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May 13, 2008 07:20 PM

any one else have weird issues with using their coupons at Astor Place?

Why oh why do restaurants sometimes resent it when patrons actually use the coupons they have printed up? I eagerly waited the opening of Astor Place on the old site of the Astor Diner in North Wales. The Astor Diner has many happy memories for me from back in the old days and I was very excited when Mitchm the reveiwer for The Trend magazine gave the new Astor Place a good review. I went there for lunch on a sunny winter day and got really creamy cream of potato soup, and then I went back a few weeks later for some buffalo wings and a drink. I really liked the homemade potato chips that came with my friend's sandwich. But I had never been for dinner, so the coupon from clipper magazine for a free dinner at Astor Place on the clipper magazine (up to sixteen dollars) was a nice nudge to go back. My friend got very good ribs and I got mussles fra diablo which were excellent but the coupon was such a hassle that it generated some really bad feelings on all sides. We showed the coupon up front and the waitress, Ashley, a tall pretty blonde seemed annoyed. She pulled out the 9.99 four course dinner specials from our menu and said they weren't good with the coupon. I was confused as to what the big deal was and she explained that the coupon was really only good with two dinners, excluding the 9.99 specials, and that it was basically a buy one dinner get one free. I commented that I was glad that my friend came along as I had almost come alone and she explained that the best they could do for one person was fourty percent off. I was out for a pleasant meal at a place I loved so I was not about to get upset, but her tone was snippy when taking our order. The coupon was good last monday and tuesday, this monday and tuesday and next monday and tuesday and I can only guess that she had had some bad experiences with people not tipping for the full amount, including the free meal. I have worked as a waitress and would never be that ignorant. But in the end, her really bad attitude led to a self-fulfilling prophecy. For the first time in my life, after she insulted us and tried to pick a fight with us as we were packed next to three other tables in an otherwise empty dining room, I did the unthinkable and completely stiffed her. Even after I led her up to the hostess stand so as not to disturb the other diners I was thinking of leaving her at least some gratuity. I seemed to care more about her restaurant than she did as I didn't want to engage in a dispute with fellow diners nearby. But when I heard Ashley tell the manager that she didn't care if we ever came back that was the final straw. I left shaking with anger, who needs that? The manager, who was very nice, said that it was a family run restaurant when I asked her, I can only assume the waitress is the owner's daughter or something. I feel really bad about the whole experience and I wish I had never even tried to use the coupon as I am probably never going back there because of the ill will that using it seemed to generate. I have read of other chowhounds having trouble with using coupons and I'm baffled as to why restaurants have them printed up in the first place. Did I just catch an otherwise good waitress on a really bad night or have others had weird issues at Astor Place too?

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  1. I don't know you and I don't know the waitress. In fact, I have no idea where "Astor Place" is located, but after reading your last comment, I decided to reply:

    "Did I just catch an otherwise good waitress on a really bad night or have others had weird issues at Astor Place too?"

    I can't imagine any circumstance under which an "otherwise good waitress" would treat a customer as poorly as you were treated. Perhaps she feels self-important because "Daddy" or "Uncle Steve" owns the place. Maybe she feels too pretty to be serving people their food. Then again, it may be that some previous thoughtless customer didn't give her a fair and appropriate tip when using one of those coupons. Nevertheless, that's no excuse for what amounts to her unreasonable and unprofessional behavior.

    I'm sorry for your loss of a favorite hangout, but at least for me, going back again would be unthinkable. If you've ever had the opportunity to see one of the recent television specials exposing the confessions and hidden camera revelations of what irate servers and kitchen workers will do to their customers' food, you'd likely think twice about giving that young lady the chance to handle your food a second time.

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        1. Isn't it interesting how a very bad serving experience at a restaurant is not easily forgotten, but you can easily forget a mediocre meal? In your case, the meal was good, but the horrendous treatment at the hands of your server not something you will forget. Too bad more restaurant managers do not realize this fact.
          I can easily forgive a misprint on a coupon, those things do happen. But for your server to behave in such a nasty way is absolutely inexcusable. This wasn't a nice person having a bad day, this is a nasty person having a regular day. If she is still working there, it speaks volumes about the restaurant. Like you, I don't think I would ever grace their doors again.

          1. A suggestion? When dealing with horrible service, my neice always said leave a penny. "We always knew what it means when you leave a penny." If you don't leave anything, they might assume you forgot. The penny tells them EXACTLY what their service was worth. And all the other wait staff too. It's hard to live down being the penny waitress.