Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just venting here

I normally don't use this as a whipping post but I had an experience in a local restaurant last night that just really made me grind my teeth. It may have been a bad night, the person involved may have been having a bad day, or something similar but really there was no excuse. I have ordered takeout in multiple restaurants all over the place. The normal course is to go to the bar, order, wait, pay, and go. Typically you have someone greet you politely and in a timely manner. Not so last night. It was obvious that the bartendress was busy. I was not trying to be cute or playful. I went in and stood and it took a while to just get a "hello". I responded in kind and said that I needed to place an order to go when she had a moment. I watched her wash glassware, make several drink orders, and load a frozen margarita machine before she decided to get her order pad and ask me what I would like. My order was simple, no big changes or complexities and she rang it in. Now ordinarily when you sit at the bar you are asked if you would like a drink while you wait. Not so. There was a lady who came in after I did who followed same procedure and got the same treatment. She finally stopped the bartendress and asked for a glass of water. If the bar had been really hopping I'd have been more understanding - but when the bartendress walks the drinks out herself it tells me that things aren't that busy. Something I've noted in restaurants here in New Orleans - some give great service without attitude and the staff is genuinely polite. In others, however, surly is free is all I can say and it's dished up in excessive portions. Foodservice isn't for everyone. I wouldn't want to do it. I admire and respect those who do it and bring distinction to a profession people don't often think much of. To those of you who work in the industry and do a great job I offer you my most sincere thanks. You are a large part of the reason I dine out. You make the atmosphere what it is. We all have bad days. I'm understanding of slow service in a big party, a busy restaurant, or on a short staffed night. I'll take mediocre food or a goofed up order from a someone who is really giving it 110% (to the food - I know you didn't cook it, I may go and rail on your manager about it but I know you aren't doing anything more than bringing out what the kitchen gives you). I'm not asking for you to be my best friend either - I'm asking for basic courtesy and respect and will return it in kind. Enough of this - rant off

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