Sunday, September 27, 2009

I think I’m paying for service.

Some of you know I’m a stickler for good service when I go out for a meal.  Frankly, I chose to come to your restaurant.  I chose this one because I like the food, it’s an okay price and you will serve me. 

I will not berate or belittle a server.  That is rude.  But I will show them how I feel with my tip. 

Now, some people will always leave a tip, no matter what the service.  (I do believe I’m tipping service here, I mean, they didn’t cook the food after all.)

I do not believe this.

I believe that if I have chosen to eat out I have made the decision to pay a higher price for a meal I could make at home – and you know how I love to cook so I could probably create something preeeeetty comparable to yours. 

I have made the decision to sit with strangers while I consume said food.   (this is not ambiance by the way, this is sitting in a large dining hall, with strangers, eating your food.)

I have made the decision to overlook that I didn’t wash the dishes set before me so how do I really know they are properly clean?

I have made the decision to allow someone to wait on me.  (I don’t like it as a rule because I’m the kind of girl who would clean the house before the cleaning person got there)

I expect a polite server to come to me, wait on me in a timely manner and to make sure that I am pleased with the right things in front of me from my original order.

I expect the server to be genuine and if he or she is having a crappy evening – I have to admit this – I expect them to act like I’m the only human being on the earth. 

That’s all.

Nothing more than that.

I feel I’m paying for this experience.  Part of that payment is covering the food, the building, the manager’s attention to detail and it’s paying for you to wait on me. 

You don’t live on just tips.  There is also a wage you receive.

But, if you are amazing at your job, you will be tipped amazingly!

I’ve been a waitress.  I remember treating people politely and even having to act the part at times.  I remember being genuine.  I remember smiling!  (What a concept!)  I remember good nights and bad nights.  And, I remember the crappy tipper who I just couldn’t please!  I got over it and moved on.  (This you do in the kitchen, cloak room or bathroom.  This you do not get over by smiling to my face and rolling your eyes as you leave my table.  This you do not do.  Why?  Because I see you.  Yes.  I.  Do!)

All I’m saying is this:  treat me right, and I’ll treat you right.

Yesterday I worked all day – it was Saturday. 

When I got home I was exhausted from talking to people on the phone all day long.  My husband suggested going out for dinner.   I didn’t want anything fancy so he suggested CiCi’s Pizza Buffet.  We hadn’t tried it so thought, ‘why not?’cicis_pizzas

The service was excellent!  The food matched the price we paid: $5.49 per person, all you care to eat. 

While the food was edible it wasn’t anything fancy or even something I’d drive out of my way to get again. 

However!  The service was amazing! 

The servers yelled, “Welcome to CiCi’s"!!” from across the room when we entered the place, and yelled. “Bye now!!”" when people left.  I felt like I was leaving home and because of the great hospitality, couldn’t wait to get back again.

So, you ask, why the rant on service? 

Well, these folks didn’t serve me. 

Not one of them brought me water or served my food. 

Not one of them stopped by my table to see if I needed a refill.

It was a buffet where I served myself.

The woman who took our money when we walked in the door politely explained everything, showed us the ropes, smiled and got out of the way.  (She must have seen the hunger in our eyes.)

The gentleman walking around cleaning tables was kind and even smiled our way a few times!  He was the greeting caller to the folks who entered the place.  Nice, deep voice, perfect for the job!

The guys behind the counter kept it clean and refilled the food when it got low. 

They all laughed and joked with each other while kind of drawing the customers in too.  At one point, we were all giggling and eating pizza and just being together in the moment.

I liked it.

So did my  husband.

When leaving, we both agreed, that the food in this place isn’t the draw – it’s gotta be the service. 


Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

We have a CiCi's? I didn't think we had one of these in the MSP! : )

Jason, as himself said...

It is nice to hear stories like this, with Cici's. I once ate 18 pieces of pizza at Cici's, all in one sitting. It was not wise. I was in pain for 24 hours after.

I agree with you on the tip issue 100 percent.

And you put it in a way that I hadn't considered: Choosing to consume food with strangers. Weird.

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