April Conquest (minikitkatgirl) wrote in bad_service,
April Conquest

Diner bad service turned good

Went to a diner here in NJ this past Friday with two of my friends. We started going to it a few months ago, after Friend #1 introduced me to the place, and we were both initially floored because the food was so amazing, particularly for a diner. Every time we've gone there since, however, things have steadily declined, and this time was the straw that broke the camel's hindquarters.

I had ordered a BBQ chicken chopped salad, and after it (and my friends' entrees) arrived, I happily set to munching away. I got several chicken pieces into the salad before discovering one that was undercooked. Not just undercooked, but pink and red vein-y and oddly bulgy. That made me completely lose my appetite for the salad, and I stuck with nibbling on an appetizer of nachos that we'd ordered to share that was still on the table. I thought I ought to tell our waitress about the chicken the next time she came over, and I did, having set the aforementioned chicken piece on a separate plate. I explained what happened, and she picked up the plate, looked at it as if she was thoroughly annoyed that I'd brought this to her attention, and in a completely disinterested tone of voice, said:

"Are you sure that red isn't just from the tomatoes?"

...The tomatoes. Which were grouped together in a clump on the other side of the plate, far away from the chicken (that was how they were presented when the dish arrived). Nevermind that tomato pulp-red is not at all the same shade as undercooked chicken-red, and I could indeed tell the difference. So I said no, it wasn't from the tomatoes (my friends agreed with this as well).

"Do you...want me to bring you new chicken?" she asked. I politely declined, as I had (obviously) lost my appetite for chicken and certainly didn't want a repeat of what had just happened. So fast-forward a bit and the bill comes...and I see my salad is on there. I felt that, because I'd only had a little bit before discovering the undercooked chicken and hadn't touched it since, that it would've made sense for her to comp it, or at least offer to comp it. So after thinking about it, I decided to take the bill up to the register and explain the situation to the cashier and see if there was anything he could do.

I tell the cashier my question and he says he has to go get his manager, and to stay there and he'll be right back. Okay, no problem. Except after he goes to get said manager, my waitress comes over with a serious un-happy face and asks what I am doing. I told her that I talked to the cashier and he went to get the manager. "You can go back to your table. The manager will come to you there," she says. Nevermind that the cashier told me to stay there, and by this time her tone/attitude was starting to make me a bit flustered, as I was not trying to make a scene but it seemed like she was.

I started to head back to the table and the manager was coming towards me/the table at the same time, so we ended up at the table together. My friends and I explain to him what happened, and this is where the bad_service got better because he was very apologetic and said he was sorry he hadn't known about it sooner, and that he'd go ahead and take my salad off the bill.

So we get the revised bill, and we're sorting out our money...and across the way is the kitchen entrance and the backing of a booth section, and our waitress is standing there against that backing and staring at us as we count out the money! It was extremely uncomfortable, as it seemed liked she was trying to see what sort of tip we were leaving her (which ended up being lower than what we would've left normally). She scooped the bill right up as soon as we put the money on it, too, not even waiting for us to leave first.

To top it all off, after the manager spoke with us, my friends told me that the waitress had stormed over to our table while I was at the register (before she went up to me) and said to them, "What's she doing up at the register? You're supposed to pay me here." My friends explained that I just went to ask a question, and that's when the waitress came over to me.

So, yeah...we've decided not to go back to that diner at least for a good, long while...

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