What would you do?

restuarant1We had something happen Saturday night and it seems to be sticking in my brain so I’d like to see what you guys would do if this happened to you.

We frequent this certain restaurant. I’m thinking back and we’ve been going there for years and years. Even before we lived out here, our cabin was here so we’d go there a few times a summer. I’d say the last 10 years or so, it’s sometimes a once a week thing. Not always once a week but I’d say a few times a month we’d go there. About a month ago, we just decided that we were spending to much money eating out so we said we were going to scale back some and not go there as much as we used to.

Jason, Nikki and Bailey got a new 5th wheel camper and came out here for the weekend so we thought it would be fun to go there since we are hardly ever all together like this. So the three of them, Toby, Sue and the kids and Paul and I take off to go eat. It wasn’t busy at all when we got there. I should say right up front that, other than a few “off” nights, we’ve never really had much to complain about as the food is always good. I think that’s one of the reasons we go there as much as we do. We KNOW we will get a good meal. The service is sometimes slow but we know to go before 5 and it’s okay. To be blunt, our service was HORRIBLE. Our drinks came late. Sue and Nikki ordered big tiger shrimp and didn’t get their drawn butter. Some of us asked for water and it never came and I’ll bet our bill didn’t get to us for a good half hour after we were done eating. I ordered Beef Medallions and I ordered them as I always do, rare, and they came not even warm inside AND the sauce wasn’t the same as what it usually is. I just sucked that up since I knew I wouldn’t eat it all anyway and could eat around the edges and when I cooked it for the second time for my lunch, it would cook more so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me.

But we had three kids with us who were pretty good the whole time. I’m wondering though what the heck was going on? Our waitress is one of the best but it was as if it was one of her first days. She brought our food and we didn’t see her again. We saw her and one other one trying to handle the whole place so then we thought they are just really busy. But when we left, I’ll bet there were 4-6 bus girls just standing around in the walkway to the kitchen.

But….We were done eating already when a great big party came in. I’m going to guess at least 12 people. Instead of taking them their drinks and bringing us our check, she took the whole order. Now, it was obvious these people didn’t know the place so she had to repeat the soup, salad, potatoes and often times, answer questions about the meals to every single person in that party. Meanwhile, we just sat there.

Now my question is, should we say something to someone about what happened or just leave it alone? Our bill was $130. It wasn’t a burger joint. That’s a lot of money. But the waitress we had, I hate to get into trouble. When she brought us our check, she asked me why I didn’t eat. I was honest and told her it wasn’t very good and the sauce was different but it’s okay GET US OUR CHECK AND TAKE HOME BOXES. At this point we just wanted to get out of there. I think she knows we weren’t happy with our night out there but nothing was said and no apologies or explanations as to “why” this happned. Do you think since we are regulars and they know we will come back, that’s why they didn’t care that much about pleasing us?

The thing that bothers me is if I owned a restaurant, I’d want to know if someone was treated like this. We were just pretty much ignored and that NEVER happens. Another thing is we are always there to keep them afloat whereas some of the people who were there Saturday night might never go back if their service was like ours was. If that was their first time there, they won’t be back. Do you think the management should know “why?” I’d sure want to know but I’m also not really sure who to talk to. To top it off, I think the waitress we had IS one of the managers. We are pretty close to one waitress who I know has a say in things but it feels funny going and “tattling” to her. 

What would you do?

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18 Responses to What would you do?

  1. joz1234 says:

    I would write a letter to the manager/owner explaining just what you did here. Make sure they know you are a regular customer and have never had this experience here, but are concerned with the service you received and with the things that you saw that bothered you.

    Worst case: They do nothing; but they’ve seen your account of the evening
    best case: They do something about it and at a minimum contact you and apologize.

  2. joanharvest says:

    I agree with Joz1234. I’d write a letter. I think a restaurant owner would hopefully prefer to know about instances like yours so that things could be improved. Maybe you ought to send Chef Ramsey over there to straighten them out.

    Even if your waitress had a bad day it shouldn’t be at your expense. For $130 you should get good service and good food. When you work with the public you get good and bad customers but you can’t take out your frustrations on the good customers especially the regular ones that you count on coming back again.

  3. Tony says:

    Yes I think that’s what I’d do too. If management doesn’t know what went on then they can’t do anything about correcting problems & prevent this happening again. Who knows a complaint may even get you’s a free meal. Go on, you know you want to….

    • Joy says:

      I really would like to say something Tony but at this point I don’t really know “who” to say something to. We love this restaurant and I’d hate to see anything happen to it. This business is bad in the winter being we live in a resort community. Winters are very slow.

  4. Lucy says:

    I would probably just chalk it all up to bad luck and a bad day all around… and just go back next time. If you experience the SAME horrible service again, I would really try to contact a manager. Does the restauarant have a website? Most restaurant websites have a “contact us” button.

  5. pammy wammy says:

    I agree with Lucy.You like the place,its a first for you with this bad service.But if it happens again,I would find a way to get in contact with the owner.I believe in second chances in this instance.

  6. jason says:

    I’m a creature of habbit so I find my horse and stick with it. I was pissed saturday, but said nothing because in my opinion it’s your resturaunt. When you bring food out it is the rudest thing to me to only bring half the orders. How hard is it to grab someone for help to carry out. If it’s not done at the same time it’s poor prep on the cook. We payed money for their service. My dad I sat there for 3-5 minutes waiting for our food. After saying that I would wait to see if it happens again. Thats when you pull the “do you know how much money I’ve spent in here in the last fifteen years, I’d hate to stop at the resturaunt before this one and spend my money.”

    • Joy says:

      I’m glad you brought that up Jason. I’d forgotten that you and dad didn’t get your food with ours. I HATE when that happens. Usually it’s my food that comes last and I’m the slowest eater so I’m sitting there eating even longer.

    • Sue says:

      I thought the same thing that night. Was it really hard to grab 2 more plates or bring another tray out with someone carrying it? She was off in la la land.

  7. LVISS says:

    I WOULD STOP GOING THERE .

  8. Karen Joy says:

    I always say something if I get bad service,well food anyhow because I realize we all have off days.And I dont care if I pay $130 or $13 for a meal,I am a paying costumer and they need to look after us if they want us back.Though Joy I think to Because its a place you frequent often I may see what happens next time and if you have one problem with anything SAY SOMETHING for sure!I always said in the bussiness I was in before that if my costumer wouldnt come talk to me if I had done something wrong,how was I to know so I could change it/fix it.Id rather them come tell me than go around(the small town)talking about it/me.

    • Karen Joy says:

      Oh Joy,I must say I didnt mean when i said”going around talking about it”that thats what you were doing here!!Thats just what would happen in our industry and i seriously appreciated the people who would rather come talk to me instead.I was referring to them only,NOT you!!!:)Just needed to clarify.

  9. Just a Mom says:

    I worked in the restaurant business for 20 years and as a manager I always wanted to know if someone had a bad experience. Maybe it was just an off night but if no one gives feedback on it that may become the norm. If someone says something about it they can get back on top of things a lot faster.

  10. nikki says:

    If I were you, I would let this one go. BUT if it happens again, then I’d say something. That girl, who you say is usually great, may have had just a really OFF night. Who knows what was on her mind. I totally understand the amount of money you all have spent there. If I were to say anything it would be maybe that the girl could have used some help instead of them standing there. Then that doesn’t get that girl in trouble and maybe something will be said to the others, like…get off your ass’s!
    My food was great, other than having to share the butter with Sue, which obviously was not a big deal, but we shouldn’t have had to.
    I do know what I’ll be doing the next time I go there…I’m ordering a Bahama Mama!!!! 🙂 That looked and sounded SO good!

  11. SKL says:

    Given that you have a good history there, I would give them a “free pass” this time. We have some restaurants that we go to a lot, and we usually won’t complain unless the food is absolutely inedible. If the service is kinda crappy, we’ll let the tip reflect that. But the next time we go there, we might say “can you please __ __ ___, because they didn’t do that the last time we were here, and by the way, we were wondering – do you have new cook/manager? This lets people know what’s important to us without getting a particular individual in trouble. And of course, if they continue to suck, we find somewhere else to eat.

    We pay a lot to sit in a restaurant and have every right to expect it to be a pleasant experience. However, to me, it isn’t pleasant if someone is getting in trouble or feeling bad. I would rather try to see the humor in it.

  12. birdpress says:

    I think you should have said something when it happened, so really I think you missed your chance. Yes, people have off-days and that could have been all it was, but also they may have been honestly unaware of any trouble you had. In that case, your speaking up would have made them aware and maybe helped them to realize that their service was a little off. Seriously, sometimes people just don’t see things and need to have it pointed out to them, politely, of course. 😉

    My advice would be to let it go this time, since you didn’t address it right away, but if it happens again I would immediately speak up or ask to speak to the manager and let them know what happened. Please just be kind about it and try not to take it personally because I think most people want to please you and will try to fix things if you give them the opportunity.

  13. javajunkee says:

    oh hell somebody would be getting a letter or a phone call.
    and I am betting her tip was in there? Cuz if it wasn’t she wouldn’t have been left one. And if it was I would have been asking to have it taken off. Sorry…if she was having a bad day or whatever then she would have at least offered an apology. She obviously knows you are regulars.?

    there was one time my bff and I went out to eat and the waitress ignored us all night. She had left her card on the table and so when we left we put her card in our empty cups that never got refilled and no tip! Now..we can be decent tippers but it wasn’t like this girl was new or crazy busy..we saw her refill several other cups..she just chose to be lazy that night and that is what happens.

  14. Laura (LS) says:

    I would also treat this one as a pass, but if it happens again, definitely speak up. But don’t let it go too long between visits, maybe go back there again tomorrow (Saturday) night, to see if it happens again. And then if it does, I’d call or write the manager and let them know, big time.

    Also, the first thing I thought was, “gee, it sounds like new ownership” or “the owners must be on vacation”. We’ve got a restaurant here where that happens. The service is wicked good when he’s around, but if he goes out of town, it slows a bit. I think that’s natural, to a point, and even a bit excusable, but if it’s losing customers for the business, the owner/manager needs to know.

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