Gransnet forums

AIBU expect good service in a restaurant?

(8 Posts)
goldengirl Thu 24-Oct-13 12:58:14

Oh dear! My friend and I made a waitress cry last night - twice!! We went to our 'usual' eating place for a meal and a catch up as you do and noone came to take our drinks order for half an hour - so I chased it up and we placed our food order at the same time.

Another half hour later the drinks arrived and we were told food would follow shortly. Time passed and our meals eventually arrived - all communication was accompanied by the ubiquitous and annoying 'no problem'. The meal was COLD so my friend hailed the waitress and we were told that a fresh plate of food was 'no problem at all'. It eventually arrived, not particularly hot but certainly warmer. T

hen came the wait for the plates to be collected by which time a family decided enough was enough and walked out. When the waitress decided to clear their EMPTY table and ignored US we took action and called her over. We were firm but not rude and just suggested that it is more appropriate to deal with customers who are actually there waiting rather than those who'd left. At which point she burst into tears and told us she was new. We comforted her and asked for the manager.

The assistant manager came and apologised making all the right noises and as both my friend and I had worked in restaurants we had a good discussion - but we still had a long wait for our puddings and coffee! We didn't bear a grudge and on leaving gave the waitress a very small tip - which made her cry again!!!!

Having had even worse service in another restaurant I'm beginning to feel paranoid - or is customer service and 'customer comes first' attitude a thing of the past? confused

Gorki Thu 24-Oct-13 13:27:19

We have had similar experiences several times lately and have noticed how under-staffed many restaurants often are nowadays. I suppose it is one way of keeping down the cost of the meals but it is a false economy if meals have to be re-heated/re-cooked and people decide not to patronise the establishment again. confused

glammanana Thu 24-Oct-13 13:50:34

Goldengirl What a shame your evening was spoiled by poor service and in my honest opinion the problem lies firmly with the manager for leaving this poor new waitress to deal with the problems,she obviously had not been taught correctly or had any induction training,you must have felt awful for being responsible for her crying I know I would have as I know how hard it is for youngsters to get themselves a job and be given a chance to earn a wage.

Lona Thu 24-Oct-13 14:04:07

I've worked in several busy foodie places, the wages are pretty poor and sometimes some of the youngsters who get jobs have never really eaten out in restaurants.
Consequently they don't really understand how it works, especially if they don't get proper training.
If the training is down to a manager who also has never eaten out anywhere decent (apart from McDs), the standards can be pretty low.

goldengirl Thu 24-Oct-13 22:07:59

I started out life in 'hospitality' and the training in those days was very strict. It seems that 'waitressing' has gone the way of toilet attendants and cleaners ie thought to be very menial and not worth much but in actual fact very important as return visits and therefore income, depend on the way it's carried out. Happy staff = happy customers and vice versa. My friend and I were itching to take the staff in hand!

Eloethan Fri 25-Oct-13 00:47:13

So far as late arrival of food is concerned, surely that is something to do with staffing levels in the kitchen? I don't understand, though, why it took so long to serve drinks.

I don't know if the restaurant you went to was a "chain" or an independent one. I think it is very difficult for non-chain restaurants these days to compete. Economies of scale, and vast amounts of borrowing power, give a great advantage to chain restaurants and there appear to be fewer and fewer independents - and they seem to close down or change hands quite frequently. I can envisage the day when only shops and restaurants that are part of a consortium will exist.

goldengirl Fri 25-Oct-13 10:21:11

Funnily enough the restaurants where I've had problems have been chains!With the independents being pushed out of the market, is this the death of good service then, I wonder?

gangy5 Fri 25-Oct-13 16:13:28

It is a sad fact that these days and mainly in chain establishments, the waiting staff are not up to much. I will hastily add that this is none of their fault. As has been said - wages are rock bottom and working conditions not great. I am almost certain that staff in these sort of restaurants are not paid any extra when working unsocial hours.
If waiting staff have undergone some decent training they would expect to be well remunerated and would be working in a better grade of establishment.
Staff in some chains are given very little training as the turnover is so frequent, owing to poor job satisfaction. Also, they aren't very often English as we aren't very keen on certain jobs in the service industries.
Lastly, many customers are less than respectful.
DH and I spent our working life in the restaurant trade and I hope, treated our staff with some dignity. They were paid well, shown that they were appreciated and earned extra from the pool of tips which was always shared out fairly.
goldengirl I agree with all that you say