You may be wondering where this small rant is stemming from. Well, it has been building up for quite some time but a recent incident really sent me over the top.
HOW IMPORTANT IS SERVICE?
To begin, I worked in catering for four years. I waited tables. I worked in fast food. I worked behind the line at a Subway. You name it in the food service industry, I’ve probably done it. That being said, I know I get irritated with workers at restaurants at times because, although their job can be trying, it is their job and they should do it well.
Last week I headed out to my favorite Chinese restaurant with my grandmother (a spot we usually meet). Usually the servers are friendly, we get the food quickly and it is always a great experience. This time, though, we were ignored for the first 20 minutes we were in the restaurant. The food took longer and the waitress was practically pushing us out the door. It sounds dramatic but I wasn’t really able to enjoy my lunch because the service just wasn’t up to par.
I could have saved a ton of money by simply making some lo mein or stir fry at home but I chose to give them my business. Because their service was so poor though, I may not return. Not everyone is like me though. Some people don’t have to have their water filled, checked on or even get their order placed (it was seriously that bad) but I definitely got an idea of what it must feel like to not want to leave your server a tip.
Next to quality, I think that service is the most important part of going out. Think about it would you be happy at a five-star restaurant if your server completely ignored you while you were there? Probably not. So why should any other restaurant or dining experience be different?
BUSINESS OWNERS SHOULD BE CONCERNED
From a consumer standpoint, service is extremely important. If I owned the restaurant I would be even more concerned though. Exemplary customer service, next to quality products, are one of the top sought-after checklist items for any loyal customer. Without return customers many businesses (especially restaurants) would go under.
So, what do you think? How important is service when you go out? Have you ever stiffed someone on the tip because of poor service?