So, a group of friends and I went for Korean BBQ not long ago, 6 of us in total. I was quite excited, since I'd been hearing so many good things, never having gone before, and I just loves me some BBQ. It didn't play out as nicely as we were expecting...
We arrive at the establishment, and find all tables large enough for the 6 of us are taken. One of the wait staff approaches and inquires as to why we're here. We all blinked at that, but the most social of us, "D", responded that we were here to have some delicious food.
"No tables down here, go upstairs. *waves hand dismissively*" she says before going on her way. So we proceed to the upper level, only to have another of the server tell us to go downstairs. Once downstairs again, the same waitress looks at us in an odd way, almost as if to say "You're still here?". We think nothing of this since it's obviously busy and the staff is probably stressing out. We tell her we were directed back downstairs, and she seems to sigh and say that the large table near the door will be free if we could wait a few minutes. So, after standing around for a good 20 mins, we are seated. We are quite ravenous.
We all want to have All You Can Eat BBQ, so we place our orders right away. She departs and we wait patiently. 15 minutes later we get our drinks, 3 of us ordered iced tea, 3 of us wanted Pepsi. We all got Pepsi. I really don't care for cola, and neither did the other 2, so we prepared to correct the mis-communication upon the waitress's return.
Cue 20 minute wait.
When she came back, she was only there to refill our drinks, no meat in tow. When D pointed out that half of us had wanted iced tea, she argued that we had all said Pepsi. They had a bit of a back and forth, before she departed again for another 10 minutes. This time she brings us all our small bowl of soup broth and rice, plus saucers of tiny green things. She gives us all refills of Pepsi, starts the table cookers up. The second table cooker didn't actually start up, just had gas running. However she exited before we could point it out to her, or ask again about our tea.
Another 20 minutes.
We were getting rather nervous about that gas running... So we as a group ducked under the table and figured out how to shut it off. The waitress returns not long after with our requested meat. D points out that the second cooker didn't light, and the gas was left running so we turned it off. Looking annoyed, she turns the gas on again and flicks a lighter at the cooker (I say 'at' because it wasn't nearly close enough to actually have a chance at lighting the damn thing) before vanishing again. We gave up on getting tea and shut off the gas again.
The 3 of us with the working cooker felt bad and opted not to start cooking any food. But some of us were starting to get sick from hunger, having made sure we had empty stomachs so we could gorge ourselves that night and leave with very fat tummies. We attempt to cook food for all 6 of us on that one small cooker. Over the course of 30 minutes, each of us got 2-3 mouthfuls of beef.
The waitress returns, to refill our drinks. Once again we ask for the second cooker to be operational. This time, she goes about lighting it properly, and we practically cheered. She refills our drinks rather sloppily (as in she thought the table was thirsty too), and departs. We spend the next hour and a half stuffing our faces, getting drink refills twice in that course of time. We always said "Thank you" individually when she came around.
The food wasn't bad, but the ribs (which I totally adore normally) were pretty much 98% fat. They had almost no meat on them. I was sad but there was lots of other tasty meats. We certainly ate a lot of meat that evening, and for the time being it had taken our minds off of the somewhat less than positive attitude of the waitress.
So we finish our meal and request the check once the waitress comes back. We wait 15 mins for it. It was a rather hefty sum, but we expected such and paid without complaint. As far as tip goes, we left a very meager amount.
But here is the bit that seriously bothers me:
As we were getting our coats, a male member of the staff (manager maybe?) approaches us along with the waitress. We look at them in question.
"You can't leave." he tells us. "There's a MANDATORY 20% tip." I think all of us collectively twitched. I was wondering how he was planning to stop us from walking out. We were already at the door. The waitress added that we were "very rude" and she deserved a much bigger tip.
I was honestly so PO'd at the very gall of them that I muttered "Here's your tip.", flipped the bird and walked out. The rest of the group soon followed, now ranting about the whole experience. We were also sort of annoyed at D, because he actually gave in and paid the tip. I know he really, really hates confrontation, I do as well, but still...
We'll certainly not be going there again.