Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, February 04, 2017

“You DON'T Gotta Eat Here...especially not twice!”

SOOO I convinced my family to give it a try for my sister's 18th birthday dinner. The 8 of us were seated and a highchair was provided for my 16-month-old son. The highchair was F-I-L-T-H-Y! We hadn't been greeted by our waitress yet so we asked a waiter from another section to come clean or replace the chair. He brought a new chair...that just as dirty lol. My mom politely asked that he wipe it down with a cloth. Thank you, kind sir, for doing so. We were greeted by our waitress, who was, yup...the same darn waitress my husband and I had a week prior! I thought, maybe she was just having a bad night last Friday as well....I thought wrong. Drink orders were was10 minutes before they made it to the table and she forgot 2 of them...another 5 minutes for those. Then we sat...and we waited....and glasses got empty and orders weren't taken. I'm not exaggerating when I say that there was a whole 1/2 hour period when our waitress didn't come by our table at all! When she was finally ready to take our food orders, we skipped the appetizers and went straight for main courses. Everyone ordered something different - pulled pork, ribs, brisket, chicken...classic Southern fare. My son has an allergy so I asked the waitress to consult with the chef about the chicken fingers. She proceeded to argue with me about whether or not there may be dairy in them. Rather than just ask the chef herself; very unprofessional. While most restaurants are not able to guarantee an allergen-free environment, all of them ar able to provide a list of ingredients. That is all I wanted...but I got attitude instead. I was not the only one to get attitude either, my dad asked for a pitcher of ice tea for the table and she replied (and I quote) "Just hold on a sec" as she waved her finger at him! The food finally came and 3 out of 8orders were wrong...either the wrong bbq sauce, wrong side dishes (like beans instead of cornbread). There was no butter or ketchup on the table, replacements for incorrect orders took WAY too long...and overall there were alot of LONG faces at the table. But atleast there was live entertainment - a drunk (yes DRUNK) woman wearing a D&S t-shirt, stumbling around the restaurant...O-M-G!
D_S_Southern_Comfort_BBQ-Ottawa_Ontario.html# Review by J_FoodLover_11
restaurant interior: Portrait of a happy male waiter with a tray in his hand at the restaurant
So really, after a rant like that, the second displeasured review written of the same food establishment, why on Earth would anyone return only to find themselves in the very same situation over again? Glutton for punishment? Willing to give an erring server and food establishment a second chance? Who knows! Spelling and syntax errors aside, it made for an amusing read, if somewhat puzzling for the stated reason that anyone who would return to a restaurant that so spectacularly failed their expectations first time around must either have a short memory or couldn't be bothered finding an alternative.

To that anyone sensible might respond indeed OMG!

But restaurateurs themselves appear to be in a state of revolt in response to customers' entitled expectations, it seems. Consider that dentists and doctors and other service providers of health aid will charge clients who fail to live up to their obligations to appear on schedule for appointments, but what recourse do restaurants have when, having booked a table well in advance, those scheduling the reservation fail to appear and the restaurant is left in the lurch? Which explains why many no longer take reservations. Patrons must appear and wait to be seated.

And those diners who think they can peruse a menu and, finding nothing they deem attractive enough to order on it, persuadingly convince the server and the chef to accommodate them by providing an alternative plate, while succeeding in the past, are no longer capable of doing so. It's not necessarily that the chef is rigidly immovable in declining to provide anything not advertised, but that this kind of accommodation transcends by a good degree the customary offering of a range of dishes appealing to diners yet expecting the chef to focus on their particular taste as a polite obligation to commerce.

restaurant interior: male cooks preparing meals in restaurant kitchen Stock Photo
And is it not rather unreasonable when a customer, dining alone, finds the table they've been escorted to uncongenial to their seating preference, and insists instead in being seated at a customer-empty table set for eight? Where once a restaurant might graciously have opted to move that diner to the eight-seating table, they've now opted-out. It seems the profit margin is not that great to accommodate the need to change a tablecloth on a large table that has serviced one picky diner.

The moral of this story might lie in the morale that sagged with frustration over bending into pretzels to satisfy a clientele for whom no efforts at accommodation are quite sufficient. And now restaurateurs appear to be declaring by their unwillingness to continue being manipulated by fastidiously entitled diners whose wishes go beyond inconveniencing a business, that what you see is what you get. 

The food establishment is in the business to make a profit. And while servicing the customer's wishes can be performed to a degree, it has its limits. And if the restaurant now rejects payment by credit card that too obviously is a rejection of a taken-for-granted payment process that it deems inconvenient and costly to itself. That, and the assertive declaration that separate bills for friends sharing a table and ordering separately, is entirely too much trouble; one bill is to suffice, and use a little math to figure out who owes what. 

restaurant interior: SINGAPORE - NOVEMBER 08, 2015: food court in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is one of Singapores largest luxury shopping malls
Singapore, food court, Shoppers in Marina   123RF

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