We’re not implacable, inconsolable. We, as consumerists, can be appeased. Most of the time, all we want is a sincere “We know we fucked up.” That we scream so very loud here is testament to just how endangered the species of sincere corporate apologies really is.
But Joey’s Med Grill is one of the last dodos. After truly fucking up Andrew H’s dining experience with torture-rack style chairs, limp burgers and an obnoxious Skip-style waiter, he wrote in to complain. Joey listened, sending him not one but two apologies, and showing all the customary eagerness to bring him back.
Kudos to Joey’s! Go buy a burger from them, furniture aside. Email after the jump.
Thought you might be interested in what happens when you send in an on-line feedback form…sometimes.
The two-cent synopsis of the story is this: a friend and I went out to lunch to our usual “it’s pretty good and usually reliable but not outstanding” eatery – Joey’s Med Grill ( http://www.joeysmedgrill.com/). It’s good and usually reliable AND it has hot waitresses and delicious Stella on tap. We tend to head there about once or twice a month, sit in the lounge and are usually pretty happy with the whole meal.
On this occasion, we weren’t able to eat in the lounge, but rather in the dining room. No problem, we thought: same food, same service – it’ll be fine.
It wasn’t. It was, well, spotty. After lunch, I sent the below via the online feedback form to Joey’s, not thinking I’d get a response:
Disappointing and slow service, the most painful chairs imaginable and terrible desserts characterized my recent experience at Joey’s.
Justin, while eager and “funny” (note the quotation marks indicating that no, in no commonly understood sense of the word was he remotely amusing), didn’t seem to care. I imagine that might have been because he was actually brewing our beers in addition to serving us – I can only guess that’s why it took so long to receive them.
Making the dining experience even more “fun” (note the quotation marks yet again) was the chairs. Did you consult some sort of 16th century torture device manual when you had them constructed? They are, without word of a lie, the most uncomfortable chairs I have ever seen in a restaurant. I realize that you might not want to have your guests stick around for too long – however, I would hope that you wouldn’t go so far as to try and cause them physical discomfort in an attempt to turn over tables that much faster.
Now on to the desserts, which were terrible. Justin, who seemed to have some challenges remembering the four desserts on the menu, was also unclear as to exactly what they were. Undeterred (although we should have seen this as a warning sign), we ordered the apple pie and the souffl
. Both desserts bordered on being inedible – the pie crust was underdone and tough (congratulations on achieving the impossible!) and the souffl
was cloyingly sweet and apparently filled with z-grade chocolate, perhaps even Quik chocolate syrup. (When Justin asked us how much we enjoyed our desserts, he was indifferent to our complaints.)
The entire meal wasn’t terrible – the sandwiches (burger and club) were excellent and the starter (chili chicken) was toothsome. It was the rest of the meal that was sub-par. All in all, a good meal tarnished
by a bad finish and a blas
Yeah, it’s heavy on the snark, but those chairs really pissed me off. Anyway, that day (!!) I got the following TWO responses from Joey’s management – the first from one of the managers at the restaurant we went to, the next from the head office management. Both are below (local first, head office second). Names have been changed to protect the surprisingly nice people:
First, I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your feedback letter
sent this afternoon. Your comments, although profoundly painful for me to
read – serve as invaluable feedback that leaves me genuinely disappointed
and deeply concerned with your experience.
Simply put, the service and food you received today is not only
embarrassing, but far from the kind of environment and care our guests
have come to expect, as we continuously seek to exceed their expectations
in the quality we provide.
Even as we speak – your feedback is being used as a training tool for our
team, so that they can thoroughly review and learn from this experience
Andrew, email can be such an impersonal way in which to communicate – and
I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you in more detail about not
only your experience, but what it is we can do to restore not only your
faith in us, but also, to earn your loyalty back.
Could you please provide me (mrx @joeysrestaurants.com) with a
phone-number and what time would be best for me to contact you? I would
greatly appreciate it.
Again Andrew, I look forward to speaking with you – thank-you for your
cc: Joey’s Management
Mr. X – Manager
Joeys Restaurants – Jasper Avenue
11228 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5K-2V2
Now, head office:
First off, I just want to express my sincere thanks for taking the time to send us this email. Feedback from our guests is extremely important to us and we take it very seriously. Mr. X, Manager at our Jasper Ave. location has informed me that he has already been in contact with you and is hoping to speak with you regarding your experience over the phone. I know that Mr. X and the rest of the Joeys leadership team will be addressing your valid concerns and are very eager to have you back into their restaurant for a much better experience. It is my sincerest hope that we have the opportunity to show you how much better we can be.
Again, thank you for bringing this feedback to our attention. If I can be of any assistance to you please don’t hesitate to contact me personally.
Director of Guest & Partner Relations
Joeys / OPM / Cucina Cucina
I have since talked to Mr. X, who was particularly sympathetic to my concerns. He was also quick to offer – even though I didn’t even ask – another opportunity to show myself and my friend what a good experience at Joey’s is really like. Kitchen tour, free lunch, etc. etc. etc. He was also said that they were acting on my comments – both about the chairs (seriously TERRIBLE) and the server (training tool to make him better). I was mildly surprised and pretty happy with the whole exchange. I was also a little surprised that they responded so quickly to the online feedback form.
So congrats Joey’s – I’ll go back.