HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >

Discussion

What's with the hostility at the uptown Juan's?

  • l
  • Lilac Feb 10, 2005 08:50 PM
  • 24
  • Share

I think Juan's Flying Burrito has great Tex Mex, but the staff at their uptown locaton seems to go out of their way to be unfriendly. One tortured-soul server actually rolled his eyes in disdain at a silly joke my friend cracked tonight - right in front of us!

Later, we practically had to beg for our $12 change back - and they still took over 5 minutes even after this request, a request that was made because they held my money for 10 minutes and were not at all busy. I was starting to wonder if they were going to rob me of my $12, a totally unrealistic tip on our $28 tab, particularly given the monosyllabic, "hipper than thou" and, to top it off, slow servers.

I suspect the pooled tip system there encourages this dramady. Yet I don't find this to be true of the mid-city Juan's, which I'm pretty sure runs on the same system.

I've worked as a server before and know how difficult people can be - but someone needs to clue this staff in to the fact that pretentia and rudeness make their working experience worse, not better. I've dealt with the 'tude there numerous, numerous times. So, I'll be going to the mid-city location from now on, which is unfortunate because I live only blocks away from the uptown Juan's.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Hostility at Juans? He he he, At least I'm not the only one! The servers there are just pathetic losers with no ambition or initiative. I can't figure out their service system, but one person will greet you, another will take the order, the first person may bring your drinks, etc., but you can't get good service to save your life in that place. They are horrible!

    I had a bad experience a few weeks ago with some take-out. The girl at the counter "stole" my $ .65 in change and put it in her tip jar. I was a bit confused and dumfounded, but I withheld the money I usually tip on takeout ($2-$3). I posted the story on another board, but here is a re-play:

    --Begin Quote--

    "I called in an order to a place on Magazine st., we'll just call it ABC and arrived 20 minutes later to pick it up. I always tip on takeout, usually a couple of dollars or more, but I made an exception this time.

    The total for my order was $12.35 and I handed the cute little bohemian girl behind the counter a twenty. She gave all my change to me in the form of bills, I kinda assumed it was a five and three ones. I then saw her dig into a little change jar and transfer change into the register and remove a one dollar bill. I'm a pretty perceptive guy, so I was watching every move. I wasn't sure if she was making up the 65 cents that she didn't take from me, but it turns out she was adding 35 cents and taking the dollar for her tip jar. She only gave me back $7, so she shorted me 65 cents.

    Ok, so no big deal. Unfortunately the losers (just my opinion, from many experiences there) that work at ABC will probably not amount to much, so I guess 65 cents was a good steal for them. They would've gotten at least 2 bucks from me, but she was a dingbat anyway.

    I didn't want to mention the name of the particular burrito joint, only because I'll probably write a letter to the owner. Oh, and if you work at ABC, you'll never get a tip from me for takeout. You can GFY. "
    -- end quote --

    Bottom line, don't expect a whole lot of service at Juan's, even on takeout. Hell, my order was sitting there for at least two minutes as I stood there watching her talk and flirt with another customer. What can you do?

    Kevin

    Link: http://www.nolafoodie.com

    6 Replies
    1. re: UptownKevin

      Ah, so they were trying to rob me.

      I will be happy to send a letter to the owner along with your own. And I can think of at least five others off the top of my head who would be happy to contribute, too.

      L

      1. re: L

        guys, there are just too many good alternatives in the city to spend this much emotional eneergy b**ching and moaning about one particular place.

        Vote with your feet

        1. re: Peter

          Yeah, and I find it to be pretty poor food anyway.

          1. re: Spencer

            What I've noticed mainly about Juan's is that the service is awfully slow and the premises not very clean. Food is decent but not special. They also seem to be a bit slow on the uptake.

            I agree that it's silly to continue to bother with a restaurant where the loser bohemian help tries to cheat you out of your change. A letter to management could get some action, presuming that the management themselves aren't loser bohemian culprits, as him or they could well be, but then what? If they fire the loser bohemian culprits who tried to cheat people what'll happen? Those loser bohemian culprits who get fired will get jobs at other, similiar places and a new set of loser bohemian culprits will get hired at Juan's, probably with the same mentality, etc. so it'll be a new, different loser bohemian culprit trying to cheat you the next time.

            Why troll in goth or rasta waters? My unsolicited advice is to drop the place except when you're desperate and it's convenient.

            1. re: Amanda

              Good Point about the help getting fired and going to work somewhere else. I think it's better to leave them where they are!

              Also, I do realize it's pointless to continue bitching about the service. I highly doubt that a few letters would make a difference. I did write that post a while back on the FoodFest board and let it go; then the topic came up here. I guess my primary point was to "be on the defensive" if you decide to eat there.

              I'll never dine there again, but I know I'll get take out from there in the future. That Flying burrito with the steak, chicken and shrimp.... sometimes I crave the damn thing. Oh well, buyer beware :)

              Kevin

              Link: http://www.nolafoodie.com

        2. re: L

          Good luck. The owners could care less,they're the ones that hired these losers!

          DOn't even get started on how bad the food is.

      2. I have to say I'm surprised at all the hostility towards Juans. I've eaten there about once a month for the past seven years (including the Lower Garden District location), and I have never encountered any rudeness or dishonesty. Sure the employees are offbeat, but so what? Why call them losers? If you've been cheated, I can understand griping about a particular employee, but some of the posters on this board seem to be seething with hate for the place in general. My experience has always been that the service is just a little laid back.

        1. Yea, that has happened to me here and there at Juans also. Just like at Chessecake Bistro on St. Charles I have never, out of 3 times going and 3 times ordering take out have had a order placed right. And the last 2 take out times they totally forgot my order... I only went the 3rd time for take out because the 2nd time I talked to the manager and he gave us a free meal. Then I spoken to him when I ordered the 3rd meal. And when I got to the resturant to pick it up and the order was wrong....

          -JAY

          1. f
            first time post

            I have to second batterdip. There is nothing wrong with the intial post - someone had a bad experience at a restaraunt and posted on it. But what is with the blanket attacks on the waitstaff (as batterdip pointed out)? While some of you claim to have had similar experiences, some of you appear to be attacking the place based only on the appearance of the staff. Do you even know what the word "bohemian" means? You all use it like it's a pejorative term when it is not. From reading what some of you said, I think the place just made you feel "uncool" so your response was to attack and belittle the people there -- a natural human response (if not an ugly one). My personal experiences at Juan's (I eat there about once a month) have been fine. I think the staff is laid back and that the service matches the prices. For an inexpensive burrito, I think it is hard to find a better one in NOLA.

            1 Reply
            1. re: first time post

              I have gone to juans since they opened in 1997. the food has always been great. i presume that those who complain constantly probably never even ventured into the neighborhood in the beginning because the neighborhood was bad.....but it was extremely "bohemian" and cool back then....it was actually put in the new york times as one of the coolest places to live and it is rated highly in the ZAGAT, which may have brought you there in the first place. the people that work there are just trying to make a living...so dont invade their territory and insult them....just eat the food and you'll love it! If you've never eaten there, then truly try it for yourself. Don't take my word for it. It may be just what you've been looking for - a restaurant that is extremely inexpensive, has a rockin' atmosphere (I saw Billy Gibbins from ZZTop in there once!) , and great food. If you don't love it then just go somewhere else...its that simple!

            2. 1) re: the suggestion that we stop bitching....I guess that would make this website obsolete, and I think it serves a good purpose (informing consumers and holding the food service industry accountable)
              2) the first response made it sound as if, by complaining about poor service,the individual who initiated this discussion was somehow attacking a particular lifestyle or physcial appearance...not the case
              3) Being a "bohemian" does not justify or explain unfriendly, dishonest, and overall poor service
              4) Attn: Juans' employees: If it is so painful for you all to provide service to the general public and interact with "non-bohemians", get out of the food service industry
              p.s. I have been in the food service industry for 5 yrs., but I have no empathy for the Juan's crew

              3 Replies
              1. re: Marie

                If you check the posting times and dates, all of the attacks on the waitstaff occurred before anyone questioned them. Below are excerpts from theses posts:

                "The servers there are just pathetic losers with no ambition or initiative."

                "Unfortunately the losers (just my opinion, from many experiences there) that work at ABC will probably not amount to much"

                "The owners could care less,they're the ones that hired these losers!

                the loser bohemian help"

                "presuming that the management themselves aren't loser bohemian culprits"

                "If they fire the loser bohemian culprits who tried to cheat people what'll happen? Those loser bohemian culprits who get fired will get jobs at other, similiar places and a new set of loser bohemian culprits will get hired at Juan's, probably with the same mentality, etc. so it'll be a new, different loser bohemian culprit trying to cheat you the next time."

                "Why troll in goth or rasta waters? My unsolicited advice is to drop the place except when you're desperate and it's convenient."

                apparently, some folks just don't like "hipsters". They may be rather silly, but that's hardly a reason to hate them as a group.

                1. re: batterdip

                  I was trying to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek...
                  I failed. Sun rises in morning. Sorry.

                  1. re: Amanda

                    First restaurant I ever went to where, when we returned the opened beer because the server brought the wrong kind, she turned around and guzzled it down without batting an eye! That said, I love the grilled shrimp and bacon quesadilla when it's done just right.

              2. Try the Juan's on Carrollton. Much cleaner, and the staff is friendlier. A good friend of mine works there and has told me in the past that the uptown staff are dicks and people go to mid-city to avoid them. If you don't have long dreads and lots of tats and piercings, you are just not cool enough for the uptown crew.

                1. I really enjoy Juan's in the LGD, except that it doesn't have queso.

                  I think the hostility/apathy is just their schtick. Kind of like how the people at Mother's are really mean to you and hustle you down the line.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cor

                    No, hostility is not their schtick, they're just losers.

                    I started reading the second post on this thread and was amazed at how familiar I was with the writing. Then I realized why... I wrote it 2 1/2 years ago!!!

                    This is a Pre-Katrina post.. .who dug it up?

                    -Kevin

                    1. re: UptownKevin

                      ahhh, see? we havn't changed that much here.

                  2. That's the charm of Juan's. If you want plastic waiters go to Zea (or a place that doesn't have a menu item named "gutter punk")

                    1. I've only been once- once was enough.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Spencer

                        I visit once at least once every two weeks, sometimes ordering take out.

                        When I call the order in the person on the phone is very pleasant and helpful, even during busy times.

                        Upon arriving, the bartender or server is friendly and personable. They always ask if I want the green and red hot sauce included.

                        Their style and personalities are more egdy than most restaurants, but that doesn't make them mean.

                        It's a fun joint with tasty burritos and interesting music. I love Juan's!

                      2. I have eaten at Juan's numerous times and have NEVER encountered rudeness in any form, The food is good and it is unbelievably inexpensive.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: shirlgirl

                          This thread is 6 to 8 years old...