UnderCover Waitress: Here's Your Coat, Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry?

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Here's Your Coat, Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry?

Location, location, location. Service, service, service.

Having a decent restaurant walking distance from a nice hotel in an area that attracts tourists could equal success. As always in the restaurant industry, bad service can reverse that success.

Been on an intensive grade-school field trip these past few days. The first night those of us who were staying in a hotel walked en masse across the lot to the restaurant. Now, I've been known to catch my breath when a large party with no reservation walks in. I tend to get over it quickly and get down to business -- making them happy and making money. My job wouldn't be very lucrative if people didn't walk in the front door.

The waitress was efficient but still a bit out of her league. She was stiff and looked overwhelmed the whole time; I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I gave her a good tip.

Went back the next night as a party of four, me, my husband and our two children. Not sure it is possible for a restaurant staff to make any more clear that they want you to hurry up and leave so they can turn the table.


We are in the middle of eating and a grossly untrained busser comes by asking if he can take anything for us. He is nervously tripping over his tongue the whole time. In an attempt to be civilized, I refrained from saying "go away" and gave him a simple "no." Many restaurant employees and managers need to be told that it is the mark of good service to let everyone at the table finish before clearing the course. This place, however, needs to be told to let at least one person at the table finish eating before attempting to clear. What did he expect us to do? Give him our half-eaten meals while we are busy chewing?

The next time somebody wanted to clear our table, my husband had put down his utensils but was (can you guess?) still chewing. Even harder to tell somebody you are not finished with food still in your mouth. Can't they at least wait until we are not actively eating?

The final straw for me was when I arrived back to the table from taking my daughter to the restroom, and my water glass had been removed. In my restaurant, water glasses that are near empty get refilled. In the Boathouse, they get removed in the hopes that the customer will take the hint.

In my restaurant, entrees are cleared and dessert is offered. Not at this place. I got coffee elsewhere.

I complained to the hostess on my way out. I pointed out that the "service" was inhospitable and asked her if there were any other ways they could come up with to get customers to leave. The perky twenty-something assured me that she would let the appropriate people know about my complaint. Not sure exactly what the chances of that happening are. 

1 comment :

  1. I think my biggest pet peeve at a restaurant that I've since stopped going to is that, not only did the waitress have a bad attitude from the time she approached our table, but not once did she ever come back to check on us after the food (sent back once because the order was incorrect) was delivered or refill our drinks. I was particularly unhappy with the drinks not being refilled. I'm not ashamed to say that I did not leave a tip. I tip for good service, not horrible service and I find it odd that "some" waitstaff think that they should be tipped no matter how bad of a job they do.

    I've also, on more than one occasion, gone into a restaurant and after being seated, never had anyone come to the table to take my order, or similarly, everyone in our group will place their order and they'll forget to bring my food out. Makes me feel like I'm invisible some times. All I really want as a customer is be be politely acknowledged and provided decent service while I'm there. Is it really that hard?

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