Friday, October 18, 2013

How Not To Treat Your Customers

Or How Bad Was Our Server At The Tattooed Moose?

For the past four years I have been a big fan of the Tattooed Moose, an out-of-the-way, eclectic restaurant with hands down, terrific food.

So much so that when a billion+ dollar restaurant group (yes, that's a b), reached out to me to find an "off the beaten path" venue for their executive chefs to try, one of my suggestions was the Tattooed Moose.

And when a company wanted a TV spot dedicated to late night places to eat, what did I suggest as one of the options? The Tattooed Moose. You get the picture.
We stopped at the Moose for a late lunch yesterday. We started with the pimento cheese served with chorizo something we hadn't tried before.  It was delicious. We carefully limited our sampling so that we would not ruin our much anticipated lunch.

My husband's Lucky#1 with a side of bleu cheese slaw was perfect as always.  My reuben, however, didn't look quite right and I quickly observed that it was barely toasted.  Fearing it might be undercooked I cut one half of the sandwich in half and tried to see if the middle of the sandwich was hot, which it wasn't. 

I put the 1/4 of the sandwich that I had tasted on a napkin and tried to get my server's attention to see if she could warm up the other 3 quarters.  After several attempts to get her attention I walked up to the bar with my 3/4 sandwich to see if someone could help me. I bumped into my server coming out of the kitchen and explained my dilemma.  She took the partial sandwich back to the kitchen without saying a word.

I insisted that my husband continue to finish his sandwich.  I was certain mine would be delivered quickly and that it would be great. I was wrong. Here's how this played out and how a customer should never be treated.

My 3/4 sandwich was returned and the server said, "I saw the hostess take your sandwich out of the window when it came off the grill. It shouldn't have been cold."  In other words, Ms. Customer, you were at fault here. "I had them grill one side of your sandwich but since you took a bite out of the other side (I didn't, I just cut the sandwich), they couldn't put that piece back on the grill." With that comment she turned and walked away. No apology, no "let me wait to see if this is any better", no "let me know if it's hot enough", nothing, zero, zippo, nada.  

I looked down at my basket.  There was my 1/2 re-grilled sandwich.  The other 1/4th just sat there cold and dead as a doornail. 

As I took a bite of the re-grilled portion I quickly noticed that something was off.  Somehow most of the contents of the reuben were no longer in the sandwich and I was left with almost empty grilled bread with a few pieces of corned beef on it.  Are you kidding me???

All in I was served a cold sandwich, a re-grilled 1/2 whose contents were MIA the other cold 1/4 sandwich which was inedible in the first place - now even more so. Do you think the server EVER came back to see how my recook was?  Never.  We asked for our check and she removed my still not eaten sandwich from the table without a word.  As she did so and gave us both attitude and a snarly look to boot.  I felt as though I had caused her a personal hardship.  More importantly, why am I getting the snarly looks?  I'm the customer that was served an inedible lunch and still hasn't eaten???  

Could they not have just made a new reuben rather than jigsaw puzzle my sandwich trying to rewarm it only to have it returned inedible? Common sense would have been the hero in this equation.

That was our last visit. 

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