September 1, 2008

What has happened to Customer Service?!!

So I have to admit this blog began with all the intentions of complaining about the fact that customer service no longer existed. I've been seriously disappointed by the lack of service I've received in so many places lately. But alas, my blog has been foiled. I have encountered excellent customer service. I suppose that I should not be complaining - but you may find yourself surprised as I was by the time you finish reading.
Recently I have eaten out at tons of restaurants. Girls Night out, Anniversary Dinner, Simply Doing Something, Anniversary weekend away, and dinner out with my parents are just a few of the reasons I've been out. So here it is: BJ's, The Rainforest Cafe, Old Spaghetti Factory, The Blackforest Restaurant, The Copper Room, Wild Cat Grill. Have you lost your minds? You are restaurants known for top quality foods. I mean, everyone recommends you these days. So WHY did you not serve me well recently? I KNOW what some of you are thinking. You can't expect to enjoy an evening out with a 16 month old in tow. You can only try to blame my son for bad service at Wild Cat Grill, every other evening out he was in someone else's care.
SO I've come up with a theory. I don't drink alcohol. Could it really be that simple? I'm not sure. I've waited over 25 minutes at more than one of the above mentioned restaurants to even have my order taken. That's not because I didn't close my menu. It was closed most of the time. Have you noticed the trend too? Is it really that these servers are more concerned about how big of a tip they're going to get? Is it really that much different if I don't drink? I THINK SO.
Here's why: Servers automatically assume that because I don't order alcohol I won't tip as well (I mean, based on the whole percentage of your order rule, it's true right?) BUT then they don't serve you very well and end up getting even less of a tip because they didn't even try. It's a crazy theory I know, but I'm sticking to it.
As I've been thinking about the lack of customer service everywhere I've stumbled upon a few examples of excellent service.
Tina at The Rock - Wood Fired Pizza. Thank you for your prompt service, your understanding, your smiles, and for actually checking on us as you walked by. Both my husband and I enjoyed the difference good service made. Seriously, you made our evening more enjoyable. I know you said it's because you love people - but I think some of it has a lot to do with common sense too. Everyone wants good service.
Christina at I-HOP. Thanks to you for making our breakfast enjoyable. It was so refreshing midst your busy holiday morning to still receive good service. I know you'll be shocked to hear that just by asking me if I wanted water because I was out of milk I was impressed. I was - I sat in one of the above restaurants without a refill for my drink for 30 minutes. (At another place my husband and I were actually notified by our server after drinking our lemonades that they do not have free refills so would we like a water?!) OK enough venting - I'm talking about good service here.
And you know the craziest thing? My son was with us at both of the "Good Service" places! So I'm holding out hope that my most recent experiences eating out are not rare, never to be repeated experiences.