~This is the first in a series of rants that I’ve been collecting in my head. The setting for this letter was Friday night’s date night dinner with my husband. Our restaurant choices are limited and we tried a new one in hopes of expanding our routine. In spite of the free coupons we have to lure us back, I will never voluntarily step foot in this establishment again.~
I get that you are new to the job. That much was evident in the first five minutes of being seated. When you come over to take orders, try making eye contact instead of staring at the ground. I want to know for sure that you’ve heard me. Also on this subject, when you take the drink orders please remember to go ahead and ask if we have any questions or if there’s anything else we need. That saves us from having to wave you down to ask you what the soup of the day is. Speaking of which, please don’t ever describe a gnocchi to me again as a “chicken noodle soup with ravioli” because I won’t order based on that description when I would have eaten it if you’d told me what it was called. (Quick lesson: know your menu)
A good rule of thumb to go by, is that if your customers have empty glasses, they’d probably like refills. A way to avoid having to stop by their table every ten minutes is to fill their glasses more than half full with liquid. Yes, I’m serious, go ahead and fill it up to the top, we aren’t children, we won’t spill it. Oh yeah, and I get that you had a booth of friends or family there, but if they’re that much of a distraction to you, please ask them to leave. Your tip is diminishing rapidly as we watch you continually check on them while no one else in our section can get your attention. (Quick lesson: your tip is based directly on the service rendered)
Really, all of that was probably just going to get you a bad tip. We try and be fair, but, service is service and I will not reward you for doing a poor job. Of course, then you went and let the catalyst happen. You paid so little attention to anyone but that one booth, that your manager had to serve our plates. And my ravioli was tepid at best. When you came by the table and I complained, you did a great job of saying you would take care of it for me. I’ll admit that by now I was doubtful, after all, I’d just had a 15 dollar plate served to me cold; but I was willing to hope for the best.
Five minutes later you return with my plate and warned me that it was exceedingly hot. You took off so fast that I couldn’t even tell you that I needed a new fork. After I snagged one from a nearby table, I looked down at my plate and was horrified. For there, on the plate, was the half eaten ravioli that you’d taken to the kitchen. I stared in shock, and a bit of horror, as I realized that my entire plate had just been reheated. The sauce was now congealed on the plate and the ravioli looked rubbery and burned. Again we called you to the table, I asked how it had been reheated and you told me you had just stuck it in the oven. I asked how that could possibly be safe or sanitary and you said it was company policy. I asked for your manager.
You took your sweet time (ten minutes) in talking to him and getting him to come to our table. When he did get there, he assured me that in no way was it the restaurant policy to reheat plates in the oven as it is unsanitary and overcooks the food. (Quick lesson: if you’re going to give excuses, at least make sure that they’re true) At this point in time, I was on the edge of tears and just wanted to go home. We thanked the manager, asked for my dish to be removed from the ticket and asked for our check. He brought it to us and then left you to process our receipt.
Again you were nowhere to be seen. One of your coworkers went after you twice for us as we sat for an extra fifteen minutes waiting for you to come around our table. (Quick lesson: if you’ve embarassed yourself by lying to a customer, don’t make it worse by prolonging the amount of time that they have to spend in your store) You finally came, left, and returned with nary a word.
We left your restaurant with a ruined meal and a ruined evening. By that time it was too late for us to go anywhere else to get food. We have coupons for your restaurant from your manager. I think I’ll give them to my worst enemies and tell them to ask for your section. Oh wait, I don’t hate anyone that much.