I might have mentioned here that we don’t really go to many local establishments. Mostly chains. I don’t know why bit this is all across the board, from where we shop to where we eat. However there’s a local restaurant (that’s actually branched out to 3 locations) that has been a local favorite for years. Unfortunately they seem to have lost something in the customer service department.
Jason, Jess, Christian and I went to our favorite Italian place, Lascari’s, on New Year’s Eve. Once we were seated, which didn’t take all that long, the wait for our server felt eternal. The wait for our food was even longer. However, we kept in mind that it was New Year’s Eve, and our server mentioned the kitchen was short staffed. I thought that was understandable, so I didn’t complain.
But last night. Oh my gosh! My aunt, Jess and I went there for dinner. We were debating between eating there or ordering in. She checked the wait time. It was Saturday night around 5 p.m. and was told the wait for a table was only about 10 minutes. We decided it would be faster to just go in and have a meal. Big mistake.
First, the wait wasn’t actually 10 minutes, but closer to 20. Ok it was a Saturday and of course there would be a wait. When we were seated, a very outgoing and charming guy came over and said he’d be our server. Let’s call him Julius because that’s his name. So Julius seemed to be very enamored with my gorgeous aunt and I was all but invisible. Lovely. We ordered water for us and milk for Jessalyn. Jess took a drink and all of a sudden her straw seemed to explode and milk flew all over the place. I checked out the straw and saw a hole in it. I took the straw from my water and placed it in her cup. Julius wandered over to flirt with my aunt some more and asked if Jess preferred to drink from a grown up straw. I assured him no, hers had a hole. So he brought her a new one, but didn’t give me a replacement straw for my water. At this point my aunt ordered a cappuccino only to be told they were out of espresso beans.
After waiting what felt like an eternity (mostly because I was trying to entertain and 3.5 year old) he came to the table to let us know our “food should be out in no less than 3 or 4 minutes.” Did you catch that because I did. No LESS than 3 or 4 minutes. We joked about it after he left the table. Turns out he didn’t misspeak after all. It was good 15 minutes before the food finally came. In the mean time, Jess had crawled under the table and found a stray tomato from someone else’s dinner. I put it on the edge of the table where it sat the entire time we were there. Another thing that sat there was a puddle of milk from the straw explosion and my useless glass of water. Jess had put her holey, milky straw into my water glass. So now my water is all cloudy and nasty looking. I put it on the edge of the table so he could see it was no longer drinkable, but he NEVER asked if I would like a new one.
Ok, so the food comes and about 2 seconds into it he asked my aunt how her food was. Again, I’m invisible.
We had quite a bit left over. Jess’s pasta, my aunt’s pasta and half of my sandwich. He asked my aunt if we’d be needing 2 boxes. I looked at him and said 3 please. He looked totally perplexed. I pointed out Jess’s food, my aunts food and then my sandwich. “Oh. Uhhhh ok” and off he went. A few minutes later the guy who boxes up food came over and started packaging everything up. They have a policy where they pack it up for you, but they never actually touch your food. If you have a sandwich, they ask you to put it on the paper to be wrapped. First, he didn’t bring the paper, he was just going to be tossing my sandwich into a box. Second, he straight picked up my sandwich with his bare hands and plunked it in the box.
Moments later Julius came over, dropped the check and said have a good night. Not, I’ll take this when you’re ready. You pay at the table! They’re lucky she had cash because he had no intentions in coming back to the table. He also didn’t ask if anyone wanted dessert, but my aunt fully intended to get tiramisu to go.
The more I thought about the crap service, the more irritated I became. I ended up going to their website and sending a nice long account of just how poor our service had been. I also mentioned that it was once one of our favorite local eateries, but we have no plans to return there any time soon.
I’m not one of those people that actually complains to a company, but this is out of hand. The past two time I’ve been, I’ve had completely crappy service and that’s not acceptable. If they want me to spend money in their place, they need to step up their game. Oh well, I won’t know if they do because I’m not going back got for quite a while.
You know, with the way people are trying to spend their money more wisely, and going out to dinner is more of a luxory than it once was, you’d think the staff would recognize this and make sure to take care of their customers. If someone’s going to be spending their money on going out to eat, wouldn’t you want to do everything in your power to make sure they had a pleasant visit and will think of your establishment when they go out again?