My restaurant did not do a good job. Darn.

Well, this is a bummer. We had been looking forward to this dinner for a couple of days. I turned 29 and we planned to have dinner out on a mystery shop dime and on the weekend when we were both finished with our work week. We still did get a shop and dinner paid for, but it was quite poor service.

First, it took six minutes for a hostess to see us. We weren't hiding. They were just chit chatting. Okay, so it took 5 minutes, 56 seconds... semantics.

When we were spotted, the hostess came over and asked if there were just two of us.... They looked at the floor and no smile or greeting. We were asked about table preference and asked for a booth. We were given a half booth, half table thing where the table chairs were smashed up against a heavier set couple so there was literally no way we could sit across from each other. We sat together on the bench seat side, which is fine because we're both smaller -- 140/150 lb people. Still, usually they seat you across from each other. Snuggling up is for watching movies on the couch and bed time tongue sticking out smiley

We sat down, and it took 12 minutes, 3 seconds for a server to pop up. I watched two tables seated after us have orders and drink orders taken by the person who was eventually our server. The server asked us if we would like a water. That was it. No suggestions on any other drinks, nada. It was said somewhat rudely, as if we looked like we were going to skimp out and just want water with our meals -_- Hubby is in full business suit, I'm in a business casual black top and slacks. Errr... Shaping up to be a nice mystery shop. We ordered our drinks and were asked what we would also like to eat in the same moment -- 0_o You just handed us menus lady. Well, we had been sitting for 12 minutes so we did know because the placemat in front of us had an abridged menu on it of popular things, but still seemed off. Our order was also taken and we were told bread would be out soon -- hubby ordered banana bread. The server popped up 28 seconds later with those drinks *iced tea* and then we never saw her...or that banana bread we were promised... until the meal was finished and our dishes were empty. Oh, actually, never saw that banana bread.

To make it even more odd, someone stopped by our table and flipped over two coffee cups and set down a bowl of flavored creamer and then went on about their business.

A kitchen person came out and set down a basket of three regular rolls with butter... that we just let sit there after we told them we didn't want it and they let it anyway... and 18 minutes later, our food arrived sans the banana bread or an explanation. The person who brought our food looked like a manager. Black dress shirt, no name tag, clip tie with some pins and buttons.

Well, we ate, snugged together in our bench seat-- thankfully we both are right handed so no bumping arms. Our drinks were getting low, we ate our food, and still no sign of the waitress. 9 minutes after our food was completely empty -- heading towards an hour into this shop, and our drinks ice had started melting away and turning into water-- btw, we both ordered soup style dishes that were probably just ladled out onto our bowls and unsweet tea which is easy to refill -- the waitress pops up with our receipt and hands it to my husband flipped over and thanks us. She starts to walk off and then asks us if we want some to-go cups for our beverages.... those empty cups with melted ice and water in them now 0_o

It gets more odd -- the cashier would not make eye contact with me and sheepishly told me Merry Christmas. They asked me if I wanted to leave a tip on the card and when I said 15%, they sorta seemed perplexed -- first at the math -- then at the machine they were working on -- so I quickly did the math in my head and rounded up and threw a number out to him because he was about to implode from trying to do the math on $20.13 pre-tax... I knew it was $3.02 but I said to do $3.50... The shop said suggested 15% to 18% btw -- I wasn't just being grumpy over the service. I didn't want to just tip $3 and get dinged or not paid for being 2 pennies under 15%.. and $3.50 is closer to 18%... I digress. Anyway...

Bummer. :-(

The restroom was unsurprisingly bleh. No TP in one stall, the other had TP just sitting on the commode. The trashcan was overflowing into the floor. The tables weren't getting bused. I snapped photos in case there is any blow back questions. There were at least a dozen staff in the restaurant where I could see paired with about about as many tables so I didn't see anything too extraordinary going on.

Oooh -- my meal was made wrong. Someone put fried crispy chicken into my soup.... It tasted good, but errrrrr. Haha.

How y'all doing? A very merry (un)birthday, to me grinning smiley (it was Monday)

Caught in traffic of two car accidents and almost missed the bank. Ummm, couldn't get to the mall to finish gift buying. Clerk didn't want to sell me beer because they thought my ID said 1998 instead of 1988... I dunno. We decided to go to the video rental store, grab Kingsman The Golden Circle and some Coors to chill. At least I made a little $$ out of the shop. Anyone else have any poor service today? I'm still in a pretty good mood. I am alive. \m/


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Happy Birthday to you! You can always do what I do... celebrate it as many times as you want to. Or need to... Bad dinner? No problem. Go get a wonderful lunch. Sucky service? Get a great -erm- sweater. It's important that your birthday should not get lost in the holiday shuffle. I fully and reasonably expect to hear about your additional birthday celebrations. smiling smiley

The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy. - Corrie Ten Boom
It happens and the more you mystery shop the more likely it will happen to you. I remember one restaurant where we were apparently between two stations and no one took our orders. After waiting longer than I would have on a non shop (39 minutes) I finally asked a manager for help. It didn’t get much better after that.

Good write up. I actually felt like I was there with you. Service like you received is why they need us.
Hahaha. Well, on my actual birthday we did have sashimi. It's expensive but I freakin' LOVE IT! We also went to Lowe's. My spouse gifted me an anvil, a stamping hammer, and a chest of storage drawers for my wire working room. I've been hammering out new jewelry pieces in my spare minutes.

I guess this is the best argument for not taking a restaurant shop just for a "free meal". If it were me on a non-ms shop, I probably would have walked out after about 10 minutes. Possibly before I was even seated.

What's done is done. An egg cracked cannot be cured.
There are 3 kinds of lies. Lies, Damn lies, and statistics.
I have a friend who celebrates her birthday for the entire month. That might work for you; it sounds like you need an additional pampering evening.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
Don't ya hate it when a shop goes bad. To me it just means more time typing on the computer. Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday. I would so much write glowing reports. It seems to go quicker. Don't even mind the extra typing then.
Aww happy birthday! Today is my husband’s birthday. And I don’t know why, but I love reading other peoples’ stories about poor service haha. We went to Applebee’s yesterday, and the service was pretty bad there too, but not as bad as your experience!
Fried chicken in your soup!!! hahaha!!! Happy birthday!

Glad you got a fun story out of it, this made me laugh even if it must have been such a bummer. I am glad you were there to capture all this stuff. What IS it with people? It's not that hard to smile and welcome people. they'll be sitting with you! They'll be giving you money! They'll be talking to their friends about your place! Smile! Welcome them to your space! Jeez.

I've had bad shops where I have literally left wondering if something terrible happened and that's why all the staff were huddled talking to one another, ignoring customers, hating their lives. I had a hardware store shop where I SWEAR, there had been some major incident or something. The staff seemed to want everyone to know how MAJOR something was, so much huddling, and the one person I snagged to help me said, "oh, I'm sorry... it's just been a really bad day..." and I'm like wow. I don't really need people's personal bummers shared with me. Whatever it was, I really didn't need to know. If I was your pal, I'd care, but don't go out of your way to tell me whatever problem is bumming everyone out.

I am super super glad you didn't have to really pay for this meal!
Happy Birthday.

As for me - while I don't like having shops where everything goes bad I actually do like it from time to time. This way when I rip them it shows I just don't "rubber stamp" reports saying how all was great/fabulous/etc. Every so often "ripping someone a new one" is nice to do - when earned.
The older I get, the more strange birthdays seem to get. I like this entire month idea, though. I could get a wax, a hair cut, a teeth whitening, sushi, and then spend $10 on myself each day of the month otherwise. Hubby did good. I've been enjoying the stamping hammer and anvil. More stamps are coming. It's pretty neat. My xmas wish list has an acetylene or butane torch on it....

I've had a few good shops afterwards, though. My oil change shop went well and was highly bonused towards end of the month. Also picking up some annoying but high paying phone shops. I like this whole -- ask for more, get more, or move on -- mindset I've had the past few months. I've been trying to stick to my $25 minimum for an hour of my time total... I was pleasantly surprised with BK truck. They were ready, product was all good, and this guy is on the rest of the route if I need to do any others.

Glad I'm not the only person who has had some crap service here and there. I've actually lost almost 10 lbs in the last two months. That year at Amazon fattened me up, guys.

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