Maybe it was remnants of Friday the 13th. Or some weird full moon. Or some bad karma. But my husband and I had two separate and miserable restaurant experiences within 24 hours of each other at two different, favorite, and reliable restaurants in Tacoma. We've been long time customers of both establishments and always put in a good word or a plug for each. Now they've let us down. Here's the scoop.
Restaurant number one (The Hub): my husband took my son out for dinner. The restaurant was busy, but not overwhelmingly so. To start, the server accidentally spilled an entire beer all over my son. My son was a good sport, accidents happen, and my husband's beer was on the house. Okay? Nope. The service was turtle slow after that, inattentive, and they got the wrong order to boot. Folks that sat down well over 30 minutes AFTER they arrived were eating their food. My husband had had it with the wait. He advised the manager, they took a little off the bill, but still my husband was upset. He is very good at delivering feedback, so it wasn't as if he was a jerk or anything.
Restaurant number two (Primo Grill): I took my mom out to a performance at the Pantages and we decided to dine prior. This restaurant was bustling actually, but it seemed like their were quite a number of staff members. Our server really struggled (as she seemed to be doing bartending duties as well). She didn't seem to know the menu very well nor did she really know how to mix my mom's drink (she actually asked US what it was and how to do it--we thought it was a fairly common drink). Then the food took forever (others were getting served that came in quite later than us). Our poor server seemed to be walking around in circles aimlessly (we tried to have empathy but were getting frustrated because we had a show to catch and parking to contend with). When we got our order, part of mine was inedible (like eating a tablespoon of kosher salt) and my mom got the totally wrong order. Other folks at nearby tables were having similar experiences (one had worse food luck than us--ice cold, inedible pork that was so dry you could hear it crack off the bone). My mom and I recognized one of the owners (who very warmly welcomed us at arrival). Mom decided to go share her concerns (as our server was no where to be found). I overheard my mom and she was very nice, yet gave constructive feedback. The owner scowled, didn't say a word, rung up our check, and slammed it on the table and walked away. We were SHOCKED (as were the other patrons, who too were having problems). No offer to discount the meal, no offer to make things right.
So, what gives?
The restaurant business is a tough business indeed. It always has been. Compounded by a bad economy, it's worse. But COME ON. These restaurants let my family and I down. I am sorry if it's a bad night, if there are employee issues, or whatever, but folks, you've got to step up. Tacoma has a wonderful culinary/restaurant scene, which I hate to see sullied by this terrible service.
Readers, bloggers: tell me, what would you do? How would you move forward? Share your bad restaurant experiences HERE.
Sharpen your poison pencils and let 'er rip!
P.S. Thanks to the last two comments--they made some excellent points and gave me the
guts to name the offenders. Hub, Primo, you guys are off your game. Kim