One of the mantras that HR, in hospitality and retail, may instil upon its staff is that ‘the customer is always right’. However, are they?
In a case that has split opinion, the sacking of a Pizza Hut employee, for acquiescing to the requests of a customer, has, once again, shone a light on whether customer requests should always be adhered to.
The case in question refers to a Pizza Hut employee, who worked in Virginia, USA, after they wrote a joke on the inside of a pizza box after a customer requested it.
The pizza in question, ordered by a 12 and 15-year-old boy, shocked their mother when it arrived – the joke was rather, well, saucy – and she complained. The employee then called to apologise.
However, local media are now reporting that the employee was fired. This has sparked some Pizza Hut customers to take to social media to complain – saying that firing a worker so close to Christmas is harsh. Another said they’ll now order from a rival brand.
Whilst bored employees are sometimes happy to oblige customer requests – for drawings and writings on their takeaway – they might think again about having some harmless fun.
For HR, they might think about how they coach and retain staff. If workers are dismissed for minor indiscretions, it could seriously harm their resourcing plans with potential employees put off from working for them.