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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Misty's Downtown - Lunch

I have a small list of people with whom I'm afraid to dine because they're notorious for being displeased with the service, the food or the prices no matter how inconsequential the perceived problems may seem to everyone else. They usually make their displeasure known to the staff and all the customers within a 30 foot radius. For this reason I accepted an invitation to lunch with one of these people (Mr. X) the week before Christmas with some trepidation.

Mr. X was buying lunch for myself and 6 other men in suits. We arrived at Misty's shortly after noon. It wasn't particularly busy that day. There were numerous empty tables throughout the large dining room although there was a large private party in the back room. Our orders were taken within 5 minutes of our being seated so when one o'clock rolled around and we hadn't been served yet, I started to get nervous. So did Mr. X who finally found the server and expressed his displeasure with the wait. Time is money, you know.

Our server was visibly upset because from watching it was clear she'd been hounding the kitchen for our food for quite awhile. About ten minutes later we got our food and Mr. X asked to speak to the manager. A few minutes later another server came to our table and informed Mr. X the manager was too busy to talk to him but maybe Mr. X could call later. I was sitting directly to the left of Mr. X and braced myself for an explosion which surprisingly didn't come. They ended up comping our meal which Mr. X didn't even want. He's not the kind of guy who feels placated by being given free food. He'd much rather yell at the manager.

The food was fine. I ordered what I always do when I'm at Misty's, Risky's, Brewsky's or any of the other ***y's restaurants for lunch - the patty melt and fries. I was impressed with the huge mess of babyback ribs the gentleman to my left was served, especially at the menu price.

What didn't impress me, or anyone else in my party, was the management. 14 years ago when I was managing a restaurant and later when I was managing a retail store it was drilled into me that customer service was the prime responsibility of the manager. Not finding time to address a serious service issue with a customer is, to me, inexcusable. I'll write it off to the manager having a bad day but it'll probably be awhile before I go to Misty's for lunch again.


Anonymous Mr. Wilson said...

Too busy to talk to a customer? That's the best line they could give you? Even if it was true -- and it should never be true! -- they should have gone for something like "He just found out his poodle died and he's in the alley crying", or "He ate at [a competitor] last night and now he's suffering extreme intestinal distress". But never "He's too busy".

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

That's bush league, the manager should be reassigned, retrained or retired.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Thomas Irvin said...

Maybe he was too busy erecting a massive column commemorating Pharaoh's defeat of the Malichites (sp?). The stress in that stone is too great!

1:03 PM  

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