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Jun 25, 2011 05:56 AM

Do you expect a comp? [moved from General Topics]

About 3 months ago, we ate at a fine dining restaurant in town for a special occasion. Many things went wrong with both service and food, and our bill was not rung up properly either. Rather than spoil the evening out, we tried to make the best of it but left unhappy. We have a pretty small child and rarely go out for such dinners, and with the cost of the dinner and the sitter, it was a let down. I sent an email to the manager afterwards to let him know what had happened. I like this place and have recommended it to many people via word of mouth and online. He emailed me back and we set up a time for him to call me. He apologized and we went over the various things that happened. He offered to have us come in again so they could "take care of dinner for us" and I said I didn't write with that intent, and besides we might not get out again for a long time. He said no bother, the offer stands and at least let us buy you drinks or dessert or something, let me know when you are going to return and just keep my email and respond to it whenever you're coming back.

I responded to his original email earlier this week and said we have another chance to go out, asked if it would be possible for us to return on Friday. He called me and said absolutely, we'd love to have you return and he made the reservation for us himself.

The meal was much better. Food was good, etc. Service was still slow but not awful.

I sort of expected at the very least that the guy would come by and say hi and check to see how things were going, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, that we might be offered a drink or dessert like we discussed on the phone. Nothing. We didn't see anyone that looked like they could be the guy I talked to on the phone (all women at the front/hostess stand, nobody in the dining room that looked like a manager). I suppose I could have gone to the hostess stand and ASKED to talk to so and so "just to say hello" but I don't think I should have had to do that.

I know my fellow hounds will give it to me straight. TECHNICALLY, no, I know we shouldn't have "expected" anything, but we were just treated like any other guest and I thought at least that we would get someone coming by and thanking us for giving them another chance.

I emailed him to follow up when we got home. I just said "thanks for making the reservation, the dinner was much better" and he just responded with a simple reply like "glad it was better for you!"

Would you have expected something extra?

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  1. Absolutely not. Sorry you were treated "just treated like any other guest."

    1. Yes if he said it I would expect it. Maybe, if it was a while ago, this was a new manager? Who is a woman? Hard to tell through emails unfortunately.

      1 Reply
      1. re: coll

        It was not a new manager. It was 4 months ago and the same person who emailed me after the original incident is who I emailed and who then called me to make my new reservation.

      2. I'm really impressed that the restaurant not only rang to discuss the matter but offered a full comp.

        That said, if the experience had been that bad for them to apologise in such a generous way, I wouldnt have ever gone through their door again - not even for a freebie.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Harters

          Well, we had been there once before and also had some service problems the first time, but the food was very good so we decided to go back. That's when we had all of the larger problems. This is a very popular and well-rated restaurant in town and the only one that serves this particular type of cuisine in town, so we decided to give it another shot since the manager had been so nice and had offered to buy us drinks or dessert.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I'm confused by your post. Did you receive a comp drink, dessert or did you pay for your whole dinner? If it was comp but the guy didn't come by to see you I would consider that no big deal.

            5 Replies
            1. re: escondido123

              We did not receive anything comp'd nor even a stop-by from the manager to say hello.

              1. re: escondido123

                I can see why the OP is a disappointed. There had been a good indication that there was going to be a comp - at least drinks or dessert. The OP would have had a reasonable expectation that the restaurant would actually honour its offer.

                Perhaps there was just a simple error of circumstances. You know, the manager guy intended to take care of things on the night, having made the reservation, but was off sick, been fired, abducted by aliens or whatever other reason caused him to be not around that night.

                1. re: Harters

                  If the manager had invited me, I would have asked for the manager when I came in. Places get busy and people forget--or there was another reason like H said--but I would not have sat and paid for another dinner that I expected to be comped.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    Good point. I think I might have said something on arrival - like, maybe, " Hi. Mr X made a reservation for me. Is he around so I can say thanks?"

                    1. re: Harters

                      That's a good point. If I'm ever in that situation again, that's how I'll approach it.

                      On the other hand, I did acknowledge that we had come and eaten there in my follow-up email, and he didn't say anything like oh, did they take care of you or get you that dessert or whatever?