Customer Service in 2011 Quiz

With no other facts than this message being posted on your profile, what would you do as the manager of the restaurant? Best answer gets a jar of Great Hill Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives.

To Whom It May Concern,

My husband and I were celebrating a special occasion and we visited Evenfall this past Saturday evening for the first time. The food was very good and our server was very friendly despite the place being full… However, I was very disappointed when I opened my leftovers today for lunch at work and I discovered that they were not our leftovers and I had paid full price for a half-eaten meal. Not only did I not get to eat lunch today, but I was completely disgusted to receive somebody else’s meal- and I’m sure that the other person was not happy to receive my chicken dish. I just wanted to make sure that I notified somebody of the situation so hopefully it will not happen to your other patrons, as I’m unsure if we will return in the future.

Let Me know what you would do.







12 responses to “Customer Service in 2011 Quiz”

  1. Perry Avatar

    I was a restaurant manager for about 15 years and that seems like a meal replacement if I ever came across one. It’s unfortunate, but necessary. First off, the actual cost of the meals is minimal to the cost of that person repeating that story over and over. You need that tale to have a happier ending if your name is attached to it. Bringing the couple back in for a simple mix up is the classy thing to do.

  2. Bob Simonds Avatar
    Bob Simonds

    I would personally call the couple and apologize and invite them for a free comp meal. I would ask the couple to call ahead and tell me when they were coming, and I would be sure to be there to welcome them and offer further apologies. I would check on them through out the meal to make sure everything was satisfactory. On top of the free meal I would give them a free dessert for the trouble they went through and make sure that completely satisfied and would return to Evenfall & tell there friends of the quality food and individualized friendly service they received despite the small error of the doggie-bag.

  3. Farid Ali Lancheros Avatar

    Personal phone call from the Owner
    Gift Card in the Amount of a Meal for 2
    Personal delivery of a lunch of her choice

  4. efstathios kesaris Avatar
    efstathios kesaris

    If this guest is unsure they will return you have to assume the guest who got her chicken dish is in the same boat. So you have to do your best to salvage this potential business these guests will generate in future visits. They loved the food and the service up until that mishap. Offer them a dinner for 2 on the house. As for the confusion that caused this ( I’m assuming the servers bag up leftovers) have your GM and wait staff manager run a meeting on the correct procedure for bagging up leftovers without incident as it shouldn’t be that hard to do if your servers are somewhat competent and focused.

  5. Enza Laudisio Avatar
    Enza Laudisio

    That’s a pretty upsetting situation especially when they would have enjoyed their leftovers.

    I think the best thing to do is call the customer (if you have their number) and a) apologize as it was clearly the fault of the restaurant, if possible have the server do the apologizing on the restaurants behalf as it shows he/she has been recognized of the fault.
    B) offer to either have them in for a complimentary dinner and/or have their entire meal be delivered to them again but this time the correct one!
    C) Prove to them that they have affected the way you run your business and that they’re opinion matters, tell them that there have been new procedures put in place such as the server is responsible for putting the contents into a togo box rather than the kitchen do it or vice versa to show that you understand there is something wrong with your system.

    I do think its an honest mistake though, which should be relayed somehow.

  6. Jon Bove Avatar
    Jon Bove

    Dear Spiro,
    I always enjoy your food; special memory for the EVOO ice cream. I’m writing because I have a farmer friend in Northern Maine, by the name of Ivan Porter, who has the only herd in the US of true Siberian boar; which is very different from what we get as boar normally. I don’t know if you’d be interested in his animals but I thought you might be. He’s shipping a 1/2 down to me within the next few weeks; as far as Portland where he delivers to Fore Street and I can pick up. If you want to talk to Ivan, his number is 207.991.4611. I’m happy to drop off an animal if you want to get one. He can give you all the info but I know he has his USDA. If you want to call me my cell is 978.457.2873.
    Jon Bove

    1. Spirocks Avatar

      Thank you! We are interested and the chef will be giving you a call. I have passed along the info to him.

  7. Cosmic Amanda Avatar

    It’s too bad you don’t know how close by the customer is. It would be a great promotion/public relations opportunity to bring lunch to her workplace. Even if she’s made up her mind to not come back, maybe you’d win over some over her coworkers. 😉

  8. Cheri Allbritton Avatar

    a.) check to see if the customer provided a phone number with the note and if not I would make an attempt to locate one with mailing information provided.
    b.)if I can locate a number I would place a personal call to thank them for choosing Evenfall to celebrate their special occaision. I might ask what the occaision was. Followed up by how did they come to choose Evenfall? And then I would listen, jot down some notes and ask just enough questions to keep the customer at ease.
    c.)when the issue over the leftovers came into the conversation I would apologize and assure them that is not the usual occurance at the restaurant (and you should know as the manager that is a true statement). I might ask if they had any idea how this mix up might have occurred. They have already told you it was busy. (i.e. was the server trying to conclude multiple serivices at the same time to free tables? did someone distract them? did an accident occur they were trying to clear up? etc….everyone has an opinion and most people want to express it. They like the establishment so they have a vested interest in helping it be more successful)
    d.) I would apologize again and ask what I can do to make it up to them. (Do they want a free meal? discount? free drinks? nothing.) All of these things are viable options to preserve a customer who likes coming to your restaurant.
    e.) whatever is decided upon I would let them know that very shortly they would be receiving a letter with whatever has been decided upon and when they chose to visit again to please ask for me so I can personally meet them and have the server make sure I’m visible when they are ready to leave (you can 99% guarantee they will be checking their leftovers if they have any when they are brought to their table)…but I would check to make sure everything was fine.

    I’ve never worked in the restaurant industry but I do manage a specialized retail store who’s largest niche of customers are small business owners who can lose clients and/or money if specifications are not correct. I have fewer options to offer them to make up any service difficiencies, but I take the very same steps I’ve outlined above.

  9. MC Slim JB Avatar

    My response to this customer would be: Glad you had a good meal; I too have enjoyed Evenfall on multiple occasions. As for the leftover switcheroo: that’s unfortunate, but it’s not like you accidentally ate someone else’s food and contracted hepatitis from it: you recognized you’d gotten the wrong doggie bag.

    That’s disappointing, but on the other hand, maybe it was a blessing in disguise. How long did that doggie bag sit in a warm kitchen while you had dessert and coffee? How long before it went into refrigeration at your home? If it didn’t happen quickly, that mistake may have saved you from a bout of food-borne illness.

    I think it’s a mistake to view every restaurant meal as having to satisfy two or more meals for you to consider it a good value. That kind of portion supersizing is one of many contributors to the American obesity epidemic. I prefer to order what I can eat in one sitting. I find doggie bags a sad reminder of how much better the food was the night before, when a huge staff labored to get it in front of me at the peak of its freshness, flavor, and beauty of presentation.

    If Evenfall decided to comp you an appetizer or dessert on your next visit, that would be a nice gesture for making an honest service mistake. Expecting more than reflects an unreasonable sense of entitlement, and an unfortunate knack for ruining the memory of a great evening over a comparatively trivial next-day detail.

    1. Spirocks Avatar

      Love this one. Love it.

  10. Naomi Avatar

    A personal note of apology thanking them for their patronage would go a long way. If you can comp their next meal, that would probably be a good idea– maybe a gift certificate for the price of their entrees?