KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - Owners of some North Idaho burger joints have taken to social media to share frustration over the poor treatment some of their employees have received from customers particularly during the pandemic.
Messy's Burgers in Spirit Lake and Penny's Pit Gourmet Burgers in Rathdrum have each shared posts saying they will be cracking down more on customers exhibiting this rude behavior and denying them service.
"During this pandemic we have witnessed many rude customers at our window, making some of our teenage workers cry," the owner of Messy's wrote in a letter/sign posted. "For many, this is their first job. This will not be tolerated, ever."
The owner clarifies that 90% or more of customers shouldn't be lumped in with this group, but reiterated that some have been "the worst customers they have ever seen."
The notice at Messy's additionally lists in bold font: "We will no longer be tolerating any rude behavior. If you are rude we WILL deny serving you."
Penny's Pit shared similar experiences with customers, particularly ones expecting the business to allow and serve large parties during restrictions for COVID-19. Penny's Pit said they dealt with three large parties Wednesday who wanted to dine in at the establishment and argued with staff despite a sign posted citing guidelines from the local health district.
During Stage 4 of Idaho's reopening plans, restaurants in the Panhandle Health District are required to follow protocols including:
- Limiting occupancy to maintain social distancing (6 feet)
- Spacing tables appropriately apart to keep patrons six feet apart while seated and moving in and out of chairs
- Reducing the use of waiting areas and lobbies as feasible
"Please call PANHANDLE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEMAND ANYTHING FROM US," Penny's Pit wrote in a post. "This is a worldwide pandemic, for crying out loud have some decency, and understand we are doing our best with the hand dealt to us at this time. We have the right as business owners to deny anyone service who treats us like crap."
Idaho Gov. Brad Little said the state will remain in stage 4 at least through Aug. 6.
Both owners shared their displeasure with even having to resort to writing these types of posts, but Penny's furthermore stated 2020 has been "the worst of the WORST."
Since making the post, both restaurants have stood in unison, with Penny's offering a $50 gift card to Messy's and vice versa for a random commenter who shared positive feedback.
Messys is located at 6285 Maine St. in Spirit Lake. Penny's Pit is located at 14319 W. Hwy 53 in Rathdrum.