Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When going out to eat isn't fun

No, I'm not talking about food poisoning. I'm talking more about the service.

For me, going out to eat is a treat. Especially when I want to celebrate good news, a birthday or just to spend a nice evening out with friends, unwinding and catching up.

Which is why it f*cking pisses me off when that dinner is ruined by poor service, bad food, etc.

Yes, I may take this a little personally, but money was really tight when I was growing up so going out to eat was more than just a meal, it was an "experience." It was something you looked forward to and enjoyed because it didn't happen all the time.

So Friday night, after a long week at work, I got back to Wisconsin for the weekend and promptly told dad we were going out to dinner. I had not seen him in a few weeks and was looking forward to some quality time together.

Until we go to a Bar Louie location at home and...well...they ruined my meal.

First, they mess up my initial order, no biggie, I point out the mistake and change my order. Thirty minutes later it arrives, after dad has finished his meal and I've eaten most of his fries out of starvation.

Then my new meal arrives, one of my current, favorite dishes, baked mac and cheese, and it's not even baked. It's just warm. At this point, I'm starving so I just eat part of it while my dad sits and stares at me.

Oh and apparently there is a water shortage at the restaurant because I only got one glass of water with no refills (despite asking) so I had to share again with dad.

Sure, we complained and got 50 percent off the bill, but I was so mad at myself for choosing that place and that the meal was not what I was hoping for cuisine-wise and service-wise.

This is a perfect example of why I'm a bad tipper. I refuse to reward my waitress who was jiggling her boobs at the bartenders and host staff rather than be attentive. When I have good service, I'm a good tipper, great service, I'm a great tipper.

And the restaurant was barely full so crowd couldn't even be an excuse.

So now I'm still upset reflecting on this. Geez, I'm either sad or too much of a "feeler."

So f*ck you Bar Louie, you're being placed on the "on notice" board. Yes, you've prompted me to add something to that board again.

What was your worst dining experience or what irritates you the most when you go out to eat?

Reader note: Oh my gosh! I was so appreciative of everyone's posts about me jumping into the home ownership pool. Thank you so much for your great comments, I will definitely keep everyone posted on how this goes! And welcome again to new commenters too! You guys are the best :)

29 comments:

Maggie said...

Unfortunately, it's not just that Bar Louie, it's ALL Bar Louis' that have horrible staff working for them.

Sadly the food is halfway decent & reasonably priced.

I know exactly what you mean though, bad service ruins the whole dining experience. If I were you I would've left her a penny as a tip, I think it's more of a slap in the face than leaving none.

S&S said...

Def the worst when you get a bad meal when you're out with the rents. All you want is a nice, delicious dinner that mom or dad will PAY FOR. I don't think it's too much to ask! I'll join the boycott - Damn Bar Louis!

S&S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moonjava said...

I think Bar Louie's in general have bad service. I've been there once, the waiters/waitresses are like rare birds, they're pretty non-existent in some cases. We had issues with them as well.

However, I do like the food, especially the quesadilla! Yum, now if only their service matched the food!

MonkeyBusiness said...

Oh man, that stuff pisses me off too!

My friends laughed their butts off at me when we were in Vegas in December I asked for a waiter's manager and reprimanded the waiter AND the manager for the waiter being a d*ck right then and there. He had shushed us like we were 5 year olds in order to tell the specials. You would have thought we owned the place the rest of the night. But I don't spend $60 on a steak to be freaking shushed!!! Oh man, I was fiery!

insomniaclolita said...

Yes I think it's reasonable being upset. Especially if you go with your parents. I mean, I eat out a lot but it's the one with parents that I can actually really choose which places to eat without worrying that the places might be too expensive for me. It's usually the time I try new places too, so when it's bad, wooo I'll be grumpy.

Hi! I'm Erin said...

Nothing ruins a meal for me like bad service.

I remember one year on New Year's Eve we had reservations with friends for a teppan table at a Japanese steak house. I think our reservations were for 8 PM. I think we got seated around 9:30 and were barely done eating before midnight. We joked with the table next to us that we should all just order pizza to be delivered to the restaurant because everything was taking so long. It was totally ridiculous.

Mandy said...

Yeah, I'm not a fan of Bar Louie, the one in Columbus is particularly bad as well. Like you I enjoy going out to eat and expect good service. I can understand a few things here or there but a dinner like you had and all bets are off. I hope you didnt leave a tip. I am a great tipper when I get great service. However, if you cant even refill my water glass and I've asked forget it.

Maggie said...

Oh, don't waste your home time on a chain!! We're not Chicago, but we're hipper than that! If you are digging the mac n' cheese, try Cafe Hollander or Cafe Centraal. Triskele's also does a mean dish. Enjoy your next visit!!

Miss Grace said...

Suck! Boo!

Maris said...

I agree with you about dining out being an experience. If you're going out and spending money on a meal it should meet your expectations.

My tipping is determined by a few factors, I think the server's personality and attitude is just as important as their efficiency. So it goes like this:

A) Bad service + Good personality = slightly-higher-than-good-but-not-great tip
B) Bad service + Bad personality = bad Tip
C) Good service + bad personality = good tip
D) Good service + great personality = great tip

Maris said...

PS: add me to your blog roll, biatch.

Blaez said...

i am NOT someone you want to mess with when i go out to dinner. i have on many occasions asked to speak to management AND get a new waitress.

don't f*ck with my food service!!

reinventingamy said...

i worked in a restaurant for a little over 8 years and was a manager for 6.5... with saying that- i have totally different view on places. but service should never suffer. ever. (unless you're seriously being a bitchass customer who thinks the world revolves around you and yell at me and throw food at me. then i will just simply walk away.) honestly though- you should've gotten your entire meal comped. don't be afraid to speak up. big tip tho- the nicer you are, the more you'll get. i would take complaint calls and if the customer yelled at me vs. rationally explaining the situation- oops, i'd "accidentally" lose their address for coupons. but the nice people? got way more than they should've.

wontletlifedefineme said...

I had the same thing with a big birthday dinner I organised for my friends. We were told we had to go for a set menu, but I could tell them which food items couldn't be on it (for allergy reasons etc.). When we arrived it took them an hour to come up with an amuse, not even the starters, and the menu included all the food items I told them couldn't be on the menu. Oh and they only served the first course when I complained it was taking so long! It was a week day, so everyone had to work the next day and at the end of the meal they were getting quite anxious to leave but we still had to wait for the dessert. I am never going to that restaurant again, ever. Oh and most of the staff didn't even speak Dutch.. classy.

Lily said...

I *think* I've been to that restaurant, though it would've been in college a bunch of years ago...

Anyway - that sucks that the experience was ruined by poor service! I had breakfast at my FAVORITE place here in Minneapolis a few weeks ago with a friend of mine and we had a really inattentive server. She didn't smile until the very end when she handed us the bill, she forgot to bring/offer us coffee refills and she barely acknowledged anything we said while we placed our orders. SO bad!

Allison Blass said...

I definitely believe in paying for what I get. I don't usually punish the waitress for not liking my food. I don't believe that I'm tipping the waitress for the cook's job. But if the service is slow, or if she doesn't check on us, or if she forgets something, I'll go from 15% to 10% pretty easily. But if she's friendly, attentive, and everything goes smooth, I have no problem giving 15%.

I just hope waitresses actually notice when the tip is lower than it's supposed to be and work on it. Sometimes I feel like they just pocket the money and go on their merry way.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

One of my worst experiences was at a Cheesecake Factory. TERRIBLE SERVICE. Apps arrived after entrees. No drinks. And so on. My friends all agreed to leave a lousy tip. But, I actually insisted we tell the waiter where he messed up. He was so pissed at us (not ready to take the blame), but whatever. Bad service definitely equals bad tip.

lifeintheleftlane said...

I hate when that happens. It's one thing if the server is in the weeds and apologizes to you for the problems. It's another when they are just being lazy.

I went out to this Mexican restaurant for lunch with friends one day. I ordered a taco salad and it was pretty plain. I asked for a side of sour cream, and they waitress never came back to the table with it. Then it took 20 minute for her to give us the check, and she only had one another table. She was just really rude and didn't care - I tipped her $.10 and never went back again.

theeclecticconnoisseur said...

Bad service is the worst! I agree with you, going out is as much about the experience as it is about the food. Want my latest bad dining experience? Check it out:

http://theeclecticconnoisseur.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/french-market-cafe/

It was awful!

Katelin said...

ugh poor service definitely can ruin a meal. matt and i have horrible luck in that our servers always forget about us, it's sort of a running joke now,haha.

Lil' Woman said...

Big Man, Me and my friend went to Chilli's once and recievedd the worst service...besides the fact that the floor underneath our table was covered with carmel popcorn from the last diner..the girl effed up the order 3x, didn't know the answer to a simple question and took forever getting our order...there also was hardly anyone in the store...

Big Man vows he will never go to a chilis again.

Kate said...

Probably the worst service I've ever had was at Moody's Pub. We've been there several times because we like the burgers, but stopped going because the service was HORRENDOUS. Letting people cut in line to take our table, not taking our order or even bringing water for 30 minutes, bringing the wrong food and beverages, bringing the bill and never coming back to take our money (that particular server got about a 50 cent tip because we needed change in order to properly tip her). I won't ever spend my money there again.

Miss Musing said...

I'm sorry to hear about the poor service you received. What a disappointment. Like you, I have little tolerance for poor service. Ugh!

thatShortChick said...

i have extremely low tolerance for poor service/food. we (my parents and I) experienced a bad time at a cracker barrel about 3 or 4 years ago and ended up getting our meal for FREE.

however, that was also the last we have ever eaten at a cracker barrel.

Thomas said...

There was this Asian restaurant I used to go to in Houston that almost bragged about its bad service. They would post restaurant reviews that always said something like "good food, bad service."

SarahBeth said...

Every minute my water glass stays empty the tip is going down, down, down. I don't order water because I am cheap, I order it because I'm trying to be healthy. But I feel like servers hear me say I want just water and then proceed to give me crappy service in anticipation of a bad tip. Too bad for them, I actually tip well for good service.

My worst experience was at Applebee's, where I got a salad with a green bug crawling in it. They brought me a new salad, but I still had to pay for it. What?!?

Maxie said...

I'm actually really tolerant of bad service, depending on what it is.

If my meal is bad/food takes a long time/food comes out at the wrong time I don't deduct anything from the server because most likely that's not her/his fault. I deduct when it comes to demeanor, not filling up my drink, not ever checking on the table...

one thing that bugs me more than anything is when people are intolerant when a waitress is really, really busy. (i know this was not at ALL the case with you...just saying).

I think my worst experience was at a TGIF in cedar point, oh. Not to sound horrible, but our waiter was mentally handicapped to the point that he couldn't do his job. He only brought out one meal and then a half hour later brought out the rest of them cold. He never checked on us/no refills. He wouldn't split the check even though we asked before hand if he could do it. When we offered to split the check ourselves he wouldn't do that either. It was just really, really horrible. When we talked to the manager he didn't apologize AT ALL. He acted like everything was completely our fault. It was disgusting.

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