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Spain: Customers Want to Dine After Opening Hours, but the Restaurant Refuses. Stirring Up Debate.

Sveva Valeria Castegnaro
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"Our employees have schedules and rights, they deserve to be respected": in Spain, a restaurant owner responds to a negative review from a customer who demanded to dine beyond opening hours.

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"Everything, always, and immediately" is the mantra that guides the lives of many people nowadays. Whether it's work, private life, or interpersonal relationships, many struggle to accept a "no" or simply exercise a bit of patience. Impatience and restlessness dominate, even in relaxed situations, as was the case during a pleasant evening at a restaurant. Such an incident recently occurred in Spain when a restaurateur received a negative review from a customer who arrived after the kitchen had closed and couldn't be served (as reported by La Vanguardia).


"I'm writing this review from my car, as I had to leave without consuming anything. The place is very nice, but if you plan to dine here, be careful because the kitchen closes at 10:00 PM. We arrived 3 minutes later, and they didn't bother to serve us. It's a shame because I definitely won't be coming back," the frustrated customer complained in a post. The restaurant owner thought it was appropriate to respond to this review, not only to defend their online reputation (often more impactful than the in-person) but, above all, to protect the rights of their employees.

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"Just like in any workplace, we have specific working hours. The garden kitchen is open from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM, and until 10:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. It's reasonable to think that we can't accept orders and provide service to those who arrive beyond the specified time. Our employees have rights, and it's our priority to ensure they are respected. Such a review is out of place and solely aims to damage our company's public reputation for enforcing and respecting rules; this already speaks volumes." A response that, in addition to avoiding overly aggressive tones or being excessively defensive (basic rules for countering negative reviews), emphasizes every employer's duty to take care of their team, prompting the online community to think through: even when it's about entertainment for the customer, respect for those who work should never take a back seat!


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