My husband and I don't have a single day off together. While adapting to this, we've tried to make a point of spending the limited holidays that we have off doing something together. New Year's Day, we both woke up early and decided to head out to have breakfast together, something we rarely get to do. We decided on one of our "usual" breakfast joints and was pleased to see that at 9:00am, we wouldn't have to wait as there were only a few tables occupied.
After seating ourselves, the menus were immediately brought to our table. We weren't asked if we would like coffee, the waitress just disappeared. Meanwhile, the couple who came in after us and sat at the table behind us were immediately asked if they wanted coffee. While the other waitress stood there and chatted with them a while, we waited.
We waited and waited. There were two gentlemen in the booth kitty-corner to us who were obviously either owners or managers of the establishment. At one point, while we were waiting, one of them get up and helped someone at the counter. We attempted to make eye contact with him as he returned to his booth. I craned my neck to try to catch the eye of our waitress on several occasions. We had a quiet discussion about leaving. At this time, just as we made the decision to leave, about 10 minutes after we got our menus, the waitress finally came back and asked if we wanted coffee. We ordered at the same time, not giving our waitress a chance to make us wait another 10 minutes to order.
Our food came promptly and was good as usual. However, the two gentlemen that seemed to be either owners or managers proceeded to have a loud and obnoxious conversation, at times being so loud that I could not hear what my husband was saying. We finally gave up on talking and just ate our food quickly so we could get out of there. When finished, our check did not appear and I had to go to the counter to get my ticket. As I waited at the counter, I could see my waitress and a few other servers socializing in the back. Finally she appeared, I paid and we left.
We're not that picky about service. I've been a waitress and it is a hard and often times, thankless job. If the place would have been busy, if there had been more than a few tables occupied, we wouldn't have talked about leaving. Now, I don't know that we'll be back any time soon.
So, here's the question for you. What is acceptable or unacceptable in terms of customer service? What drives you crazy at a restaurant? What does your favorite restaurant do that you adore? For me, my favorite restaurant knows my name and treats me like a member of the family. They make me feel like I WANT to spend my hard earned money in their place. What do you do when you get poor service? Do you tip less? Do you leave? What advice can you give as a consumer to the local restaurants?