Food.Fun.Stuff: Death of Good Customer Service

[ 0 ] August 26, 2009 |

For some reason the beat of “Death of Autotune” keeps going through our head as we think of the subject of our next post: The Death of Good Customer Service. In the past couple of months we have watched as customer service especially here in the District has deteriorated. Let us take you on a journey into three different scenarios:

Scenario #1: We recently ventured out for a friends birthday to a spot that we have raved about in past times (*The name of the restaurant will remain anonymous). We made it clear from the time we made the reservation weeks in advance until the final bill was brought to the table that this was a b-day celebration. Now here’s the catch, our friend did not want dessert at the end of the meal but we wanted some acknowledgement of the b-day celebration (*Translation: Something with a candle in it). When we went to inquire about what could be done, the servers sarcastically responded “Well, it’s a lot of peoples birthday in here tonight, we don’t do anything special for that” (*Maybe we’re being overly sensitive, you be the judge). We advised them that because our friend didn’t want anything for dessert, we didn’t want to purchase a whole dessert just so she could blow a candle out. The server simply looked at me, slightly rolled her eyes in frustration and said “So what do you want me to do?? Do you want dessert or not??” As a foodie, JKGF never (*Repeat: NEVER) leaves a restaurant without tipping, but on this night we had to do it.

Maybe it’s because we had just celebrated a b-day celebration a few weeks ago at a New York restaurant who, after our honoree decided they did not want dessert, brought out three tiny cubes of cheesecake with a candle. Really, how much does it cost a restaurant to acknowledge a birthday with a candle?? Let’s break this down people: The cost of having something small on hand for b-day celebrations + guests are happy, pleased, taking pictures of the b-day person and recommends this restaurant to a friend for another b-day celebration= more business vs. The cost of having something small on hand for b-day celebrations – nothing on hand, wait staff having an off night with plenty of attitude= guests who won’t return and the restaurant loses business.

We know this is a long rant, but we had to vent. It is time for restaurants all around to make customer service a priority, a top priority and for every patron, every time. Sometimes things can happen in the kitchen: You add a little more salt than necessary, the meat is crispier than the customer cares for, etc. but customer service and the attitudes of waitstaff should be the one thing that is consistent everytime, for every visitor, on every occasion. Brasserie Beck of DC could teach a class on this! They have exceptional service even when their food doesn’t make the cut, they can rest at night saying “Hey, no one can say we were jerks”.

Scenario #2: We won’t go down this list again, just check this post. Does this seem like good customer service to you??

Restaurants let’s get it together, we only want a win for both sides: Good service=Patrons enjoy themselves=More business and more profits…sounds like a plan.

Category: Food.Fun.Stuff.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Leave a Reply