That one time at this restaurant…

Recently I traveled to a restaurant in the south loop in Chicago. Upon arrival I was astonished that this place was quite empty. A group of friends and I proceeded to sit down rather than look for another restaurant, we were STARVING. As we seated ourselves, we sat there for about 10 minutes until a waiter came up to us and gave us a menu. She gave us the menu then came back 15 minutes later, like it took us that long to figure out what we wanted to drink (not really). As I ordered my drink I could already tell this was not going to be the best meal I was going to eat.

The drinks came and we proceeded to order our food. I ordered a pasta dish while my friend ordered some seafood. We then proceeded to wait, far too long, 35 minutes precisely. Why would it take so long? The restaurant was almost empty. We received our food and it tasted alright. My friend didn’t get the correct dish he ordered so he complained to the manager.  After complaining, he received no gratitude or sympathy for their mistake so we promptly asked for our check and left the restaurant extremely dissatisfied.

Now looking back at this, it had me thinking of how this situation relates to our management class. A poorly run restaurant or business correlates with the managers ability to do their job effectively. In this case, a manager should make sure that their employees work up to the restaurant’s standards. I believe the absent presence of the employees reflect the standards that the manager has for their restaurant. For example, if I walked into a restaurant and was not greeted by any host or server then it could be because the manager is more laid back as compared to one who is strict and wants their employees to do their job. I believe that the managers are there to set guide lines to follow. All the employees in the back of the restaurant upon our arrival suggests that they do not have management expectations and guide lines. I don’t necessarily believe that the “customer is always right” , but in this case someone has to take blame for the misstep of the restaurant.

The whole point of my rant about this restaurant was to show how insufficient management can lead to a downfall of a business. I believe that this was the reason why the restaurant was close to empty. I have been to hundreds of other restaurants and never had an experience like this because I believe proper management was in place. Managers are there to guide workers and set standards, if they are not met then the manager should be the one to blame. The time it took for waiters to serve an empty restaurant is an example of this.

 

Discussion Questions:

1. Who’s fault is it for the poorly run restaurant? The manager, the cooks, or the owner?

2. If you ordered something and received something else, as a manager how would you react with the customer?

3. Any instances you have experienced where you believe there was poorly run management team?

5 thoughts on “That one time at this restaurant…

  1. I agree with you, management was laid back and we can see that through the slow (or bad) service you got provided from the beginning of your arrival to the restaurant. I also think that managers oversee all jobs in a restaurant, therefore if the cook was very slow or the waiters were not putting in the orders right, the manager should attend to these issues in hopes of providing good customer service. If I were the manager and saw this behavior in my staff I would address the client first and apologize. Then, I would work on my staff’s people skills and communication skills in order to improve our service.

  2. I also agree that with bad management, a bad dining experience is definitely going to happen. I think that it would be the owner’s fault for a poorly run restaurant, even though the manager should be the one to make sure that employee’s are doing their job properly, the owner should make sure the manager is doing their’s. If i was a manager and a customer was given something else i would give them a 15% off of the bill as an apology.I had also experienced this type of service before and at the end the manager gave us 50% off are entire bill because the service was horrible.

  3. Great post! I agree with you, managers should set guidelines for their employees and set an example. Having poor management could put your business in jeopardy and that’s exactly what happened at this restaurant. I think that the owner and manager are responsible, the owner should be aware that the manager is doing something wrong and the manager should step up and do his/her job. As a manager, I would apologize for the mistake and try to compensate because it is important to gain loyal customers. I remember one time I was at Red Lobster it was also empty during the time we went and the waiter took a long time before taking our order, checking up on us, and bringing our check.

  4. As someone who binge watches the Travel Channel and shoes like Hotel Impossible, Resort Rescue, ect., I found your post really interesting. It asks the question about who is responsible. I agree with your sentiment that the customer is not always right and in your situation someone needed to take responsibility and be held accountable.

    I think that it is the owner’s responsibility to hire managers that know how to do their job and who are going to take action. The owner should be able to trust the managers to make decisions that are in the best interest of, in this case, the restaurant. However, I also strongly believe that employees should be able to take initiative if something is clearly wrong that the manager is failing to recognize. To use your experience as an example, the owner should have hired a manager that would see that you and your friends had not been tended to. They should have stepped in and made sure that you were given attention, especially since there were no other customers that would also need help. The waiters, however, should have been able to see that you were the only customers, therefore should have been more attentive.

    As a manager, if a customer was given the wrong dish I would take ownership for the mistake, offer to get their correct meal if they still wanted it, and give them some type of discount on the bill.

  5. A successful restaurant is a well-oiled machine. Every person must do his or her share in order to give a customer the best experience. There can be incredible food, but with terrible service, it’s often not worth the trouble and just like the other way around, service can be incredible but the food is lousy. Every position should be held to a certain standard just like any other industry. I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for several years so I understand mistakes happen, however; if the mistake isn’t handled with diligence, that’s when I question their customer service and if I want to be a returning patron. Recently, a group of friends and I received incredibly slow service at a local steakhouse. We weren’t in a rush, but it was bad enough to ruin my image of that restaurant. A manager just so happened to come ask our table how our experience was and we told the truth. We were given a discount and credit towards our next visit. Although it’s uncertain whether or not I’ll put it to use, I think this is the type of service should be provided in order to make sure the customer leaves happy.

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