When you go out to a restaurant or a bar, you expect a certain level of service. In fact tipping is based on the quality of service you received. In the last couple of weeks we’ve gone out and received varying levels of service. In the span of 5 days we went from some truly horrible service and management to some of the best we’ve ever experienced.
Let’s start with the worst. We went to a local establishment. We were sat by the hostess and then nothing… After about 10 minutes a waitress came up and asked if anyone had been over to help us. Nope! She said, “You’re not in my area, but what can I get you.” We had her for the rest of our visit. She was busy, her section was full and she was bouncing all over the place, she would come over and check on us, took our food order, brought our food out. There was long waits between her visits to our table, but again, we were not in her section and she had at least 3 large groups. Then again, we never found out who our actual waitress was supposed to be. Normally when an establishment is busy, I relax on my standards of service and this waitress was working her tail off. That’s not why the service was bad. The service was bad because there were 3-4 other waitresses standing around chatting, occasionally checking on one or two of their tables and flirting with one of the bus boys. The manager would come out and not say or do anything. Meanwhile we sat at our table waiting to order drinks and food. When the manager came around just to touch base with us, like she did with everyone else, I told her my honest opinion on the service. I said our waitress was great, hardworking, but the other girls have been standing around. I went over everything and she really didn’t seem to care. But she did go to “talk to the girls” and from the reaction, I think she blamed our waitress. I ended up leaving our waitress a 20% tip, and a note that she was awesome just so she knew the truth.
Then a couple of days later we go to a different establishment. We were sat immediately and then we had our waitress take our order. If it wasn’t her it was one of the other waitresses that would bring food, clean empties, bus the table. They would check on us. The kicker, this place was even busier than the place that we had horrible service at and they had less staff working. We ended up spending more time and thus money at this place only because we were having a good time. When the manager touched tables, we had not one complaint.
So any restaurant or bar owners that read this. Remember, it’s not just one waitress that makes the experience; it can be the others that are not even yours. Waiting on drinks and food while watching your other staff stand around doing nothing does not make customers happy, especially if their waitress is running around trying to take care of many large groups.