I wrote this immediately after we returned to our hotel after one of the worst restaurant experiences of my life. Enjoy the dumpster fire.
To: restaurant info email
Subject: Execrable Treatment
Dear Sir or Ma’am,
I’ve been in our industry for over twenty years, but rarely in my career (as a busboy, server, bartender, manager, general manager, or owner) have I experienced such shocking treatment as I did tonight as a guest in your restaurant.
My family and I dined on the deck upstairs as a 5-top, and sat around 7:00 towards the host stand and stairs. Hailey tried her best, and was friendly, but judging from obvious lags in the flow of service, it was quite obvious she was in the weeds. I well remember my days as a server being over his head, so I was (and generally am) willing to make an allowance for that.
The truly puzzling part of the meal came at the end. My son and mother-in-law left to walk along the beach. My son was holding the virgin strawberry colada I had ordered for him at the beginning of the meal. The female Asian hostess chased my mother-in-law down, said he couldn’t take his drink because of liability issues, in a hostile tone that made my son uncomfortable. This was more puzzling, since any liability issues usually stem from alcoholic beverages leaving the premises – but where is the risk of a seven year old smuggling a virgin drink in a plastic cup to the beach? I had to later reassure him my son that he hadn’t done anything wrong, since he isn’t used to strangers scolding him.
My wife asked if this was your policy, since we hadn’t had an issue with this at other establishments in Newport and Narraganset during our visit. The hostess’s dismissive response, since engaging with my wife seemed to be a nuisance: “Well, I don’t know, I guess so.” Nowhere in my experience is this an acceptable reply to a guest. My wife brought this to Diana’s attention, not to get something comped off our bill, but because my wife was flabbergasted by the hostess’s treatment. Even while my wife was speaking with Diana, I could see the hostess rolling her eyes. Really?
I enjoy writing notes like this as much as I assume you enjoy reading them, which isn’t very much. Diana sat with my wife, heard her out, and was our one professional interaction of the evening. I can’t sing her praises enough. It could have just been a long or bad day for this hostess, but nothing excuses such behavior. If not for Diana, the entire night would have been ruined.
Thank you for your time.