I love date night. The problem is, couples all over the world go on date night far to infrequently.
My last date night was totally impromptu. My wife and I saw about a two hour window and we jumped at the opportunity. We were riding in the car trying to decide where we would spend our date night. Usually she picks. If you want her to be happy, either you let her pick or you pick one of her favorites(note to the newly dating). This time however, I picked the location. She actually was excited to go to one of my old college hangouts.
Honestly, our date took us to a place where I have always received below average service. When I was in college all I cared about was cheap food. Customer service was definitely not #1 on my list of how to make dinner decisions. That being said, this American grill has awesome wings and great salads. I’ve been frequenting this place for 15+ years. So we get in and seated fairly quickly. The really cool thing is that we actually got seated by a hostess. Back in the day you would have to brave the crowd on your own. Finding some group of people that maybe had two extra seats and were so kind as to let you share the table. So being seated by the hostess was very convenient and hassle free. We ordered very quickly and got our food even quicker.
The food was delicious! Our waitress came by regularly to check on us even. This date night is going very well until………… A LIVE SPIDER! In my celery. Unbelievable! As you could imagine, I was surprised to say the least. Not to mention, I was more than halfway done eating the celery. I love celery. So I, very calmly, told my wife while I corralled the spider in the bowl. She immediately got the attention of our waitress. When she got over to the table I handed the bowl to her and explained there was a live spider in my bowl. She really didn’t seem shocked or disgusted, which I thought was kind of strange. She killed the spider (I could have done that); however, I wanted her to verify it was ALIVE! Her first response was “Did you want me to replace the celery?” That is a funny question to ask when a live spider walks out from under your food on your plate. I told her that would not be necessary. She apologized for the inconvenience and left the table.
You would think that a manager would be notified of the situation and would then at least visit the table and give a formal apology. If I managed a restaurant, I would want to know if something like this happened. However, a manager never came to the table. Our waitress came back with some fresh celery and assured me that she washed it herself. I thanked her. Knowing that the unexpected guest was not at all her fault, we left her a 15% tip for her service.
Now you tell me, should I have made a stink about the whole thing or did I handle it well? I thought that I was very patient and handled it very well. I just wish that employees were empowered to make the right decisions on their own; and if not, people in the service industry in general should want to ensure that issues are reported to management. I don’t even know if a manager was made aware. Maybe they were and just didn’t care. I can’t believe that I just wrote that. I have patronized this restuarant for years and will probably still give them my business. Should I?