When we sat down at our table we noticed no one had food in front of them. You know the feeling….Uh oh, should we leave? Our order was taken within 10 minutes.
30 minutes later my pancakes arrived.
Yep 30 minutes. Seriously, how long does it take to make pancakes and some eggs? And while my rushed Northeast attitude was getting the best of me I tried to remind myself that I was in a slower paced part of the country. And it was Sunday; the day of rest. And there is always something to observe, laugh about, or comment on in a blog entry. Oh, and of course you could always have conversation with your dining companions. And even better how often do I get to eat in an outdoor sidewalk cafe in February? Enjoy the moment.
But 30 minutes for pancakes and a few eggs? Clearly this was not the Waffle House; whose goal is to have you out the door in under 25 minutes.
So when the family of four got up and left, just as their food was arriving to the table….more than 30 minutes later, the manager chased them down the street. He demanded they pay for their food.
They told him no.
He continued to demand payment for food that was ordered. They politely told him they had waited too long and they had no time. He told them to take it to go. Based on his arms flailing and facial expressions I am pretty sure they told him where to go.
So, who is right; the restaurant or the customer? Should the customer be expected to pay? Should they have asked how long it was going to take? Should they have told the employee who seated them they had limited time? Should the waitstaff had let people know that the kitchen was backed up and that breakfast seems to be running into dinner?
I guess according to this guy, the customer is never right!
Now I am not saying the kitchen wasn’t doing their best, but I always find it interesting when service people struggle to understand that customers have things going on too! And in this case all I could think was maybe the manager should be looking where the real problem is…………the restaurant?
- Like are the number of tables too many for the kitchen to handle?
- Is the kitchen not adequately staffed?
- Is the kitchen not adequately equipped?
- Are the offerings too varied causing efficiency issues?
- Perhaps the waitstaff are taking too many orders at once.
- Maybe they need to provide entertainment while you wait, to help pass the time?
- Do the employees just not care because it is a tourist destination and they just assume you won’t be back anyway?
Nah, let’s just get pissed off at people who decide not to let you decide their schedule for the day. That will surely get people coming back. That will get people leaving positive comments about you on review and social network sites.
So easy to blame others. So hard to really understand the root of your problems.
We’ve all heard the customer is always right. But isn’t it really….What messages are your customers sending you?