walked in to see how everyone was doing, and what they were doing was sweating!

Now, I'm fat, so I become uncomfortably hot rather quickly. I asked a table of six if they were comfortable and they were glad I asked -- they were indeed sweating. I apologized, and asked if they'd like to change to a table in the larger, main dining room. I told them that there must be something wrong with the air conditioning unit in the dining room they were in -- and that's what I believed (I'd set the entire restaurant's generous compliment of air conditioning on 70 degrees that morning).

To my shock and amazement, the customers pointed to another table and said, "nope. there's nothing wrong with your air conditioning. The lady over there got up and turned it off."

When I went to look at the thermostat, indeed, it'd been messed with. In fact, the "heat" setting switch had been turned *on.* Now, in summer, the heat doesn't come on when the a/c units are powered up, but I was astounded that someone had actually put their hands *on my property.*

I set the unit back on, with the fan on "high" so the room would cool down. No sooner did I leave the room than the lady got *back up* and turned it off again (one of my servers told me about this).

When confronted about the second time she turned the a/c off, the customer blew up and started screaming (something I certainly wasn't ready for). She later placed a horrible, false story on CitySearch about our restaurant and how "roughly" she was treated. Her complaint? Her mother was cold. They didn't say anything to me nor the servers.

Now, this story is a "worst-case" scenario. However, I find it insulting when 80% of my diners are comfortable and yet one individual must complain about the air conditioning. We'll move people out of the way of vents/ducts, but heck, when it's 95 degrees out, and you "lose your cool," it's hard for the system to recover.

Do chowhounds have something to say about too cool/too hot in restaurants? And what're your favorite anecdotes.

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