Reader Wormfather had an unsatisfactory Red Lobster experience with waiters joking about “diarrhea” and wanting “hot” customers, but after mentioning it to the manager, the couple left with satisfaction and smiles on their faces. His story, inside…
Yesterday my fiancée and I were out and about with a lot to do in preparation of the upcoming wedding, our travels finished in Westchester County, NY. It was getting late and we were starving, we thought seafood would be great and we were close to a Red Lobster (yes, I know, I know) so we decided that we’d zip in for dinner.
Once inside we learned that there was a 25-minute wait, that was out of the question as it was already closing in on 9PM. With that said we decided to sit at the bar area that had no wait. It took a couple of minutes to get our food ordered which was fine and to be expected, hey, they were busy. Well we order our dishes, receive our drinks and then waited 20 minutes for our appetizer, after those aforementioned 20 minutes our entrées show up and we asked the server what happened to our appetizer he apologized and offered to go see, we decided that we’d skip it, finish eat our dinner and head home.
Now all throughout our meal there were waiters going back and forth between the kitchen, the bar and their respective tables, all the while they were cracking jokes to the likes of “Why cant I get a hot customer” and another waiter complaining about the fact that their table came $15 short of the required amount for a automatic tip to be added, both situations I can sympathize with. However as I was halfway through with my meal, two waiters passed by and were audibly joking about diarrhea, well enough was enough and my appetite was finished. A few minutes later I saw the Service Manager passing by and explained to him the situation regarding our appetizers and the professionalism of the waiters. The manager asked me if there was anything he could do, I told him that there was nothing (I know, we should have had a clear request of some sort), we were just grossed out and wanted to let him know what was going on. He apologized and then his eyes caught on fire, he started pointing at waiters and directing them to the back, we overheard a waiter say “All wait staff meeting in the kitchen and at this point my fiancée and I were satisfied, the manager was addressing the situation. We waited for the waiter to comeback and asked for the check and gave him the credit card. A few minutes later the manager emerged with my credit card and informed me that he was buying our dinner tonight, he explained that he was very embarrassed by the situation and had reminded his staff that they are always on stage and that nothing comes before the customer.
Needless to say we left with a smile on our face and despite my fiancée’s concerns about a potential retaliation from the staff, we’ll be back to the Scarsdale Red Lobster next time we’re in the area.
And that’s why it’s always a good idea to speak up.
(Photo: Simon Goldenberg)