Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Whatever Happened to Decent Service?

So many times after eating my restaurant meal, I've waited much too long to finally get the bill, I've been tempted to just walk out and wonder if they the staff would ever notice. And other times, even if I was with a group of just three, we'd find a terribly long time between when the first was served until the last. Or as happened in a well-reviewed kosher restaurant, 613, in Stamford, CT, they seemed to have forgotten to bring our food until long after it should have had arrived. And of late, more than once, my dining partners and I weren't asked if we wanted dessert or tea/coffee after the meal.

Today, when I was dining with two others in the "Gregg's" in the Sharonim Mall, Hod Hasharon (near Yarkon Junction,) almost all of those things happened.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, because we grabbed our table without the assistance of the staff. Nobody seemed to be in charge. We asked for the menus, of which they brought two even though we said that a third would be joining us.

They took our orders without too much trouble, even checked to see which quiche would be served. Actually that we for me. I ordered their mushroom quiche which came with a salad and some sour cream or creamy white cheese. I had asked for the green salad, but they gave me Israeli one cut up small. I didn't bother complaining since I was served about twenty 20 minutes after one of my dining companions was served, and she had gotten her meal about fifteen 15 minutes after our friend. The quiche was the doughiest I'd ever eaten, but at least it was whole wheat.

After we had all finished eating, we had to work hard to catch a waiter's attention to order coffee. The waiter didn't ask if we wanted any dessert, nor were our plates cleared away. Then the coffee was brought, which we finished quickly, and then we wanted to pay and get out. But we couldn't find any staff to bring the bill. We were getting rather annoyed. I suggested that we just walk out, and if they do notice, we'll say that we're just testing them as part of a survey. My idea was vetoed, and we weighed the idea of not tipping. On that we disagreed, but the final result was a much lower tip than the bill would indicate.

And we asked for the manager to come, especially since the staff we could see were so young, much younger than our kids,  and it was obvious that nobody was well-trained. A young woman came identifying herself as manager. She admitted that things aren't running smoothly. She offered us a free coffee, but she could see that we had already had coffee. She offered some cookies, but we're all dieting. If she had offered some sort of discount card, that we would have taken.

This sort of thing has happened too many times to me. It's becoming more and more rare to get good competent service in a restaurant, anyplace at all.

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