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Employee refuses to give unhoused customer expired bagels; 'we're a business.' AITA?

Employee refuses to give unhoused customer expired bagels; 'we're a business.' AITA?

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"AITA for kicking out a homeless person from my shop, even though he's a regular costumer?"

NoisyNeighbor6969

For context, I (37 M) own a bagel shop in my home city where there's a high homeless population. A lot of the homeless people generally can be loud and a disruptive force to the guests and patrons of the restaurant.

One of the homeless guys, let's call him Gary. He is a regular costumer at our bagel shop and never causes any problems. He usually orders the same thing, Egg and Cheese bagel with a black coffee. He will sit inside from the heat and eat his bagel. Its always a pleasure to see him.

The other day we were closing up and he came in looking rougher than he usually does. He came up to me (I was manning the counter) and said 'I'm having a bit of a rough week. I know you throw out a lot of the unused bagels. And I could really use some. Do you think you could help out?'

Of course, I said no. I told him that we are a business and I can't give him food for free. He understood and asked if he could just sit inside for a bit. Once again, I told him if you're not going to pay for anything, you need to leave.

He said 'Sorry for the trouble.' My GF(21 F) came up to me and said I was being an a**hole and that he's a regular costumer and that we are going to throw out the food anyway (it was a pretty slow day). I told my GF that it's just business and that is how things are done. So reddit, AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:

AxlNoir25

YTA. He’s a regular customer who usually buys something. He probably didn’t scrape together enough money for it this time. You’re within your right to deny him as the owner, but doesn’t mean you’re in good moral standing about it.

I hope he takes whatever money he gets elsewhere from now on. I can get not giving him anything for free but to not let him hang out inside for a bit when he never causes a problem, is respectful and quiet whenever he comes, and usually buys something? Has he not earned any goodwill?

Ok-Profession-9372

YTA. He is by your admission a regular customer and not disruptive. A little empathy will do good things for you in life but also in business.

Chewycheesecheckers

YTA your(37M) regular customer asked you for a little bit of humanity and you spat in his face. Don’t be surprised if he becomes a regular elsewhere. Let’s only hope this was a big enough red flag for your GF (21F) to run the f*ck away- far away.

JupiterSWarrior

I’m going with NAH. You’re not a charity, so refusing him food for free is well within your rights. All those bagels being thrown away is money being thrown away, and that’s a business expense. If anyone wanted any of those bagels, they can pay for them.

As for allowing non-customers sitting in, that’s well within a business’s right to deny. It doesn’t matter if the person asking is a regular or not, they don’t own the business and they don’t own the building the business is in. You’re not an a**hole for being polite and refusing these requests. And he’s not an a**hole for asking. Hence NAH.

Cultural_Section_862

YTA. I bet anything if someone else came in, distressed, and asked if you minded if they wait a while for their ride or the rain to pass or whatever you, as a business owner, would know it's good business to be kind, maybe even offer them a cup of coffee. Don't even get me started on the disgusting amount of food waste in this world.

_gadget_girl

YTA he has been a good paying customer. He asked a small favor and for a little kindness. You were a jerk who wanted to prove a point. Shame on you!

So, what woould you say? Do you think the OP was being heartless or do you think they were just concerned about creating a pattern of giving away food for free that could have resulted in hurting the business?

Sources: Reddit
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