Hole in the Wall Deli, Branford, CT
OK. You guys know I give pretty good reviews--at the very least they're forthcoming.
Have you ever had a food joint that you wouldn't go back to because of poor customer service? Nasty waitstaff? Clueless?
Look no further than Hole in the Wall Deli in Branford on Rte 1. The food is great--they probably have one of the best burgers in town, definitely the best breakfast sandwiches, and great soup. However....
The service flat out SUCKS. There were many times I was in there in the past year or so, and the staff can't decide when a customer should pay the bill. To make it easier, I'd ask to pay upfront, before I sit down or get my food. If I paid on my way out, half the time they forgot my check on the way to the table, and then they'd have to fish for it through mounds of other customers' checks., often confusing them with one another. On top of it, every time I was in there, I was made to feel that my order was more of a chore than it was business and couldn't help but think that I was getting some attitude--not so much what was said, but rather HOW it was said.
Many times I take my sandwich to go, and ask for ketchup on my breakfast sandwich. 5/6 times, no ketchup. OK..........
The last time I was in there, a customer ahead of me got a wrap and some onion rings. The onion rings were burnt, like burnt toast. The cook should NOT have sent them out. He did, and the customer was very disappointed, and proceded to have a conversation w/me because I was sitting next to him, and he could see that I was disappointed because they gave me hassle about paying the check before the food was done. The customer was indeed talking very loudly, about his burnt onion rings, and the decor in the deli, which is laced with comedians' likenesses and signs (I do not have them memorized) that basically say that the management is right over the customer (albeit in a jocular manner). The customer who was talking to me obviously thought these signs were not jocular anymore, that the owner and staff didn't care about food quality and customer satisfaction, and that he would not come here again. I did not voice my displeasure audibly. He left, without any hassle.
I peacefully gathered my garbage, and threw it out and one of the staff tells me to "have a nice day", very sarcastically/nastily, and waved, saying 'good riddance'............
I say this basically because I believe they have a website up now, and I'd like to save some other people from this nonsense. I hope he has restaffed by now--there's plenty of people out there who need a job and will ensure customer satisfaction.
Storm, I see you wrote this quite some time ago. I found it hard to believe when I read it. I've been going here for quite some time. Fact is this place has good management. It's obvious the owner does care, I don't think I've ever seen a place make so many changes to better themselves. When I started coming in years ago the decor was very drab, then went to kind of comical stuff, but it gave the place a sense of uniqueness I thought. But you have to get back there, now they have it looking bright like a nice cafe-like place. This place is known for its food, no doubt. I have tried so many things and never been unsatisfied. All my office goes there. I can't understand why you say it's the best food in town then say don't go there just because you didn't get that wink and a smile from the pretty server. I know enough about this place to know they don't give checks at the table if that is what you are waiting for, you are pretty much on the "honor system", which might not be great for business as I'm sure dishonest people skip out without notice. Probably not the smartest practice. So now you know the food is best around, decor has changed, funny signs are down, there is new counter help, you shouldn't expect to get a check at the table, the management family is the same and they obviously do care. There is no reason for you not to go back with your eyes open and see that place for what it is. best around and very welcoming, my whole office loves Hole in the wall and can't understand how you see it so differently as all of us.
I used to be a manager at a big box grocery chain and they did the same thing. Change the decor, take down dated pics etc. But the bottom line was that if you're employees are not friendly and customer oriented then people will have a negative attitude towards the establishment no matter how good the food, prices are. Because you're office goes there more often than most, to the avergae guy off the street...they may be treated with a different attitude.
triggs...I understand what you are saying with your response. I'm sure there are certain 'regulars' that are known by name and are their 'characters' as customers, can't say I'm one of them. The young girls are just that, young. I've seen them been talked to about their professionalism. Now there is a new woman as the front face, we see her as very professional and she has obviously done this before. The young blonde is still there, maybe not so polished but a definate bubbly personality. I don't know, guess i'm a little defensive of this place because i like it so much and have seen the progress and effort since it was purchased a few years ago. I've been to every spot all over town and all things considered (food, price, decor and service) this is the best place by far to me. Sure some may have better service, or better ambiance... but consider everything, I'm most comfortable here.
I have to agree with Storm, the young girls on the counter shouldn't even answer the phone. And once you get there it's a crap fest if they even bat an eye at you. "Honey" "sweety" where am I at Mel's Diner talking with Flo. I do love their over packed salads. You can't beat them for price and quality. I would assume that if you are a regular like engineer333, then you would be treated differently. I haven't given up on this place and I hate to say that I accept being talk to like a 5 y/o from a teenager, but the salads are damn good I put up with it and bite my tongue.
I'm not sure how often storm goes here, but i've been working in the area for a year now, and i go almost every week. It does have good food, sometimes the potions can be a little small, but if you get the lunch specials, you get a soup with it, plenty of food then.
As far as service... that's why I keep going back. The ladies who work there are great, friendly people. They put a smile on my face whenever i walk in, and they remember my name. I feel like its "Cheers" sometimes when i walk in that place. Maybe they could have a better system for paying, that can be a little confusing at times, but if the worst you can say is they forgot ketchup, come on... grab your own, its there next to the napkins.
I was there today to be exact, new lunch special called Red Voodoo, maybe for the holiday month, but it was a cajun chicken wrap, and very fresh and tasty. Oh yeah, the line was practically out the door when i got there, so I think enough people find there service quite welcoming. I know i treat them like friends, i could probably sit down and watch a movie with them too.
Hole In the Wall Deli
328 E Main St, Branford, CT 06405