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restaurant etiquette

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(reposting from the wrong board...)


Okay, tonight my friends and I went to a new hip restaurant in DC called OYA... They are trying to be a destination spot, bar/club/restaurant.

So, they had ONE server for the entire lounge area. Food and drinks are both available in the lounge. The lounge area (not including the bar) easily accomodates 50+ people.

The server flaked and didn't put in our food order. Not to mention, she took forever to get our drinks to us. So eventually we noticed that our food had not arrived.

The server acknowledged her mistake but still took way too long to get us food (in the meantime she took an order AND got the food out to satisfy that order!!)

Considering an hour had passed at this point, I approached the manager. How should he have responded? What should I have reasonably expected?

Thoughts.

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  1. The complaint is really about drinks. "New, Hip Spots" are going to concentrate on moving alcohol in a bar. You knew it was a New Hip Spot when you went in. Go to the restaurant if you're interested in food at a "New, Hip Spot."

    3 Replies
    1. re: DC Diner

      Agree that to judge the food you must go to the restaurant. My question is not about food or drinks, it is about service and management.

      1. re: curious70

        I think it is reasonable to expect good service in any restaurant - and I have had excellent service and terrible service in all kinds of places.

        The manager should have apologized and offered something - a free appetizer or something to try to entice you to stay. That is what *should* have been done. But it is not a perfect world.

        1. re: Shiro Miso

          I agree. The most obvious thing for a restaurant to do if they make you wait for food is to bring out a free snack.

          I also agree with posters who say that your situation wasn't shocking -- but that does not mean that the restaurant shouldn't have tried to ameliorate your experience.

    2. Honestly in that type of place I probably wouldn't even have bothered to complain. If all drinks received had been paid for, I may have left to go get food elsewhere. If we had a tab I might have approached the waitress (going to her rather than waiting) to tell her we had to be somewhere and that we'd settle for the drinks only.

      So, my expectations of the manager would have been very low!

      Of course you were well within your rights to expect much better, but my experience with these trendy places, as well as with any new spot, leads me not to expect much.

      1. So... what DID happen?

        1. If, at the time you talked to the manager, you had already gotten your food, he should have offered to comp the meal, buy a round of drinks, or offer a dessert. I think that a smart manager would offer you a certificate for a dinner for 2 (at least) for another time. If s(he) comps the meal while you are there, you may never come back. But if you are offered a free meal later, it usually results in a return trip, whereupon the restaurant can make an effort to show you that they really are good, and under circumstances where you are not completely pissed.

          So...how did the manager handle it????

          1. I'm a DC person too, so I'm also curious what happened!

            Non-DCers, this is THE Stylish New Place--from all accounts, extremely chi-chi, and extremely expensive. But it's also brand new. Its luster won't last long if it takes them an hour to get out every $17 martini that's ordered. DC, I think--or at least some DCers--still hangs onto the idea that for $17, that drink better be 1good, 2timely, 3politely served.