Frustrating end to a fixed guest complaint.

We messed up. We made it right. The guest was ecstatic. And then she tipped my server $4.00 on a comped bill ($80 bill plus a cake we bought for her husband). Here’s the exchange for your amusement. What is wrong with people! I know I have to take the good with the bad, but sometimes you have to vent as an owner. Better to you all than to my guests :slight_smile:


Patrick
Our dinner was absolutely wonderful this evening. Ashley was fantastic! No wonder why she is your best server! Everyone enjoyed the meal and she was so thoughtful to pick up a small birthday cake for my husband. That was awesome!! Almost made me tear up! Thank you for the meal tonight, it was most appreciated. We will definitely return many more times. And please give Ashley our thanks for her hard work tonight. Thank you very much
Curtis and Heather BXXXX

On Jul 1, 2014 5:16 PM, “Heather BXXX” <bXXXfamily4@gmail.com> wrote:
Wonderful. Sounds good

On Jul 1, 2014 5:16 PM, “Patrick Cuezze” <patrick@nextdoorpizza.com> wrote:
By the way, Ashley will be taking care of you. She’s our best server and is about to become something quite a bit more important to Next Door Pizza so I hope your experience is perfect!

Thanks,

Patrick
On Jul 1, 2014, at 3:18 PM, Heather Bxxx <bxxxfamily4@gmail.com> wrote:

Thank you so much for responding. It was very nice of you. Sure, we would love to come back and give you guys another shot. Thank you very much for offering us a free meal we appreciate it very much. How about tomorrow evening around 5:30 or 6
Do we need to tell them anything in particular when we order? We look forward to coming tomorrow night. Thank you
Heather Bxxx

On Jun 30, 2014 10:37 PM, “Patrick Cuezze” <patrick@nextdoorpizza.com> wrote:
Heather,

I’m very sorry for your bad experience last week and want to thank you for taking the time to write us. Many times people have a bad experience at the restaurant and never come back, so we are very grateful you gave us an opportunity to make it right with you. I did not arrive at the restaurant on Monday until late (about 8:30) so i do not know the particulars of your experience that evening. Obviously, nothing that happened at your husband’s birthday dinner was acceptable to us and is certainly not how we intend to treat people who spend their money with us. I certainly understand if you never returned to Next Door Pizza. However, I do hope you’ll give us a second chance. I’d like to treat you and your husband to a second birthday meal - 100% on me. Just let us know the date you’re coming in and I promise to have our best staff handle your table and insure you and your kids have a perfect experience.

We always try to be perfect. Sometimes we fail. We hope you give us another shot. But, whatever your decision, to return or not, thank you for taking the time to write us and let us know what we needed to hear.

Sincerely,

Patrick Cuezze
Owner - Next Door Pizza
816-699-2587

On Jun 30, 2014, at 2:48 PM, Heather Bxxx <bxxxlfamily4@gmail.com> wrote:

From: Heather Bxxx <bxxxfamily4@gmail.com>
Subject: Bad experience :frowning:

Message Body:
Hello, I just wanted to touch base with you on a bad experience we had last Monday night June 23. We tried to eat late on the Sunday night before but you had closed early for a reason. So we came back Monday night. We were celebrating my husband’s birthday and came specifically for kids eat free night. My kids absolutely enjoy making their own pizzas when we come there. We are very regular patrons there. Our server (female young with a long ponytail) didn’t catch her name. Didn’t offer my kids the opportunity to make a pizza although she offered the kids at the table by us. My kids wanted to do it. So we asked her if it was kids eat free night. She stated she wasn’t sure, she asked your neighbor friend she said. So she finally figures it out and asks the kids what kind they wanted. One kid wanted cheese, one wanted pepperoni. She was gone forever. Finally had to go ask your neighbor friend what the issue was. She took it upon herself to just have the kids pizzas made for them. My kids were so upset that they didn’t get to make their own pizza. She stated she didn’t know the kids wanted to do it themselves. Why wouldn’t they.? By this point we were so frustrated with her we about got up and left. My kids were crying and upset and it pretty much ruined my husband’s birthday dinner. By the time she came back out and brought our pizza it was cold, she wouldn’t come back to refill our drinks at all. We have never ever had a bad experience there. But very frustrating and disappointing this time. Thank you for your time.

…sometimes you have to vent as an owner. Better to you all than to my guests

Are you sure you didn’t just vent to your guests too? You posted this on a public message board, with your Google-able full name, restaurant name, and city in the post. If the customer finds this, you’ve just made an enemy of her again. If I were the customer I also wouldn’t like my e-mails being posted for public consumption.

If I Google your name and restaurant name this post is now on the first page of the results.

I completely understand your frustration, but my advice, and take it for what you will, is to wipe this post out. I think when you include your restaurant name in your PMQ posts you lose the ability to “vent” and not have the risk of it coming back to bite you.

In the customers defense, How much do you tip on a free meal? Yeah, we know to tip as if you paid for it, but for a customer who has never been in that situation before, it’s an understandable mistake…

Agreed and also this part of the message to the customer is just wrong: “Many times people have a bad experience at the restaurant and never come back, so we are very grateful you gave us an opportunity to make it right with you.”
I know what you’re trying to say, but it surely came off wrong.

Also, tip issues happen on nearly every shift. You’re the owner. Set an example and explain to your servers that sometimes it happens, but in the end it all balances out. Otherwise, before you know it, your servers will be your worst nightmare. If it bothers you that much, tip Ashley out of your pocket for helping you make up for a mistake of another server and making it right. Tipping on free meals has always been 50/50 in my experiences.