stah_chica (stah_chica) wrote in bad_service,
stah_chica
stah_chica
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Bad Service Turned Good

So after a very long day at work on Friday my friend and I decided to let some steam off and go to a fairly upscale local bar/restaurant for some drinks after work. We get there and I decide I'd like a snack before dinner since I'm pretty hungry so we decide to get a table instead of sitting at the bar. The hostess leads us into a room with a large empty table in the middle. There are balloons tied to the chairs and there's a huge sign that says "Congratulations Dick and Jane". She places the menus on a table right next to the larger table in the middle of the room. I wasn't really paying attention as I was really hungry but my friend thought it a bit too close to the large table since they were obviously going to be having a party. The place is fairly busy but there are several other open tables (same size as the one we were seated at, mind you) around the room that are at least a little farther from the huge table in the middle so he points to another table in the corner and asks if we can be seated there instead. The hostess gives him a bitchy look and in a voice dripping with 'tude she says "There's only two of you." We're both kind of taken aback at her attitude but just decide to sit down.

Our waiter comes to the table and gets our drinks and an appetizer order. I'm sipping my apple martini as people start coming in for the party. Very quickly the table behind us starts filling up, there are people of all ages and they're all standing around greeting each other and taking pictures. We are SO close to them that I have to lean forward so that they can get between my chair and their table. They even take a picture and my friend says to me "I was just in their picture and I don't know who they are! I'm not at their party!" It was just very awkward and we honestly felt like we were in the way.

Our waiter continuously checks on us and is very polite but we're getting so fed up with this that we ask to speak to the manager. The manager comes over and asks how we're doing and we explain the situation and how we'd even asked for another table before because we were anticipating this situation. The manager apologizes profusely and is extremely sweet, she asks us to describe the hostess and in an effort to ensure we're both referring to the same person (we didn't get her name) and she says she'll discreetly ask her a question about something unrelated and then come over to make sure it's the same hostess. She also says she's going to speak to the hostess but that she won't do it until after we leave so as not to make things awkward. She comps our drinks and our appetizers and also tells us to pick out a dessert and that it will be on the house. She introduces us to some of the other managers (all of whom apologize) and tells us to pick out whatever table we want to sit at. For the rest of the night the managers were coming over to make sure we were okay. The waiter comes over and we explain to him that us getting the manager had nothing to do with him, in fact, that he was spectacular. He says he could understand where we're coming from because the other party was "practically on top of us". Later he brings us out a "VIP Card" and asks if we want to join, we get free shots on our birthday or a free bottle of champagne and get other discounts and stuff.

All in all I was really pleased with how they recovered. We actually were about to leave when we made the complaint to management, but just wanted them to know how the hostess had treated us before we left. The management did everything short of offering us their firstborn to make us happy and they actually convinced us to stay. We ended up ordering dinner (since we felt bad getting all the freebies) and left the waiter a hefty tip, so it was a win-win for everyone.
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