Of all the scenarios on our list, bad customer service at restaurants may be the most common, and in certain cases it may also be the hardest to fix. While there are times you may just have a bad waiter, it’s far more likely the long wait and mistaken orders are the product of factors beyond your waiter’s control.
“The waiter can only do so much. Two guys might not have shown up for work that day, or the dishwasher in the kitchen might be broken,” says Steve Dublanica, author of Waiter Rant
, a book about his experience in the restaurant industry. For that reason, he says restaurant-goers need to be reasonable about their service expectations and diplomatic in how they respond when the service seems bad.
To start, Dublanica suggests stating the problem matter-of-factly to the server. “Usually, the waiter will want to take care of that problem, unless you get a waiter who runs and hides,” he says. “Those are the worst.”
If this doesn’t resolve the problem or if you’re hoping to get some kind of compensation for the poor service, Dublanica suggests calling the manager or owner over and again being clear and unemotional about your complaint, by stating what went wrong, how long you’ve been waiting and what your expectations are.
As part of this conversation with the supervisor, Dublanica suggests hinting at how valuable your business can be for them, by using the following line: “We’ve always liked it here and we know tonight is probably an exception to the rule, but can you fix this so we can continue to come here and bring our friends here?”
Chances are if this doesn’t resolve the issue to your satisfaction, either the restaurant is particularly lousy or your expectations are just crazy high. There is one last card that certain customers can play before giving up all hope, though.
“Let them know that you are the person who does office parties or events at your company,” Dublanica says. “People will snap to for that.”
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