Letter from a disgruntle customer…
Today was Father’s Day. My sister and I celebrated with our dad this morning before he had to leave for work. So it was just the 2 of us for dinner and we stepped into the local Mimi’s Cafe. We had such poor service that after we got home, I wrote a letter to Mimi Cafe’s corporate office…
To whom this may concern –
I am writing in regards to my recent dining experience at a Mimi’s Cafe in my neighborhood. Rarely have my dining experiences at Mimi’s resulted in significant issues, but tonight was a particularly busy Sunday evening. Granted it was Father’s Day and like any other restaurants, they have their holiday rush. As such, a customer would assume that a restaurant would be staffed appropriately in the back and front of the house, to accommodate for the increased holiday business. However, this was not the case recently at the noted establishment.
Including my own experience, I had noticed some issues from the surrounding tables by me. Firstly, the front of the house was severely understaffed and the back of the house was completely overwhelmed. We were seated approximately 10 minutes before the hostess had to come and offer to take our drink orders. Then it took another 10 to 15 minutes before we saw our waitress who had come to take our order. Whereas the table right next to us, who were seated after us, saw their waiter before us. During this time, I was watching other tables who were already seated with drinks, waiting for their food for an extremely long time. Therefore, I asked our waitress whether the kitchen was backed up. She admitted that it was and depending on what we ordered, it would be a wait, but she ensured us that she would put in our orders immediately.
Our food came at a timely rate, which was actually delivered by the waiter to the table next to us. Less than 5 minutes when our food arrived, our waitress checked in on us. Afterwards, I never saw her again even when we were obviously finished with dinner. I had to wave our waitress down after having her pass by us two times to other tables by us.
We were seated approximately 7:20pm, a party of 2 with an order of chicken cordon bleu and veggie sandwich, and we did not leave the restaurant until a little before 9pm. This was due to mostly to our inability to find a wait staff, then our own waitress.
For future added value to your customer experiences, I would recommend that each restaurant manager appropriately schedule their staff for holiday rushes. As most of the cafés I have visited are divided into sections, make sure each staff’s responsibilities are appropriately proportioned out to each section. Additionally, I would recommend that each restaurant manager periodically have a refresher over the company policy and customer relation. Although I am not completely knowledgeable in your company’s training, a good tone at the top should trickle down to the staff level. All levels of staff and management should be able to spot out customers who are obviously distressed, frustrated, and annoyed with their experience. Even though the restaurant chain is geared towards the middle market, this does not mean customers come and expect to be ignored; or have things go badly and no one acknowledging it.
We do not expect much, but this experience has soured my image of your restaurant and will make me rethink when I visit a Mimi’s Café. I will see if my perception changes with time, yet I will never forget this night in a negative nature.