We went on vacation a couple of weeks back. We went to what had previously been a favorite destination of my wife and in-laws. However, some of the things that happen were so astounding that I think they may have dropped that title. I know that ‘The Village Cafe & Pub’ in Pentwater, MI will not be on my favorites list any time soon.
Below are some excerpts from a complaint letter that I filed after we got home (haven’t heard anything back, but I really don’t expect to since, as it turns out, they are Michigan State Spartan supporters, which means I probably used some too big of words….like ‘restaurant’….(just kidding):
Dear Owners of Village Cafe & Pub of Pentwater,
[At the recommendation of my in-laws, we all dined at your restaurant], a place that had been very accommodating to them in the past and had provided many good times.
I can only trust my in-laws that their experiences had been great in the past, but being my first time, I was not impressed in the least.
We parked next to the patio and walked past it on the way in. Being a weekday night, things weren’t busy. The hostess greeted us by saying “Can you wait five minutes? I’m not sure if I can seat you. Our servers might be too busy.”
I have dined at many restaurants in my lifetime, and have never, ever heard anything like this before. I understand that you may have staffed lightly expecting fewer diners, but to be greeted with that is completely mind-boggling. I know that this isn’t an isolated experience, as my sister-in-law had gone there the night before (with her boyfriend), and she had been told the same thing!
If you are getting more customers than you anticipate, you can word this politely to the customers (e.g. ‘We will be happy to seat you, but just so you know, our servers have more tables than usual, so we apololgize in advance if there are any delays, but hopefully you can enjoy the great view!’) or perhaps re-work the numbers on the number of customers you expect when determining how much help to have working.
[Later that week, on Friday], my wife, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law were in Pentwater and noticed that each of the outside tables had a rose or some sort of flower on it, where our table had nothing of the sort.
All told, it appeared to us that since we were customers on a less busy night, we were not treated as well as customers that dine on your busier weekend times. I understand that the weekday customers might not be the moneymakers that keep you in business, but we are still customers that pay the same prices for the same menu items, and it is not unreasonable to expect the same service and positive dining experience as anybody else. I worked in retail for a number of years, in an area where 95% of the years profits were made between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even so, all of the customers that came through the doors for the rest of the year were entitled to and treated with the same level of respect and appreciation. Based on what I saw last week, I think you might need to re-think your approach in making sure that *all* customers are given the full experience that you have to offer, regardless of what day or what time they come through the door.
So, dear readers, have you ever walked into a practically empty restaurant to be told that you might not be able to be served? This story is so awful it is funny, so I had to share it.
What are some of your favorite restaurant ‘horror’ stories?Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.