Monday, October 25, 2010

Long Weekend and an Interesting Question

As if LSU's lackluster offensive performance against Auburn on Saturday wasn't enough losing for one weekend, the Saints decided to further the disappointment with an even worse effort against the Browns yesterday. Needless to say that morale will be noticeably low in the office this morning. Thankfully, a delicious vanilla shake helped soothe my suffering last night, but I'll have to wait till next weekend to satisfy my burger craving. More on that though later in the week.

But before we let you soldier on through your case of the Mondays, I'm interested to hear our readers thoughts on an often encountered service snafu. Sitting at Gott Gourmet Cafe on Saturday, I overheard this conversation between a waitress and the Kim Kardashian look-a-like seated at the table next to us:

Kim: Excuse me, I don't think is what I ordered.
Waitress: Oh, it isn't?
Kim: No, I had the vegetarian burrito with egg whites.
Waitress: (Checking her notepad) Yeah, you did. My apologies. I'll have the kitchen make that right up for you.

I thought both parties handled this unfortunate (but not uncommon) situation with professionalism and class. The waitress realized and acknowledged that either or the kitchen had made a mistake, and Kim understood that mistakes can happen. And so, Kim waited for her healthy option while her companion ate his omelette and french toast, lest his correct order be spoiled by getting cold.

And she waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, probably 15 minutes later, the waitress brought Kim her correct order. Of course, her companion had already finished his meal. The waitress, realizing that the mistake was not atoned for fast enough, graciously said that she would take the tardy delivered dish off the bill.

Here's my question: What do you do if you're the person whose order was screwed up? In my experience, such a situation disturbs the flow of a meal, for everyone at the table. Of course, every diner deserves to be given exactly what they ordered, but are there sometimes when you should just suck it up so that the other people at the table don't have to awkwardly wait for you to start eating, eat while you are waiting, or wait at the end of the meal while you eat. (Channeling my inner Abbott and Costello.)  In the grand scheme of dining, such a service woe is but a hiccup in my opinion. But pace is an important part of a meal, is it not? I guess it all depends on how quickly the mistake is reconciled.

Your thoughts?

7 comments:

The Folk Singer said...

It should be noted that "Kim" was a vegetarian and the breakfast burrito served to her was chock full of chorizo.

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Getting past Kim's "vegetarian" burrito with Egg Whites...(Food'geois Naivete)... server should have pulled both orders and served them both together fresh cooked.
Good service ain't rocket surgery.

Jane said...

I've been to Gott Gormet twice and they screwed up my order both times--a major error (completely wrong dish) the first time and a minor error (wrong side) the second time. I'm avoiding the place now because it was annoying and the food is not worth the hassle. But I handled it essentially like "Kim" did, and GG did take the wrong dish off the bill. It's annoying but sometimes happens.

termite said...

i dine out frequently in town and this certainly has happened to me before. as a matter of fact, it just occurred last week at Dante's Kitchen. i didn't want to make a big deal of the situation (there were 6 of us) and it was handled very similar to what you witnessed at G. Gourmet. that being said, had it been just myself and another person, i would have suggested they take the other plate back to the kitchen and served it when my entree arrives.
i really don't think that's being unreasonable.

Kelly said...

Longtime reader, first time poster and (:::ducking:::) a vegetarian.

So...I'm used to this exact situation happening quite often. Nothing upsets me more than the thought of those around me not being able to fully enjoy their meals while I wait for mine. I usually preface each order by confessing that I don't eat meat, and somehow things still show up riddled with bacon or beef bits.

I think the blame falls mostly on the waitstaff in this situation. Having worked in a restaurant before, I would always make sure to reiterate any special request or notes with the chef just so situations like this didn't arise. Sure mistakes slip through now and again, but how hard is it to double check before bringing the final product out to a disappointed diner?

Anonymous said...

Gott Gourmet has one of the strangest policies I've ever run into -- on the weekends, they won't allow the same table to order off both the breakfast and lunch menus. Everyone must get breakfast, or everyone must get lunch. You could order off either menu, just not both. Talked to the manager, since I thought the server must be new or something...but nope, that's the real policy.

I love their food - they'll cook a burger rare, and that cambazola cheese/fried oyster salad is to die for. But that stupid policy ruined my meal and I won't go back on the weekends.

Peter said...

Editilla,

That seems like an easy solution for a deuce, but what about a 4 top?

Jane,

I have not really had service issues at Gott Gourmet, but it seems like that particular problem is recurring. Props on taking the mistake in stride like you did.

Termite,

Sounds like you and Editilla are on the same page.

Kelly,

Vegetarians are welcome; why do you think that we are still friends with Blogge/NOLAWineGuy? You're right: It doesn't seem that difficult for orders not to be messed up, but it happens. Double checking a ticket is an obvious solution. Thanks for posting and don't be shy in the future.

Anon,

That is a really strange policy. It's not like their excuse is that the prep has already been changed. Weird.