Jantra (jantra) wrote in bad_service,

Sucky service from a japanese restaurant

I was at Katsucon this weekend, and excited to go and eat at the sushi place I saw within walking distance of our hotel. I called earlier in the day (about noon) for a reservation that night, which was Saturday (aka: Valentine's Day). I made the reservation for 7 o'clock for 6 people.

By 6 o'clock, we had found out two of the people would not be joining us. We figured it might be a little bit difficult for the restaurant, so we went 30 minutes early.

It was very busy, which is no surprising considering it was a) Valentine's Day and b) A Japanese anime con was right next door. We waited patiently, finally got to talk to the hostess, and waited some more. I watched as we waited... it was indeed busy, but things seemed to be running smoothly. It was about half nicely dressed couples and about half con goers (though the nicely dressed may have also been con goers, since a formal ball was that night). We, for information, were dressed like typical con goers. Jeans, tee shirts, con badges.

We were seated at 6:50. The person walked off... without giving us menus. That sort of surprised us, so we waited a few minutes (thinking she would come back) until we saw a waitress and had to ask for menus. She put them on our table and bolted off.

Behind us was another group of con-goers that got seated after us. To our right was a table of very nicely dressed older folks obviously double-dating for the night who were also seated after us AND after the other table of con goers. The nicely dressed people sat down about 15 minutes after we had gotten seated. The timing of their being seated is very important.

My friend D and I picked out a bottle of sake we wanted along with our meals. Over trying to pick a meal, we tried to flag down our waitress when she zipped by so we could ask a few questions to help decide what to get, but she completely ignored my waving hand and light call of "Miss!" And then louder next time... ignored again. Grrr.

When the waitress came and took our orders (just about 7:20, or 30 minutes after we were seated) she said they were out of the sake we had wanted to try. Disappointed but understanding, she pointed to what they had left. We ordered something else, and ordered our food. Everyone got an appetizer, a bowl of soup, and a main course.

About ten minutes later, the waitress arrived... whoa. Not our original waitress. She gave us our waters/sodas and said that they didn't have any bottles of sake left in the place. Surprised but disappointed, we said we understood. They were packed and most likely having a tough time with the demand. Personally, I was surprised considering they had been slammed by the con being there for two days now... but...

I didn't want to believe it at first, I honestly didn't... but I watched the nicely dressed table be seated and waited on. They had menus when they were seated. Their drink orders were taken quickly. Their waitress came by and they asked a question, then ordered. I frowned a bit, but didn't think too much of it.

We sat for another 40-45 minutes. We saw the nicely dressed people get their appetizers in that time (WHUT?), then about 5-10 minutes later the table behind us got their soup... and when our first food finally came (an hour and twenty minutes after we had been seated), it was just the bowls of soup. It was good miso broth but had only a single piece of tofu in each bowl. o.o;

We sat with that for only about ten minutes before our friend S got his... main meal? Ummm...?

About five minutes later, the rest of us got our appetizers. ....????

Maybe twenty minutes later, S got his appetizer... and five minutes after that, D and I got our main meals... and then the last person at our table got his meal ... five minutes after us.

So to spell it out:

6:30: Arrived.
6:50: Seated.
7:00: Table behind us seated with con-goers.
7:05ish: Nicely dressed people seated to our right.
7:20: Orders taken. At this point, we started to keep track of the time.
7:50ish: Nicely dressed people got their appetizers
7:55-8:00ish: Table behind us got soup
8:10ish: Bowls of soup arrive for us.
8:20: S gets his main meal
8:25: The appetizers arrive
8:45: S gets his appetizer
8:50: D and I get main meal
8:55: J gets his main meal
9:30: Still haven't been checked on, we finished our meals.
9:50: ...We still don't have a check. Hunted down someone and got it.

Just. Over. Two. Hours to get our main meal! o.o Not even to eat the main meals, just to GET THEM ALL. There was over a half an hour between when S got his main meal and when the rest of them came! By this time we were ALL late for things we needed to do (in fact, S had to leave right after getting his appetizer because he was super late for something.)

The main course food kinda sucked, which is sad because the sushi was amazing (one of the best I'd ever had).

I'd 'love' to add that we never once were checked up on the entire time we were at the restaurant. I mean, we had EVERY DISH still on the table when we left because no one came and took the previous course's dishes away. We had to finally call someone over to get refills on our water. I kept an eye on the nicely dressed table beside us... they were checked up on several times, and as soon as they were checked on, the waitress would bolt off without even looking at us. In fact, the wait staff seemed to avoid our part of the restaurant completely... I had to even go hunt down someone finally for the check after we could not get ONE person to pay attention to us to give it to us.

I was going to put a small part here about tip, but instead I will just say that the tip was reduced, and we left a politely worded note behind about why it was. I spoke to the woman behind the desk before we left, but didn't have the time to find a manager.

Honestly, I know we were treated worse because we were con-goers/younger/something like that. The table next to us seemed to be treated with far better service then we were. I understand they were busy, I understand running out of food (only sort of... they had to know they'd be packed on Valentine's Day and for the con...) but... damn. Avoiding us? Not checking on us even ONCE the entire time? Wow.

TL;DR: Worst service I have EVER had in a restaurant, specially considering the bill was huge for four people.
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