Etiquette Tuesday: It All Started With a Cell Phone…

[ 2 ] January 25, 2011 |

Customer service.  This seems to stand at the epicenter of most of my Etiquette Tuesday posts.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know there’s another side to this food story and that’s what the customer service staff has to say about all of us patrons.  It is, however, expected that at the end of the patrons deal, we will be full, happy and pleased with making the decision to dine at that specific establishment.  So what happens when this falls below that standard?

I used to think that when you have an issue you talk to management or even taking the problem directly to the owners.  That was until last weekend when I had the pleasure of trekking about 45 minutes from my house to a (*chain) restaurant because of a gift card I received from a beloved family member. I arrived, had a pleasing meal and attentive, jovial server but this experience was hazed by the service that came in the end.  I leave and within five minutes realize my cell phone is missing.  Immediately I begin the hunt for it (*life without a cell phone today just seems ludicrous…).  I ask the staff to search for it and after leaving I returned because I thought “Hey it will take an additional two hours round trip to come back and grab this phone if its here”.

I ask if they could search the seating area (which they had not previously done) and the OWNER comes over and says “Are you the person who misplaced their cell phone?”  Before I could get out a good “Yes” and explain why I came back this time, he says “Yeah, well we can’t look into that right now because we have people seated at that table and we are not going to interrupt their meal to look for this cell phone”.  Stunned.

The amazement comes from not being a spoiled, bratty food connoisseur, rather someone who simply made a request after patronizing an establishment for over an hour.  Additionally, I am positive the people at that table would not have felt slighted in their dining experience by a simple search for a tool we all use in today’s world.  Again, it goes back to the old saying “choose your battles”.  This OWNER should have thrown in the flag, went to the table and made the simple search and we would all be happy campers.  Instead I’m a customer lost and they’re a restaurant with one less supporter. Seems like a small number but we all know from this recent economic turmoil, it can start with a number as small as one…


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.

Comments (2)

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  1. L. Denise says:

    OMG! The same thing happened to me at a Darden Restaurant (read: Olive Garden) once. I had to barge my way to the table to search for my purse. Needless to say, it had already been stolen :o( They were extremely rude. I wrote a letter and went on a personal “strike” for several years. I shared the letter with friends and to this day, some of them refuse to dine there.

  2. johnna says:

    Wow, that takes the cake. It’s like how can be people be that rude especially after someone has sat in your restaurant and ate…it’s the very least you can do so that they won’t leave the restaurant with a horrible taste in their mouth (*i.e. thats the place where my purse/cell phone was stolen, won’t be going back there…) And the real funny thing is that it costs the restaurant nothing to do a simple search even if other people are seated at the table. As I stated above, I believe people are not that selfish or insensitive to not allow a quick search for someone valuables who may have left them mistakenly.

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