BadgerBabe (badgerbabe) wrote in bad_service,

Mother's Day Lunch

Okay, so back story.  We used to live right next door to this wonderful Mexican restaurant (I'm not gonna name them because I honestly think it was a one time thing and I love their food).  We loved it so much that we ate there at least once a week and our favorite waiter (who also seemed to be in charge) always recognized us though we didn't know each other's names (we liked him so much we'd leave a $10 tip on a $25 bill).  Since we moved an hour away (about 3 years ago) we've made several trips back specifically to eat there.  That's where I wanted to go for Mother's Day so off we went.  They used to be in a motel but when we got there, the nice lady at the front desk told me they had moved and here is where the suck begins...

We drove over to the new location which is much larger than the old one.  At the old place you walked right into the restaurant and the register was right by the door.  At the new place, you walk into a vestibule where the register is but it is kind of separate from the seating area.  We walk in and can tell they are really busy which I expected.  I can see people running around like chickens with their heads cut off.  There is no one specifically running the cash register/seating people because they are so busy.  It takes  about 10 minutes before anyone shows up to seat us and I don't have a problem with this because I can see that they are busy.  We get seated and the guy walks off.  We can see that there appears to be two people, a girl and the guy who seated us, working this section.  Our fave waiter (who we found out is named Jaime) is no where to be seen.  At one point, the guy starts toward us as if to take our order, looks off to a table behind us and changes directions at the last second.  We haven't even had our drink order taken at this point.  After about 10 minutes of seeing them walk right past our table without even looking at us, I'm starting to get frustrated.  I jokingly tell my husband that I'm going to stand up and yell out if anyone is going to take our order.  After 5-10 more minutes, I finally politely flag down the girl and ask if someone can take our order.  I got the distinct impression she didn't want to but she came over to take it and was obviously distracted while doing it.

Me, my husband and step-daughter all order the same meal (my daughter ordered something different and we didn't have problems with hers).  We each ordered a side of sour cream (3) and my hubby and step-daughter ordered sides of guacamole (2).  I also ordered two bowls of queso for the table.  In the meantime, I see Jaime come in and start waiting tables.  There is an immediate change in the room, I can see food coming out faster and he is hustling, not only taking orders but bringing chips and salsa, whatever needs to be done.  I should mention that no one ever re-filled our chips or salsa.  When our food comes out it is the guy who seated us that brings it.  He drops off two dishes, goes back and brings two more.  No sides, no queso (which we should have already gotten).  I tell him what we're missing, very specifically saying three sides of SC, two guac, two queso.  The girl comes by with a queso, he comes back with one SC, one guac and the other queso says, "ok" and starts to walk off.  I tell him we're still missing two SC and one guac.  He comes back with ONE SC and the guac and walks off.  No one ever comes back to the table until we're finished and get the ticket.

We examine the ticket to make sure we didn't get charged for the SC we never got and see that she never wrote it down which is the reason we didn't get it.  So, she didn't write it down, we didn't get charged for any of the sides..

My husband is so disappointed that he says he never wants to eat there again.  We wanted to tell Jaime ('cause he knows us and knows we're good customers) about it but don't see him.  I grab a business card and ask his name (this is where we found out), intending to call and speak with him later.  About that time, he comes walking around the corner and I tell him we were disappointed with the service at the new place.  He starts to apologize about being on break and I tell him that it wasn't him at all.  He asked if the food was okay and I told him it tasted great we just had problems getting it.  After we left, I felt bad because I thought maybe he thought we blamed him.  I'm considering sending him a note explaining everything I just said and letting him know we don't blame him. Usually we can walk in (even on Valentines Day and it takes about 30 min for us to get our food, eat and leave.  We were there nearly an hour and a half.  I guess that's what's disappointing.  We're used to such great service from them, we've gotten spoiled.

ETA:  When we dined at the old location, we always got the impression that Jaime was in charge as well as waiting tables.  There never seemed to be anyone else there that could be a manager and it is a locally owned restaurant.

Tags: *restaurant, tex-mex food is delicious
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