Thursday, December 30, 2010

How not to Get a Good Tip

Just returned from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Beautiful time of year with the snow and Christmas lights still up. However, our stay kinda got off to a sour start at the newer Cracker Barrel on the lower end of town. Here is how our visit went. I was hungry and looking forward to a good, hot Cracker Barrel Bacon/Cheeseburger, we stopped at the Cracker Barrel that is just below Wears Valley Road and was real close to our Motel. Upon arrival at the restaurant, I walked up to the hostess podium and waited for the hostess. After a brief wait at the podium a hostess walked up and instead of a courteous greeting, blurted out two words, " how many." Then,, if I remember right, the next word I heard was something to the effect, "ready", I may not be exactly right on the words used but the point is that the hostess was not personable at all and was speaking in one or two word phrases. After putting the silverware down I think I heard her say have a nice day or enjoy your meal or something to that effect. The non-personable attitude of the hostess set a bad tone for the dining experience.

Part Two- The Service
Our server came to our table and was somewhat friendly and we were alright with the service up until there was delay on recieving our salads. When I order a salad, I like to get the salad a good bit of time ahead of the entree so I can eat it before the entree arrives. It took several minutes for the salad to arrive, which probably was not the servers fault but probably something wrong in the back of the house, an issue Cracker Barrel needs to work on. We finally got our salad and I was able to eat most of it before the entree arrived, my burger and fries had to sit for a few minutes while I finished my salad.

Missed Items on Order
The food was brought out by a different server, with a few things missing, no mayonnaise for the burger, a side of slaw left off, and my wife's steak was overcooked. I had the server who brought the food to bring me some mayo, but my wife was never checked back on for her steak, so she ate it anyways. Our server finally came by and refilled our drinks but my wife had by that time relented to eating her overcooked steak.

Bad Finish
Here is where the service got bad. I was half way through my burger, almost out of tea when our server gave us our check. No offer to refill my drink, no offer for desert, just a have a nice day. The server might as well have thrown in, "Don't get choked on the rest of your burger and fries." I managed to get the burger down with the ice in my glass. My wife sat across the table from me with an empty glass, while our server went MIA. My wife finally asked another server if they would get our server to bring more tea, we were through eating and my wife was disgusted and angry before the server returned. As I walked to the cash stand to pay I had the manager get me a to-go drink to wash my food down. We complained at the register and the manager did take the drinks off the bill.

Now this was not the worst service I have received and it did not totally destroy my day, but I work as a waiter and tip very well and like to be served well. My wife is a waitress and she expects to be served well. There is no excuse for this type of service.

P.S. This is not the first time that we have not been happy with the service at this Cracker Barrel. We had another experience earlier this year that was kinda sour. It is not that we are nit-picky people, but we are servers and know how to take care of guests and we know when servers are not taking care of a guest as they should.

No comments: