Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Starving and Whining Guy at Door with No Reservation

Dear Whiny guy with no reservation.
next time you show up at a restaurant without a reservation, be nice, patient, and a bit flexible if you "really" want a table.
I am sorry my hostess was slightly busy at door with another guest who had many questions, perhaps - as you suggested- she could have excused herself with the person she was busy with to let you know that she would be right with you.
I doubt you would have just said, "OK"
I doubt it because of your interaction and conversation with me.
Whiny: Are you the manager?
Me: Yes, sir, how may I help you?
Whiny: Me and my companion would like a table but I overheard that you don't have any unless you have a reservation.
Me: That is correct sir, I'll be glad to write your name down and we should have a table in no longer than half hour.
Whiny: You mean to tell me you have reservations for all these empty tables?, as he pans the entire restaurant with his right arm outstretched.
If you've ever been in this position, (As a restaurant manager, supervisor or other), That is the first sign that the person in front in front of you is not going to be very cooperative about getting themselves a table.
After panning the room, Mr. Whiny continues with his "pleasant ways" despite the fact that he stopped me at door with dishes in my hand. Luckily another staff member came by and quickly took the dishes I had and proceeded to prepare the table I was initially headed to.
Whiny: Well, your hostess should have told me that the wait was going to be a long time before she left me standing there for over 20 minutes!
Second mistake Mr. Whiny - exaggeration.
I know you were there perhaps 5 minutes waiting behind the Lady with many questions. I know it was not over 20 minutes. Since I was walking from table to table, cleaning, helping to clear tables, retrieving wines (no pun intended there) for other guests, all while scanning the entire room to make sure everyone is taken care of.
I did notice the distressed look on your face when you got caught behind Lady with many questions and perhaps I should have approached you then, however, I figured my hostess would be able to help you.
Getting back to the exaggeration.
After your comment about such a long wait at door, the only thing I could do was apologize.
Me: I am very sorry that you waited so long and you are absolutely right that my hostess should have taken the time to let you know of the wait.
Whiny: I drove from the other end of town just to come here since you've provided such great service in the past and usually you're never this busy and I never need a reservation.
Me: Again, I can put your name down and as soon as I can get a table for you, well be glad to take care of you.
Whiny: That woman that's waiting was offered garlic bread and I am diabetic and she offered me none.
Third mistake - Using sickness as a way of getting a table.
By this time, I've had it. For a third time, I apologize to you and AGAIN, offer to write your name down. But your obvious intention is to be sat right there immediately.
Me: If you'd like some bread while you wait, I can make that happen.
Whiny: I just cant believe its going to be so long for a table.
As he walks back to his companion, he's obviously upset and not happy. His friend asks me about a "service card" I know what he means by his request but I sort of give him a look that means, where have you been for the last twenty years? This is not IHOP's.
Me: After you check out you will be sent a survey where you can include your comments and experience.
Friend: No, we're not staying here.
and then they walk away.
This is how it should have been:
Whiny: I understand there is a wait and I would appreciate if you could find us a table as soon as you can, I am not feeling very well.
Me/Hostess: I'm sorry about that, let me write your name down and I will seat you as soon as a table becomes available. We do have some reservations in place but I will do what I can.

End of story.

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