Lookin' Good at 58

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Small Price to Pay

Whenever there is a meal served to someone and it is not cooked properly there is only one thing to do to ensure the guest even considers coming back.If you cannot fix it either by doing a recook or offering something else you must buy it for them.Why you ask , because in order for the problem to be fixed in the customer's mind the word free has to appear.

Let me give you an example. We went out on my wife's birthday to a nearby restaurant and she ordered the Chicken Fajitas.When we got our dinners and started to eat them the waitress did a table check and all of us said our meal was fine.Now sometimes as a waiter we might tend to do a table check a bit early before anyone has fully tackled their meal.In other cases you have to go fast and table check because the people are devouring their meal at quick pace.

Midway through this meal I noticed my wife was finished and had hardly touched her plate when she exclaimed the chicken was pretty seared and burnt.In fact it was pretty black.Upon clearing she remarked on this and the waitress replied she would let the kitchen know about it. The manager came by to say hello and she remarked again to him about the Fajitas at which time he said oh okay and that was it.So nothing was actually done about it leaving my wife to say I am disappointed and will never eat there again.

Now in some cases the customer may just complain for the heck of it.In most other cases they have a legitimate beef.

Last night I had a table of 8 and one guy's steak was overcooked.He ordered a medium and it was more like medium well.We did a new steak and a few minutes later when I went over to check, his steak was fine.

His friend's however who ordered medium and did not say anything when I was first around showed me the remnants of his steak and it was definitely rare! You could see it immediately.
I mean it was so away from medium I had to check if I entered it correctly on the Squirrel POS and I had.Even though he was done with his meal I had to tell the Kitchen Manager and right away he went out and apologized on our behalf and took it off their bill.

He didn't do what a lot of restauranteurs do and buy them a dessert they didn't want in the first place to save the cost of the steak , or offer them a free dinner upon their return which wasn't about to happen in the short term , if ever.What he did was take off the steak from the bill.

When something is definitely wrong and the person does not want it redone just take the item off the final tab. The small price it will cost the owner is far less than it would be if they never came back and told twenty of their friends of their displeasure.

So in conclusion , my wife will never want to go back to where they did nothing about the lousy Fajitas , but in the case last night of my table of 8 they will because the only thing that could be done was and that being the steak was taken off their bill.

A small price to pay indeed.......


Manuel said...

every complaint is an opportunity. A mistake handled well can be just as positive as a good meal experience....people will forgive when problems are sorted. Hell I can make great tips off the back of mistakes just by doing the right thing......

Steve said...

Manuel..absolutely I agree.When the complaint is handled well the person is happy.When ignored we can forget about a worthwhile tip and they never come back again.The choice is obvious.
I would rather have someone complain so I can fix it than not say anything then tip lousy and never come back.