This Is Where I Live (2)

15 Aug

August 15, 2012

This is an actual email exchange I had with the Senior Hospitality Representative of a major Italian restaurant chain. I won’t use their name, but I’ll just say that if you want to go to a pizzeria they are the numero uno place to go. Am I being too subtle? Anyway, I think the following actual and true email exchange sums up the experience nicely. And of course, I was with Saarah again. Aren’t I always? I’ve been to this place in the past many times and never had an experience like this. Today, Bay Ridge.


To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to complain about the service I received at your Bay Ridge Brooklyn [name of restaurant]. We went to your restaurant on Wednesday July 25th at about 7:30 pm. The restaurant was mostly empty yet we received very poor service. When my friend and I entered we were openly stared at by the host. Perhaps he does not like seeing an interracial couple. Although we entered together, stood with each other, and spoke together, he seemed unsure if we were really together and instead of asking simply stared at us quizzically. When I asked for a table for two, he left us to look for a table. Why? The restaurant was 90% empty. When he returned he asked us to follow him and asked me to get the menus from the podium. Isn’t that his job? As we walked to the table he inserted himself into the conversation between my friend and me. He made my female companion uncomfortable.

We were seated in the farthest corner of the restaurant. Our waitress, named C—–a, had an attitude and was rude. She slammed plates down, left them on the edge of the table instead of placing them in front of us, and would not pick up the dirty plates. Instead she put out her hand and expected us to hand them to her. We did not even get asked for drink refills until she overheard us complaining. At one point we had a problem with our order, which the manager had spoken to us about previously, and when we told her we did not like the food, she said “what do you want me to do about it?” She said it with an angry tone. When my friend told her she did not want the food, C—–a again said “what do you want me to do about it?” but this time it was openly hostile.

We were not the only table with a problem with her. We complained that is was very cold and she turned off the a/c but left the cord dangling on the bench, forcing someone at the next table to sit on the remote control. Obviously she did not bother to place the remote back where she got it, preferring to make a customer uncomfortable instead. Finally, at the end of the night, she overcharged us on the bill.

As bad as all this was, the worst part was when she brought out a tray of drinks, which contained our two drinks and four drinks for the table next to us. She put the tray down on our table- and crowded us- and served us our drinks. She then left it on our table, served the table next to us, then LEFT THE WET AND EMPTY TRAY ON OUR TABLE when she took further orders from the other group. Simply put she was lazy and rude. She did not check in to see if we needed anything until we complained. She did not take the dirty glasses from our table, just left them stacked on the edge. Even when we asked for a simple bottle of ketchup she did not bring it. She sent over a very confused man who wandered around with the bottle, unsure of what table to bring it to.

We were very disappointed and offended by our evening at the Bay Ridge Brooklyn [name of restaurant]. The service was not only poor but hostile. Even when we mercifully left, there was no one at the podium. We walked out without even a good night from the host. I can honestly say that I never before left no tip for a server. This service was so bad that I not only did not want to leave her a cent, I wanted her to tip me for putting up with her lack of professionalism. We have no intention of returning to your restaurant again.


Dear ——-,

With the treatment you received from our staff, I can totally understand why you would not want to return.  I can offer no excuses for the rudeness and lack of professionalism from our staff.  Only my most sincere apology.

Please know we do not want to lose you as a customer.

Your experience will be shared with our General Manager and Regional Director.  I would very much like to personally apologize, learn more about the food problems you had, and to try and talk you into giving us another chance.  I can assure you that this is not typical of the service we provide.

Hoping you will give me a call.

K—– B——
Senior Hospitality Representative
Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30 EST


Thank you K—– but I am really not interested in discussing this further. I think my email covered most of it. I wonder if the staff was trying far too hard to be “fun” instead of “professional,” as judged by the fact that C—–a the waitress insisted on giving me a high five during the ordering process and the host was far too busy getting involved in our conversation to bother to pick up a menu. Remember- he asked me to get them from the podium.

The food was the least of the problems. My friend wanted to change the sauce on a particular dish and the manager advised her on some options and gave her the choice to send it back if she didn’t like the dish with the alternate sauce. The manager was the only one to display any courtesy or real interest in customer service.

If one thing stands out from this whole experience, it is C—–a leaving a large, wet, empty tray on our table while she took another table’s order. Bear in mind, the restaurant was almost empty and there were two empty tables within arm’s length she could have put it on. That one incident shows her laziness and blatant disregard for us.

I doubt anything you could tell me would change my mind about returning; although I am interested to find out what (if any) repercussions there are for C—–a and the host.



Dear —–,

Your first email had been shared with the Regional Director and the General Manager of the restaurant. I have heard back from both. Concerned about your experience and the actions of their staff. Adding this additional information will add to how disappointed they are with their staff and how they performed.

The General Manager asked for your email address, name and phone number in the hope that she could personally apologize and assure you that proper steps are taken to improve the service that they give.

I do not like to provide this information without asking if it is OK with you.

I can assure you that appropriate action will be taken–from training to making sure there is an understanding of what is appropriate behavior and how to present themselves professionally.

Would you mind if I gave the General Manager your email address?

K—– B——
Senior Hospitality Representative
Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30 EST


While I appreciate that they want to apologize and discuss the matter, I feel that the matter is closed. Thanks for your efforts but I’d prefer that you didn’t give out my email.

John Cleese got better service in the Dead Parrot sketch.

11 Responses to “This Is Where I Live (2)”

  1. John August 15, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    I liked that restaurant before they lost “Pizzeria” in their name and took down all of the memorabilia that graced the walls from the day it opened…and turned it into just another bland psuedo-italian restaurant. My wife and I were there on the first day of the re-opening and told the manager that we were underwhelmed by the new menu and the new vibe and she said they were all getting used to it but asked us to give it a chance. Went back a month later and had a similar experience as you and felt like our presence was a bother to the waitress. I never wrote to them or spoke to the manager to complain but we haven’t been back since and really feel no desire to go back.


    • bmj2k August 15, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      I didn’t like the menu either, too thick like a book and not easily laid out. This was my first time since the renovation and I thought it was boring.


  2. zathra August 15, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    Just be glad that it wasn’t a walk – in clinic or E.R. !!


  3. Thomas Stazyk August 15, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    I’m glad you raised the issue of bad service to the level that it might get someone’s attention. Too many people ignore it.

    I would probably have played along with them and maybe gotten a few freebies.


    • bmj2k August 15, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      Saarah has raised the issue of complaining about bad service to an art form.


      • zathra August 15, 2012 at 10:34 am #

        Complaining about bad service / poor service is an exercise in passive – aggresiveness. I usually leave a dollar or less, a handwritten note, & boycott the place for 2 – 3 weeks to a month. & if I do pass by a place that has given me bad / poor service, I sometimes flip them off. I think Gandhi would approve…..


        • bmj2k August 15, 2012 at 11:02 am #

          My problem, with the note is that the server may just toss ot put and management will never know about the problem.

          BTW: They sent me a 25% off coupon which I don’t intend to use.


          • zathra August 15, 2012 at 11:05 am #

            I usually leave my notes attached to fake plastic hand grenades or fake severed index fingers, or maybe faux shrunken heads….. 😉


            • bmj2k August 15, 2012 at 11:19 am #

              That’ll get some attention!


              • zathra August 15, 2012 at 11:29 am #

                Ah. That explains the FBI & ATF people shadowing me…..


  4. pennycoho August 16, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    Still laughing…..


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