'Epidemic of entitlement': Too many rude customers cause restaurant to shut hours early

The owner of a popular Michigan restaurant hit his limit with rude customers on Sunday. But rather than put up with the "epidemic of entitlement" that he faced on one of his busiest days, he simply shut the doors hours before closing time. And they stayed shut until Tuesday morning.

After too many impatient customers spoke rudely, let kids run around and destroy property, and even stole to-go orders, Steven Martinez, who runs Basalt, a modern Tex-Mex restaurant in Grand Rapids, said enough is enough. "I thought it would be better for my staff to just close down," he told WZZM13.

"It just seems like an epidemic of entitlement happening," he added. 

Martinez says that he and his staff know the stresses the restaurant industry can bring, "but that doesn't mean we're not going to expect to be treated with care, and respect, and dignity too," he said. 

"We're not servants, and we're not robots."

Basalt closed for the remainder of Sunday and all day Monday. Martinez wants others to know it's okay to stand up for yourself and your staff. …

Martinez says since they made the announcement public, he's gotten a lot of messages of support, and messages from other local restaurants thanking him for speaking out because it's happened to them, too.

Front page thumbnail image: wavebreakmedia / shutterstock.com