White Lady Eowyn (whiteladyeowyn) wrote in bad_service,
White Lady Eowyn

A restaurant horror story, from my friend Kate

I do not know if this is allowed by the mods, but I have free permission from Kate to do this.

This is the link to her journal:

But I will copy and paste the text from her post, under the cut.

Wow, worst restaurant experience of my life tonight. mythfish and I were so excited about our plans tonight...we were going to a little local 'treasure' (**ahem, fools gold**) of a restaurant, Natasha's Bistro in Lexington, KY, to watch the replay of the inauguration. I had called this morning for reservations and we were set to have a grand time. We showed up at Natashas right on time, and were greeted, eh, within a few minutes and taken to our table. They were pretty crowded for the event, but nothing that Natashas doesn't have all the time (they have live music performances, shows, etc., so they're used to crowds). The place is pretty small, so even at busy times, it shouldn't be that difficult to staff. When the maitre'd seated us, he said we could either order drinks from the server or go get them at the bar, so Dieter went up to the bar and brought back our drinks. We looked at the menu, watched some of the tv coverage (they were playing it in the background), looked at the menu, looked at each other, discussed all the mysteries of life, started getting tipsy on our daquiris because we didn't have any starter food (bread, salads, that sort of thing), and watched our waiter walk by us several, several, SEVERAL times...each time purposely looking down as he ignored all of his tables except the one he was maybe getting water for. Anyway, about 25 minutes after sitting there waiting, the maitre'd walked by to another table, and I stopped him and told him we hadn't even been acknowledged by our server yet. He (the maitre'd) came back a little bit later and took our order. Finally satisfied that something was going to go right, we turned back to our almost finished daquiris and the Obama coverage.

After about 10 minutes, the server (OMG, he exists!) brought our appetizer (no bread yet) and our new drinks (soft drinks for our dinner), and walked away. We ate our tiny appetizer, drank our drinks, talked, and sat, and talked, and sat, and stared at each other, and stared at the tv projector screen, and looked around at the other patrons, aged a few decades, and mostly, attempted to get the attention of our waiter to see if we could get drink refills and a little bread to tide us over because we were starving. Finally, during the half coverage of the speech (they never actually showed the inauguration again, and they only showed half the speech), I noticed for the umpteenth time Dieter sipping on the ice from what was his coke, and I finally got up and went to the bar and asked the bartender if we could have another coke, because our waiter had been avoiding us for at least 20 minutes and my dinner partner really just needed something to drink. My hot tea was completely cold by this point and was down to the tea leaves, but I was fine with just drinking my glass of water...but Dieter didn't even have water.

Anyway, somewhere along the way, our 4 tiny slices of baguette bread showed up (from the maitre'd) and he figured out that we hadn't gotten any food yet (and I requested a new drink). We were supposed to get a soup (me) and a salad (Dieter--yeah, I know, he was in rare form--hehe), and then our meal. Well, more than (and we actually timed this) ONE HOUR AND A HALF later, my soup came out. No salad...just soup for me. And a little more bread after I made a couple requests. As I was sipping the first few sips of my soup, our meals suddenly showed up, somewhat lukewarm and barely fitting on this tiny table, especially with the empty drink glasses and the appetizer plate that hadn't been cleared off. We ate our okay food sullenly, absolutely disappointed in our experience, and with Dieter still not having a salad (and me not being able to enjoy my soup, b/c they served it at the same time as my food), oh, and me not getting the drink I had requested. We still couldn't get our waiter's attention, and were beginning to wonder (2 hours into this) if we were even going to get the check, and I finally decided I had had enough. In case you're wondering, this meal that was supposed to be our celebration was going to cost at least $50...which I told Dieter there was no way we were going to pay for this horrible experience.

So I marched up to the bar and asked to speak to the manager. Turns out the maitre'd was also the manager, and I think maybe the owner? Anyway, I told him I understood they were busy, but we were deeply dissatisfied with our service. I explained to him what he already knew, that it took 25 minutes to get any kind of acknowledgement, an hour and a half to get our food, I had to get up myself and get our damn drinks, and Dieter still had not received his salad (this was after we had eaten what we could stomach, and while I was talking to the manager, the waiter came to our table for the second time the entire evening to bring the salad, which Dieter politely refused). The manager actually looked at me, made a sarcastic remark (which he repeated several times in our conversation) about how he was 'so glad I understood', and started to lecture me about the unpredictability of the service business, and how they got slammed and were short staffed, and that he had hoped he would have patrons who would actually understand, because that's what this night was about, blah, blah, blah. I explained to him that he didn't have to tell me, I worked in waitressing for years, and I know what the business is like. I also know that, while it was busy, they could have easily catered to this many people, and that when you're busy, you don't make excuses, you just work your butt off to make sure your customers are taken care of. He started to make some sarcastic comment again about my understanding, and I said 'Look, I worked in waitressing for years, and I guarantee you, I could have serviced the entire restaurant properly.' He went on with some more excuses and told me that most patrons would actually be understanding and role with it, and treated me like I was a royal bitch for even bringing it up. He also said that, if I gave him my name, the next time I came by, to let them know who I was, and he would make sure I was treated properly. **break in story--what the mother fucking hell?!?!?!?! So you only provide good service when you know someone will complain, and you treat everyone else like shit?!?!?!** Anyway, he basically said that was just how it was, and never offered to comp or discount or anything. I informed him we would never be returning, and that if our waiter ever showed up with our check, we might consider paying our bill...and stormed back to our table.

After telling Dieter about this, I just sat back amazed that someone could be such an ass and treat their customers so horribly! And I didn't know what to do--I wasn't about to pay over $50 for such a terrible experience, but I didn't know if we could legally just walk out. Dieter just looked at me with fire in his eyes, stood up, and started putting on his coat. I seriously didn't know if he was going to walk out or just go beat the shit out of the guy, but I stood up too and started putting on my coat, and as we were leaving, the maitre'd came up and insulted us again by saying 'we hoped to have more understanding clientele, and most of them have been', and offered to comp our meal (as if he had any choice). We told him we would not be returning and left.

Bright side...we then went to the Pub for a guinness brownie and, well, guinness. We had a server who was probably pretty average, but OMG, after our experience, we deemed her amazing. We gave her a brief one sentence version of our evening, and left her a tip bigger than the cost of our bill. And we will never, never, never take average service for granted again.

So for anyone who wants a good restaurant in Lexington, I plead with you, DON'T GO TO NATASHAS. If the service had just been bad, that would have been one thing. But the maitre'd/manager was such a complete ass that they will never again have my patronage. Hell hath better service than Natashas...
Tags: *fast food, it came from the internet
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