This week’s Foodie Friday Fun comes from an experience I had last weekend.
The Mrs. and I went out for dinner with another couple and usually when the four of us go out we try new places. I had discovered a new-ish place not far from us and when I did my research the reviews were interesting. The praise for the food was pretty universal but many people mentioned the service as ranging from just OK to complete inattentive.
We went anyway figuring that finding really good food at a reasonable price could overcome mediocre service. As it turned out once we met the owner it became obvious why the service reviews weren’t great. He is European and the service is as well. The staff didn’t hover. They allowed for conversation. They refilled the water glasses at the appropriate time, made sure we had wine, and brought the food at a leisurely pace. Very much NOT what most Americans expect in my mind but it did raise a question.
I suspect that the reviewers might have gone to the new place thinking they had to find something wrong. I think they might have assumed that any new place wouldn’t pass muster. I also think there is a side to each of us (and I know I’m very much guilty of this) that thinks any business is trying to screw them somehow. We’re all a little jaded with how many businesses behave. Marketing is misleading, loud, and relentless. Customer service is non-existent. However, we might be just as guilty.
Ever been rude to a server or a sales clerk? Do you allow the fact that the “customer is always right” to turn into a misplaced sense of entitlement? Your dollars don’t permit you to be a jerk.
The message is that we need to assume that any business is on our side until they prove themselves to be otherwise. Businesses have to assume the same thing about their customers. Most of them are not out to get us nor to destroy our reputations via social media and word of mouth unless we really deserve it (and some places do!). As with the case of the “slow” service, maybe they don’t quite understand what we’re doing and a little note on the menu about “our unhurried service is to permit you to enjoy the food and one another” would clear it up.