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Old 02.03.2011, 01:42
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Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

What would you do if you frequented a cafe where you always received a warm, friendly welcome with efficient and polite service, then, one day, an apparently newly-employed waiter treated you like something he'd found on the bottom of his shoe?

I shan't name the cafe as the incident was a one-off after dozens of very enjoyable visits, and I don't want to help give the place a bad name it doesn't deserve, but I'd be curious to know how other people would handle the situation.

We arrived, took our seats and the waiter came to the table. We both ordered meals, MN ordered an iced tea and I ordered a black tea with milk. The waiter brought the iced tea and a cup of hot water with an Earl Gray tea bag and a stained, wrinkled sachet of sugar that looked like it had been retrieved from the dustbin.

The waiter shot off to chat to a customer at the bar, so it was several minutes before I could ask him to replace the tea bag with the ordinary black tea for which I had originally asked. When I did, he snatched the Earl Gray teabag from my hand with a flourish, then strode off to the bar to get a new tea bag. It was only when he returned that I noticed that he'd forgotten the milk. Again, it was several minutes before I could get his attention to ask for milk.

About twenty minutes later the milk still hadn't arrived, and the waiter was busy flirting with a customer at the bar. He seemed determined to ignore me, so MN was obliged to point to my tea cup and begin "Milch..." Before she could finish the sentence, the waiter was off again, returning a few minutes later with a couple of little cartons of coffee cream, which he threw down on the table before stomping off again, his nose in the air.

To cut a long story short, the rude, arrogant toad had (deliberately?) treated me and my wife like some kind of petty annoyance, had repeatedly ignored us, got the order wrong, and, at the end of the meal, failed to clear the table properly, leaving us to wait almost an hour amongst filthy cups and glasses before we could get his attention to pay, let alone order a digestif or a coffee.

This is not the kind of service I have come to expect from this cafe. Normally I'd never bother to return to a place where I was treated so shoddily, but I know this is very unusual, and it would be a shame to stop visiting a place I like so much.

Unfortunately, because I'm a regular, I felt unable to make a complaint, either to the waiter himself or the manager. I don't like sputum in my salad, and I'd like to maintain good relations with the staff there if I can.

What would you have done in the circumstances? Is it enough to chalk it up to experience and hope it doesn't happen again? I'd hate to see this miserable so-and-so bring the reputation of the place down, when all the other waiters are so good at their jobs.

My instinct tells me to forget it. My wife disagrees. What do you think?
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Old 02.03.2011, 01:51
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

As it appears to be due to the new staff member, I would have a quiet word with one of the management.

If you don't get satisfaction, tell them you can take it no more and are moving away
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Old 02.03.2011, 02:02
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

The word has been passed around on the grapevine that you are leaving: so no more Mr Nice Guy for you two!

I would speak to my favourite person there and explain that this waiter is ruining their reputation.
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Old 02.03.2011, 02:03
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

Better off with coffee...
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Old 02.03.2011, 02:13
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

I'd have asked him if he was "thick" but then he might have told you to...er ...let's say "boogie off" in this example shall we.

Joking aside, that was disgraceful behaviour on his part. I commend you both for staying and putting up with it as I'd probably have just got up and walked out once it became clear things were going from bad to worse.

Was he behaving this way with other customers (apart from the one he was flirting with) or just you and MN? Sometimes, in such situations, I like to give the waiter/waitress the benefit of the doubt and that maybe they are having a bad day. That said, it is their job to be polite and courteous to customers regardless of their mood and if they can't do that, then they should stay at home.

However, I can understand your reluctance to complain given that you like the place so much and have always been treated well by other staff members and want to stay on good terms.

Have a quiet word with the Manager about it. It is their job after all to nip this sort of bad behaviour from staff in the bud before it ends up giving the place a bad name that sticks.
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Old 02.03.2011, 02:40
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

Wear your special jacket and tell him he's banned from every tram in Zurich.
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Old 02.03.2011, 02:58
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

I agree with everybody. Complain to the management. Ok you will go back because this is a one off but other people may not and may also name the cafe and have its reputation brought down.

Better let the management deal with it. You are a valued customer and they should pay attention to what you say
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Old 02.03.2011, 07:58
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

Quote:
What do you think?
I think you were obviously in Paris.

Other than that, let management know. I always do - they can't fix the problem if they're not aware of it.
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Old 02.03.2011, 08:10
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

Don't write the cafe off. I could have been just a bad day - everybody has them. However if this waiter is making a habit of giving bad service then it's highly likely somebody else will have already complained. From what I've seen one complaint doesn't do much, but if complaints are coming in from different sources then the management will act.

I'd give it another chance, and if on that second chance the waiter still screws up then take it to the management.
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Old 02.03.2011, 09:04
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

As you're leaving, tell him to give the manager a Gruss from you and that you are looking forward to seeing the manager soon.
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Old 02.03.2011, 09:45
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

Over a cup of tea?
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Old 02.03.2011, 09:46
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

Bad day or not, it is not an excuse in my side of the world.

Ok, let's assume he had a bad day, apparently his day was cheered up by a cute little butterfly at the bar that he was so busy to entertain instead to do his job and be nice to customers.

If you are use to the place, they certainly know you. So to have a nice chat and tell them what you told us (it was so politely written) I don't see why it should upset them. You like the place, you always have a good relation with them and just say it. By praising the place and telling them how great they are, it is difficult to not have them open to listen to you. They will be much more sympathetic to you and will follow up with this situation I am sure!

And if I am in the wrong and they don't give a toss (that's what you english people say, isn't it? I am learning!) that means it is not a place you want to give money to if they can't see how important it is to keep their customers happy.

But definitely say something.
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Old 02.03.2011, 09:52
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

Unless you know the manager or owner of the café, I would suggest that you go with your instinct and let it go. There are plenty of other nice places to have a cuppa or a meal.

I bet you will quickly find a new regular place in Glarnerland.
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Old 02.03.2011, 09:58
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

Date and tage this "report" and file it.

If you really are "regulars" and it happens again, then head off to Google translate, translate and hand in report to owner.

As a second thought, next time, ask to be served by someone else, or sit at a table that he doesn't serve.
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:21
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

If I were the manager I would be over the moon with gratitude to have a regular, normally satisfied customer point out something that was new and wrong. He's running a business and your complaint is cash in his pocket. Just when you go, be very calm and specific so he can fix what's wrong.
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:25
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

The new employee at the cafe , could be Mishimishi
in disguise No wonder why you were treated badly

Quote:
We arrived, took our seats and the waiter came to the table. We both ordered meals, MN ordered an iced tea and I ordered a black tea with milk. The waiter brought the iced tea and a cup of hot water with an Earl Gray tea bag and a stained, wrinkled sachet of sugar that looked like it had been retrieved from the dustbin.

The waiter shot off to chat to a customer at the bar, so it was several minutes before I could ask him to replace the tea bag with the ordinary black tea for which I had originally asked. When I did, he snatched the Earl Gray teabag from my hand with a flourish, then strode off to the bar to get a new tea bag. It was only when he returned that I noticed that he'd forgotten the milk. Again, it was several minutes before I could get his attention to ask for milk.
I love the way you narrate things, I could actually imagine you two having the coffee!
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:25
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

I wouldn't worry about it and would get a life! There are greater things to worry about in this world.
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:31
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

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As it appears to be due to the new staff member, I would have a quiet word with one of the management.
Excellent piece of advice...the guy sounded like a total jerk!
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:35
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

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Unless you know the manager or owner of the café, I would suggest that you go with your instinct and let it go. There are plenty of other nice places to have a cuppa or a meal.

I bet you will quickly find a new regular place in Glarnerland.
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I wouldn't worry about it and would get a life! There are greater things to worry about in this world.
I am always surprise how people are passive when it comes to speak up for something that bother us. We got bad service, let's not talk about it, move away, change place, no big deal. The guy next door, and next door think the same too, so bad service still in place, nothing change and after we look around and are surprise to see how much bad service we get and how come it came down to that.... Simple, because people don't want to get involve, don't want to spend their time and energy to do something right, to point out the problems.

Getting a life? WTF? This is the life! This is the coffee house someone like to spend time in. In the large amount of place, this one is THE ONE. So lets bend over, lets walk away just to get a life? I find it coward and lazy attitude. The owners would certainly be very happy to know where the problems come from when they see their profits going down...

And we wonder why the community spirit disapeared... Let's not bother....
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:37
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Re: Disappointing service at my favourite cafe :-(

He obviously wasn't aware of your reputation the horrible little oik.
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