Tam Nguyen Photography

New York Beauty and Fashion Photographer

GRK Fresh Greek in Financial District of NYC: When $3 Is More Important than Principle [Updated]

Posted on April 23, 2013 in Personal

GRK Fresh Greek in Financial District of NYC: When $3 Is More Important than Principle [Updated]

I work in the Financial District area of Manhattan, New York; namely, at the corner of Water St and John St. There are at least 20-30 food trucks, on top of multiple restaurants, within the 700-yard radius. At lunchtime everyday, my coworkers and I walk around the blocks trying different places to eat. A few months ago, we discovered GRK Fresh Greek, and it’d proven to be a good spot to visit at least once a month or. The food is delicious, the customer service is good, and the price is affordable. Sometimes I’d even make a stop there after work to grab a bite for dinner. Everything was excellent, until one day, I found that my credit card was overcharged by GRK Fresh Greek.

It was a Thursday night, 4/18/2013, when my brother and his wife decided that they wanted Greek food for dinner. Per usual, I swung by GRK Fresh Greek at around 6:15pm and placed an order for takeout. My order consisted of 3 plates:

– Lamb/beef, Grk, brown rice
– Chicken, prassino, Aegean slaw
– Lamb/beef, Katero, brown rice

With each plate being priced at $9.78, the total came out to be $31.94 with tax included. Generally, I never keep any receipts, so I tossed it the minute I walked out of the store. Upon checking my statement a few days later, I saw that my account was charged $34.94.

Curious to know what happened, I use their contact form and send an email. About 24 hours later, I was contacted by Christopher Potter, GRK Director of Strategic Development. Chris said that he’d found the transaction, but the information I’d provided didn’t match, so I replied with the last 4 digits of my card and its expiration date. Chris responded that a tip had been added to my transaction, which brought the total amount to be $3 more than what it should have been.


I generally don’t leave any tip for takeouts, especially a place that looks somewhat like a fast food joint. I sent an email back to Chris, stating my situation, and that I thought someone in his staff took the liberty to add the tip in for me. Great. That’s awesome. I’m generally known for over-tipping, but this time was without my consent. It is the principle that I had a problem with. Here’s Chris’ next response:

Dear Tam Nguyen,

Rather than go back and forth, I’ll simply give you the $3 dollars from my pocket. Unfortunately, you don’t have the receipt and the information you’ve provided does not match but I don’t want you to feel slighted.

Is that acceptable?

No, Chris, that is NOT acceptable. Clearly, the information matched enough to overcharge me $3. Instead of investigating his store to see which of the employee it was who did the deed, he made it sound like I was sweating over $3. I was not. I simply wanted to find out what happened, and had Chris apologized and told me he’d look into it, I’d be more than happy to walk away from the incident.

I’m a person of principle, and I no longer feel like walking into a restaurant where I know I have to watch my receipt for any funny businesses. GRK Fresh Greek can keep the $3, but they have lost me as a customer. Maybe they don’t care, but as a Director of Strategic Development, I would have assumed he did.

Update: here’s Chris’ email that was sent to me at 3:36am:


I’m really shocked. I was simply trying to help you. Why didn’t you just say that you had an issue with this?

I honestly just didn’t want you to feel ripped off.

In perspective, do you think that if you sent that email to Bloomingdales, they would just offer to refund you the money? We are new and every dollar counts. If I thought that an employee was stealing, I would fire them immediately.

We just can’t afford that.

Even for a cashier to do this, which was not the case, means that they would get about $0.35 after the tips are pooled and then paid out to the staff as a whole

I was honestly trying to make you happy with no headache. If you’re not happy, just tell me and we would talk about it. I thought you would appreciate.

Would you like to meet or do a call? Let me know what works for you.

A friend of mine suggested on Facebook that I contact my credit card company and let them resolve the situation. I’ll do this soon.

Update 4/27/13: I called my Chase credit company and spoke with 2 agents, one named Steve and one named Mary. The agents were very courteous and helpful; they were able to put the $3 back to my account. I doubt they would revert that amount from the original transaction that was made by GRK, which would have been my preferred end result. Either way, I’m never coming back to GRK.

Principle matters.

Update 4/28/13: George Nikas, the founder of GRK, has reached out to me via personal email. Here’s his message:

Dear mr Nguyen,

I am the founder of GRK and i take the liberty to email you as I was made aware of the unfortunate incident that has transpired over the last week at our Flagship store in the financial district.

I want to assure you that i will do anything within my power to get to the bottom of this. Not only because i think you are right but because if something like this is happening right behind our back it could hurt our reputation really bad just because we have abysmal control over our employees.

Also I want to apologize for the way our representative handled the whole matter. He clearly handled the whole matter wrong and again i am deeply apologetic on behalf of all of GRK.

If there is anything at all i can do at all to “heal our relationship” i would definitely go out of my way to achieve that.

I’ve asked that George update me with his findings after he gets to the bottom of this.

Update 4/28/13: As promised, George has updated me with what he found out as to what happened to my bill, which was in fact a human error from one of his employees. I hate to be “that guy” who’s a pain in the neck to deal with, but I’d figured something must have been said for it to come to light. I have much respect for George, who was courteous enough to listen and resolve the problem. I have no doubt that incidents like this will no longer happen in the future.

George has done more than enough to gain back my trust for GRK. I’m a happy camper again, and I’ll maybe visit the restaurant sooner than later.


  1. Chris April 24, 2013

    Dear Tam,

    This is Chris and I do care which is why I contacted you immediately to notify you that I would look into this. In turn notified the store manager immediately whom I then met with to go over that days transactions.

    As I stated, the information did not match that what was provided. However you felt that you were slighted and rather than any back and forth, having you contact your credit card company and making you jump through hoops. I simply offered to pay you the three dollars.

    I saw this as kind and generous offer and was in no way meant to upset you or slight you in any way shape or form. In my initial email, I stated that you should feel free to contact me at any time any even provided you with my cell phone number. The $3 was insignificant which is why I offered it to you and asked if you were ok with that rather than telling you that you had no receipt and I couldn’t help you.

    I would be more than happy to address this further even meeting with you to to go over what we have done.

    Please just contact me.

    • Tam Nguyen Photography April 24, 2013


      I’m not exactly sure why you found yourself shocked. I obviously had an issue with this, and that’s why I sent you emails back and forth expressing it. In fact, I was more than happy going back and forth with you to get to the bottom of the issue, but instead you decided that the solution was to shush me away by giving me $3 out of your pocket.

      The issue wasn’t the $3. It was the principle.

      Seeing that I no longer have my copy of the receipt, it’s practically my words against the system. When you said “If I thought that an employee was stealing, I would fire them immediately.”, it means you do NOT think that an employee was stealing, which implies I was scamming you and the store.

      I was not.

      Someone in your staff made your restaurant look bad, and you took the matter and made it worse. Thank you, but I no longer want to deal with you or your organization.


      • Chris April 24, 2013


        I was shocked due to the fact that I not only tried to make you happy without putting anything on you but I also asked if this was acceptable to you. Therefore, as a reasonably prudent person, I would assume that you would tell me if it wasn’t. I’ve literally tried every way to address you, the situation and your concerns however you are making this into something more.

        Your allegations are unjustified and unwarranted. The information you provided does not match. It’s not a matter of someone adding something to your bill.

        If you feel that you were you wronged, would you like to meet and discuss the issues as I have asked you numerous times?

      • Tam Nguyen Photography April 24, 2013


        I’d like to see the transaction receipt that you found in your system. You keep insisting that the information did not match, so I’m curious as to what it is.

        I’m more than happy to provide you with my entire credit card number if need be.


      • Chris April 24, 2013

        I would have to have you contact your credit card company and provide us with a copy of your signed receipt.

  2. Colin October 24, 2013

    I have experienced similar issues. As a very good customer at GRK, I have been disappointed with customer service.

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