What makes someone special is their attitude

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My daughter Emma got a bonus at work today, she came round to my place after work and suggested that she take me and my younger daughter out for dinner to celebrate. We decided after some discussion to go to our local Jamie’s Italian restaurant as we all really enjoy going there and as it is quite expensive, it’s a bit of a treat.

We made our way down there on the bus and entered the restaurant. This is what happened next:

We stopped and waited behind a lady who was standing in the entrance.

The Maître d’ walked towards us and said “are you all together?”

I said yes thinking he meant the three of us.

My daughter pointed out there was a lady in front of us, and that he might think that I might have meant that she was with us. I said to him “Its just the three of us”

He said in a condescending tone “Yes, I was speaking to her, and now im speaking to you”.

I said “Why are you speaking to me in a condescending tone?”

He said, again in a condescending tone “No. I’m explaining to you that I had already spoken to this lady”.

I said “That’s not how you speak to customers.”

He denied that he had been condescending, and then ignored me, fiddling around with menus at the front table.

I said we are going elsewhere to eat, I asked his name and said I was going to make a complaint.

He told me his name.

I thanked him, we left and went to a restaurant over the road from Jamie’s Italian which was considerably cheaper and where we were greeted with a smile, and received friendly service all evening.

What a shame. We really loved Jamie’s until this evening.

It made me laugh when I saw this their website:

            Positive, friendly, genuine, team-focused are characteristics that will impress us. We’ll always be looking for superstars at Jamie’s Italian – at every level. To us, what makes someone special is their attitude.

I completely agree. I’ve sent in a complaint through their website, let’s see if anything happens….

UPDATE 19TH APRIL 2013

Had a really nice reply from the manager of the restaurant in question. Great, appropriate response. Thank you very much Jamie’s we will be coming back to see you soon 🙂

Dear Sue Black

 Firstly, I would like to thank you for your feedback. We take all customer complaints very seriously here and use them to constantly improve and develop where we can.

I would like to sincerely apologize about the greeting which you received last night whilst arriving at our restaurant, I was on shift at the time and the Host with whom you had spoken to did come to find me and let me know of what had happened.

When he repeated what he had said, I too could see how someone may take offence to such a response, and I have dealt with the matter with him as I deemed it to be unprofessional and completely against Jamie’s ethos.

Being a returning customer, you must appreciate that the experience of our guests is the core on which we focus the entire meal around and I am a firm believer that this should start the moment our guests walk through the door.

I truly feel terrible that Jamie’s Italian was represented in such an appalling manner and would love to have the opportunity to redeem ourselves.

As my way of an apology, I would love to invite you back to Jamie’s Italian Kingston, whereby I shall cover the costs of a bottle of Jamie’s Prosecco and your main meals.

I honestly hope this incident hasn’t damaged your opinion of us, and not discouraged you from visiting again.

Please feel free to book a table with myself, and leave the rest to us.

 Warm regards

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4 comments

  1. There’s a growing list of restaurants that my wife and I now avoid (or at least only visit in the absence of an equivalent alternative) entirely due to instances of poor customer service such as this.

    It’s really obviously bad business to have even one member of staff who’s not up to it. Usually it’s a lack of attention and general helpfulness, but it sounds like the guy you encountered was being actively rude!

  2. If you don’t make a complaint, they don’t know about your dissatisfaction and they don’t get an opportunity to put things right – well done we need to give voice to our dissatisfaction more often.

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