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Old 04-03-2009, 11:43 PM   #1
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Standards of Service at a Small Town Restaurant?

I am driving cross country, and the town I am spending the night in has some fast food places, and two sit down restaurants. I went to the steak house, and the service was really bad. our waitress was chewing gum the whole time. The waitresses would sometimes sit down at a table and talk to the people for four minutes, so I assume they knew each other, but she would be having a conversation instead of checking up on our table. My mom ordered a steak medium rare and the steak was so thin that it was well done. The waitress brough chicken fried steak, instead of chicken strips that I ordered. she did not even appologize for the mistake. It took about ten minutes for the chicken strips to come out, which to me I think is a long time to put some chicken in a deep fryer. When we got the check and paied all she said was thanks. We did not even get have a good night, please come again, or anything of that nature. Another waitress saw us walking towards the door to leave and did say anything. A simple thanks for coming would have been fine.

I think the service there was crappy and should be better, but my mom thinks that since it is in a small town I should be ok and expect the service to be bad. I think service should be good no matter if you go to fine dinning, a family style restaurant, or a restaurant in a small town. I understand fine dinning is going to have a fine dinning kind of service, with wine experts, silverware for each course, ect.. I do not expect the small town restaurant to have all of the bells and whistles, but I expect them to be as professional, kind, friendly, and helpful as a waitress that works at a fine dinning restaurant. So do people think the quality of service (not including the bells and whistles), should be the same everywhere, or do you get what you pay for when it comes to service?

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Old 04-03-2009, 11:59 PM   #2
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I think if you're going to work in the food service industry, you should be friendly & customer service oriented regardless of where you work. I would send the restaurant a letter addressed to whom it may concern. If this is how they treat all their non-regular & out of town guests it is unacceptable. We drive across the country every year. We once at an Applebee's, the service was dispicable. I sent a letter to their corporate offices, telling them about of our horrible experience with the location & manager name. They never responded so I have never gone back. I did this once with a small town restaurant & the owner sent me a letter back. I went back to try it again & was pleasantly surprised at how different it was. I am a business owner, if one of my employees were treating my clients poorly I would want it brought to my attention & I would want to let the customer know that is not how I want them treated. Just my "dos pesos".
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:15 PM   #3
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I would think small towns would be friendlier! I agree that customer service should be the top of the list for any business. A letter to the restaurant would seem to be in order. Sometimes it helps to ask for the manager before leaving and point out your disappointment in person. Just because it is not a 5 star place doesn't mean that they have license to ignore their customers.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themonkeytree View Post
...I think the service there was crappy and should be better...

Did you tip?
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:27 PM   #5
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Yes we did tip her. We left a 20% tip. I mean on the one hand that sends a message that she did not a good job, but I feel bad for not tipping around 20% most of the time.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:36 PM   #6
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Yes we did tip her. We left a 20% tip. I mean on the one hand that sends a message that she did not a good job, but I feel bad for not tipping around 20% most of the time.

A 20% tip says she did do a good job. This server ruined your dining experience. You're encouraging the behavior you dislike. The tip is your opportunity to let the server know his/her performance was or was not acceptable.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:42 PM   #7
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That is all true, so I guess I should start tipping less if they do a bad job. I tip more of they do a great job, so I guess I should tip less if they do a bad job.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:12 PM   #8
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That is all true, so I guess I should start tipping less if they do a bad job. I tip more of they do a great job, so I guess I should tip less if they do a bad job.

That's how I do it.

Just make sure the factors you are considering are the server's doing and not a kitchen mistake or something else the server has no control over.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:49 PM   #9
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Has anyone else ever seen a waiter/waitress chewing gum while waiting tables? I have been to a lot of restaurants in my life, and never seen that before last night.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:56 PM   #10
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Has anyone else ever seen a waiter/waitress chewing gum while waiting tables? I have been to a lot of restaurants in my life, and never seen that before last night.
Only in a truck stop.
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