Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thoughts: Service

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I suppose I don't see the big deal in complaining about getting bad service when you visit a restaurant. Maybe it's because I don't expect too much when going out. All I ask for is the food that I order be correct, have it there on time, have the server listen to what I'm saying, and I prefer to be made to feel comfortable (good examples - if I want to stay and enjoy conversation with the people I'm with after I finish my meal, I don't want to feel rushed. Or if I am in a hurry, I don't want to have to flag someone else down to get my check. The two things go hand and hand and a good waiter or waitress will be flexible or at least try to be understanding about both ends of the spectrum).

Sure, I've had my fair share of ridiculous service. I'm sure we all have at some point in time. But I really don't get the big hoopla in being a customer at a restaurant and feeling the need to be overly demanding about anything or have unreasonable expectations about how you want to be treated. Chances are you are one of the hundred customers to come in that day so don't expect to be treated like you're the one and only.

If service is really that bad at a place, and keeps happening over and over, leave a sufficient tip and don't go there anymore. And more specifically, don't reward the place by giving them your business again.

To me, the food speaks more volume than the service does. And I'd be much more apt to revisit a place if the service was bad than if the food was.

Thoughts on service? Does it deter you from revisiting a place?


Jim Johnson said...

Service is like umpiring / refereeing in sports. If you don't notice them, they've done their jobs correctly. Don't screw up our order is basically all I ask.

But I can't be that kind of person who makes a scene about food service. You may be right, but you still look like an asshole and generally embarass people around you. Vote with your wallet, spend your money somewhere else if it's that important to you.

Owen O'Neill said...

One bad service experience will not deter me form revisiting a restaurant but two such experiences will - especially if they are from different servers. Like you I'm not picky or overly demanding but I do want my food on time, hot (or cold if the dish warrants it) and don't like searching for someone to get a check. Communication is the key - if my order got screwed up and will be delayed just tell me - don't hide and hope I won't notice. And I'll tip 20% for average service and far above for superior service - outright rudeness will affect the % of the tip.