How To: Deal with Negative Restaurant Experiences
This is partially a tool to help you write emails to companies that have wronged you and partially a rant on a recent customer service experience. Take it with a grain of salt. It can be used at restaurants as well as other venues.
A good way to improve your customer experience is by dropping a note to the company itself to express your concerns. It should explain the experience and how it affected you. Also, don't just write about bad experiences- write about the good ones too. For instance, the people at Nomad Tibetan Restaurant are ON POINT.
Here's my experience with a deep dish pizza joint. Let's call this pizza place "Gregory's". This note might be particularly impassioned- if you write a review MAYBE tone it down a little.
I was at the Pleasant Hill location last week and I had the WORST experience.
I make my usual order of a vegan pizza with no daiya (fake cheese). I also request (as I always do) that they fill the pie to the top with sauce. Usually when you get no cheese, they give you much less sauce, in which case you're just better off eating bread.
While we waited for our pizza, we had a couple beers ($11). The cost of this is important later.
Once it's finally ready, we go up to the register to pay ($33 pizza +$11 beers) and get this litany...
Cashier: Excuse me. I wanted to makes sure you knew that next time you order, you'll be charged for the the sauce as an extra topping.
Me: I don't want extra sauce- I just want my pizza to be filled to the top- otherwise I'm just buying bread.
Cashier: You know the managers [lists names of managers]. They told you before.
Excellent. I'm on a shit list.
Me: I just spent $40 here - isn't it a bit petty to ask for $3? I can give you $3...
Cashier: We make a premium product. And I want you to know for next time - if the price is different- it's because of the extra sauce.
No, I do not know the managers, and no I've not been told before. How can she insinuate that? It was very rude.
I come here once or twice a month and spend about $50. You're asking for $3? She can see in your system that I request the pie to be filled to the top- but she didn't look at how often I came.
It doesn't really matter how good the product was if the customer service is poor. (Sidenote: The mark-up on this pizza should COVER having a good customer service experience- refer to my Yelp post for more information.)
I don't appreciated being scolded (when I haven't done anything wrong), nor do I like the feeling of being nickled and dimed.
The pizza is always great, the customer experience was not. I don't think I'll return. Just wanted inform you. Hopefully this will be used towards making the experience better for others.
Low and behold, the manager emailed back asking to talk more about the experience. Generally management cares if you have a bad experience. If you liked this post, make sure to check out How to Send Food Back (politely).
Here's the follow-up to this situation.