• A Michigan restaurant closed early because tourists were “rude” and “arrogant,” its manager said.
  • “Due to the mistreatment of our servers, our kitchen is closed,” she wrote on a sign.
  • Service and hospitality workers have had to deal with more rude customers since the pandemic started.

A restaurant in Michigan closed early during a festival because tourists were rude to staff, its manager said, reflecting the rising number of rude customers during the pandemic era.

Charlevoix, a town around 250 miles north of Detroit, has hosted a Venetian festival for almost 100 years with music, sport, and a parade. But when tourists descended on the town on the weekend, the tourists – known by the locals as “fudgies” – were “arrogant” and “cocky,” Larah Moore, the general manager of East Park Tavern, said in a Facebook post.

After speaking with her staff, Moore shut the restaurant an hour earlier than usual on Saturday, Today reported.

“Due to the mistreatment of our servers, our kitchen is closed,” she wrote on a sign she stuck on the host’s desk.

Service and hospitality workers across the country have had to deal with growing numbers of rude customers since the pandemic started, with clashes over COVID-19 policies like masks and social distancing, slower service amid the labor shortage, and rising prices due to inflation.

The problem at East Park Tavern seems to have been caused by rude, impatient, and rowdy customers, but in some other cases, customers have been violent to workers.

“I’m so incredibly disappointed and embarrassed by the fudgies we have this year,” Moore wrote. “My staff took a BEATING all week. Last night was our last straw. Too many rude comments. Too many arrogant individuals acting like they can throw money at us to get their way. Too many cocky jerks.”

Today reported that close to 100,000 people travel to Charlevoix each year during the eight-day festival. Moore told the outlet that many of her staff had been working 11-hour shifts that week, where they were “being beaten down every day by the amount of people that were coming in, plus just the disrespect people were giving to them.”

She told Today that one of the restaurant’s servers ended up in the emergency room on Saturday night after her insulin pump fell off while she was working because it was so hot, while another “was breaking down” crying.

“No one gets to treat my staff like trash,” Moore said in the Facebook post. “We are not here to be abused. We will not tolerate that anymore.”