HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

Service at restaurants

Food is fantastic, decor is great but their service is so-so..I don't mean bad but just so-so and it's a pretty high end restaurant.

Would you go back?
Is service really important part of your meal?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I can generally let so-so service slide (e.g. inattentiveness). Bad service will affect my decision to return. We used to frequent a neighborhood Italian spot. The food ranged from very good to outstanding. In about our 5th or 6th year of steady visits we had 2 successive visits with deplorably bad service (we gave them the benefit of a doubt after the 1st instance). We never went back.

    On the flip side, our first visit to one of our current favorite spots was with a group of 10. Our waiter was tapping into us psychically and would appear with bread, water, beverage refreshes almost as soon as we were aware of needing them. We have forever associated that experience with the restaurant and even a night of horrible service won't kill that relationship.

    1. Yes, service is important and integral to the experience. I'd be disappointed to have so-so service at a high end place. And, yes, if this was a first visit to the place, it might put me off a return. Of course, if I'd been before and had good times then I'd put this down to a "one off"

      1 Reply
      1. re: Harters

        I like to eat very locally, meaning within walking distance of my house, so my choices are limited. If they weren't I wouldn't put up with poor service. But then again, everyone has their own definition of poor service. For me it's food coming too fast, for others it's too slow. For some it's being too familiar, for others it's not being friendly enough. And the list goes on. To me poor service is when you don't get what you ordered, or it's cold, or they totally forget you're there. Otherwise, I try to not let it bother me.

      2. The steak is great. But people go to Durgin-Park for the abuse, as the waitstaff have been encouraged to adopt a surly attitude. If you haven't gotten backtalk from the waitress, you haven't gotten your money's worth. It is kinda fun.

        3 Replies
        1. re: GraydonCarter

          Their roast pork and Indian Pudding more than makes up for the service, IMHO, It's got to be about 60 years since I was there but the food is that memorable.

          1. re: GraydonCarter

            That's not bad service. That just performance. It's part of the schtick.

            1. re: GraydonCarter

              I don't feel like our waitress at Durgin Park was like that...friendly but not a surly attitude.

            2. Is service really important part of your meal?
              ~~~~~~~~~~~
              sure is. if the service is awful on more than one occasion, i won't return to the restaurant even if the food is great. and on the flip side, excellent service always improves/adds to the experience regardless of the food quality.

              1 Reply
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Agree. There was an "American" diner in K-town, Germany where the service was just horrendous. We gave them three chances and the food was mediocre at best (nothing like diner food back home). The third and last time we went we were the only people in the the restaurant and there where four servers standing at the bar they saw us come in and sit down. No greeting no acknowledgement and then we sat there for 15min looking at them. No menu was brought and eye contact just resulted in them looking away and still yacking with each other. As we were walking out the door one of them was like "Oh you wanted to order food?" Sheesh, never went back.

              2. Service is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition.