Your City, Your Voice
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:41 am 
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:35 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Atlantic Beach
My husband would rather eat a bad meal and pay for it rather than mention a problem to the waitstaff. That is NOT my style at all. I would rather try to address the problem and have a meal that I can enjoy and not resent paying for. This difference between us has sometimes led to arguments. One time in particular though things got a little out of hand, but happily the story ends well. About a year ago for a special occasion we had decided to splurge a little by dining at a really expensive restaurant in Manhattan much more upscale than our usual dining out choices. We ordered our dinners and awaited the arrival with much anticipation. Unfortunately, when my meal arrived it was not at all what I expected. For one thing, a main ingredient (the reason I ordered the dish) was missing! To add insult to injury, there were a lot of mushrooms, which I do not like and had not been included in the description. Also, the presentation of the dish was not as expected. I can't remember the details, but it was something like I was expecting a bed of couscous, but instead received plain old white rice. Anyway, aside from the fact that I don't like mushrooms , the dish was nothing like what I had ordered! My husband wanted me to just eat what I had been served. At the prices we would be paying I certainly wasn't going to eat something I hadn't ordered and didn't like! He didn't believe that the restaurant could have made a mistake and did not want me to question the wait staff about it. When I mentioned this to our server, the server got a bit indigent and tole me that I was mistaken, and that I didn't know that white rice SHOULD accompany that dish.. .. All of this caused a BIG, heated argument between us. It was very unpleasant, especially because it was spoiling what was supposed to be a special, indulgent evening. Nonetheless, I asked our server to please bring me a menu. I wanted to discreetly check the description of what I had ordered. Even after I verified that what I received was definitely not what I had ordered, my husband was so upset by my wanting to send it back that he threatened to get up and leave. About that time our server came by and asked if we were enjoying our dinners. I politely explained that my dinner did not seem to be what I ordered and the server politely said that he would check with the kitchen about it. Soon the owner came over to ask if she could be of some help. My husband was mortified! I again explained my confusion about the dinner. The owner went directly to the kitchen then returned to our table with the explanation and an apology. Apparently the kitchen had run out of some key ingredients and had made substitutions. The owner apologized profusely, saying that the menu should have been changed to reflect the changes as they had been significant. The owner praised me for bringing the matter to their attention, saying that the worst thing is for diners to have a legitimate complaint, but not say anything, then complain to friends later and not return to the restaurant. The owner made sure that my meal was replaced quickly, and "rewarded" me with the most wonderful and expensive dessert on the menu. That's how a smart restaurant owner creates loyal customers!

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