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Unpleasantness at Habana in South Norwalk, CT

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Joined some friends at Habana for dinner tonight -- it's their favorite restaurant. The food was good, but oh man did the service ... well, you know. It wasn't good. When we complained to the general manager about that and the fact that drinks we'd not had appeared on our bill he made a big show of "going to talk to the owner" then came back and said that while they were sorry about our unhappiness, there wasn't much they could do because they'd already run our credit card through.

Not satisfied, my friend (who goes to this restaurant at least once a week) went to the owner, who said "this is the first I've heard of this." And while he, too, was sorry, he said there was nothing he could do. Pressed on the issue, he suggested that "next time you come, I'll take care of you, if you call ahead and tell me you're coming in."

Having dropped a pretty big chunk of change for an experience that was less than acceptable, this left a bad taste in my mouth. What possible reason would I have to return, having had a) been ignored for LONG stretches of time and b) having our dissatisfaction being dismissed with a virtual shrug of the shoulders?

What would you all have done?

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  1. It would have been a very simple task for the restaurant to credit you for the drinks you were not served. Anyone who's ever worked in a retail or restaurant environment knows that. So the excuse that the card had already been run through the machine is completely lame! I can't even imagine why an owner or manager would claim such a thing, when it's a less than five-minute task to remedy the situation. I would never patronize them again.

    Unfortunately, service all over Fairfield county leaves a tremendous amount to be desired. There is a dearth of available, experienced waitstaff, and also managers with the ability to train a staff. In the last week I've eaten at Beacon in Stamford, La Trattoria in West Redding, and the Athens Diner in Southport, and had the best service at the diner (and also a tasty burger)!

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    1. re: wendy

      You know, it's true -- there seems to be a direct correlation between the cost of the meal and the shabbiness of the service. Makes me wanna eat at home. I thought it was just me being supercritical; I used to review restaurants and it really spoiled me...
      Glad to hear I'm not alone.