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Feb 20, 2014 05:43 PM
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Customer Service: How important is it to you?

Hi! I once had a friend who told me that a Particular place in San Fernando, CA serving the local community is known for having extremely rude employees; but he says he doesn't care because he knows the food is extremely good. I actually went to the place and yes, the giant burrito I ate was yummy--but not to the point of returning. I guess I could be a lil sensitive at times, but I would like top customer service and knowing the people cooked with love, and served me because they like what they do, not because "It's a job". I say...don't apply in the first place and find something that will make you happy. So what is your opinion on customer service in general?

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  1. not an exact answer to your question, but:
    in my experience, most folks "cook with love" and "like what they do" and don't treat work just "as a job" do so when they, themselves are being treated well and are being adequately compensated for their work.

    for any restaurant to be on my regular rotation, i need to see some evidence that the employees are well-treated by the management/owners/customers.

    in one of my regular restaurants, the owner makes it his business to be kind to his employees and to be intentionally INHOSPITABLE to any customer that treats his employees badly. this, among other policies there, has lead to his staff demonstrating an esprit de corps that makes the place especially welcoming.

    1 Reply
    1. re: westsidegal

      <has lead to his staff demonstrating an esprit de corps that makes the place especially welcoming>

      These types of owners/managers know how to run a business. What you're describing makes all the difference in the ambiance, the service and the quality of the food.
      There's no mistake in this approach…it's very mindful of what makes customers come back for more.

    2. You go for food you stay for service.

      1. <I would like top customer service and knowing the people cooked with love>

        I appreciate excellent customer service as well as the next person, but this "cooked with love" thing...I would like for it to stop. Imagine if that standard were applied to all retail transactions. When you go through a toll booth, are you disappointed when your change isn't returned to you with love? People need to work. As long as they do their jobs reasonably well and aren't suffering, I could give a flying frittata how they feel about it. (And that goes for me, too, a person who sometimes likes what she does, and sometimes not so much.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: small h

          I'm with you. I don't care about the inner landscape of my servers existence. Just do your job. It might be possible that my server is not loving their job that day, my mail person is getting a divorce, my barista is getting evicted, my doctor's kid got an "F" in science.... Okay.

          Some days just ain't filled with love. Do your job, go home and vent to the folks that *actually* care about you and your issues. Customer service is about service (to me) not about "inner feelings" about service.

          1. re: small h

            "I appreciate excellent customer service as well as the next person, but this "cooked with love" thing...I would like for it to stop."

            Oh God yes. Just give me a good meal. I get all the love I need at home.

            1. re: small h

              <when you go through a toll booth are you disappointed when your change isn't returned to you with love?>

              I don't need a kiss on the cheek but I DO find it a little ridiculous that the person can't at least smile with a little human exchange.
              Some of the customer service I've experienced as of late makes me want to shake the person and tell them to wake up, enjoy the day and remind them there about 100 people who'd love their job.

            2. To me, there's a lower limit below which the customer service is unacceptable, and where I won't go back (or will leave mid meal). I expect customer service to be polite, and reasonably efficient and accurate, and if there is a problem to acknowledge it and work to solve it.

              If a place has aggressively rude staff, or a habit of getting orders wrong, or forgetting dishes, or taking forever to get the food out, or serves half the table, and then the other half of the food shows up 30 minutes later, they might have fantastic food, but it's not worth it.

              I don't, however, have moral standards for how I expect people to feel about their jobs. Yes, it's nice if they like it, but that's about them, not about me. Whether they like their job, or are making and serving the food with love is none of my business, as long as they do their job competently.

              And as far as restaurants go - in most restaurants, you don't even *see* the person cooking your food - the cooks and the waitstaff are separate jobs. And I think "I expect you to serve my my food while being paid less than minimum wage with love, or it's not acceptable" is way too special snowflake.

              1. Good food trumps service.....the latter is over-rated. i go out to eat and drink, not have my arse kissed.

                12 Replies
                1. re: fourunder

                  While that is true, bad service will turn you off from a restaurant real quick, no matter how good the food. At least for this hound...

                  1. re: ns1

                    bad service puts a dark black "X" through a place for me and i simply will not return. i do not expect to have my ass kissed, but a polite demeanor and efficient attentive service is part of the job description.

                    i worked in restaurants for many moons and understand it can be a very shitty job a lot of the time. so i am empathetic, but surliness, too much 'tude, screwed up orders or no follow-up (like refilling water or asking about another round of drinks) all mean i will spend my $$$$ elsewhere. small lapses i can forgive, a new person on the job gets latitude, etc., but life is too short.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Totally agree with this.

                      One of my favorite markets in my area has hired new people I've never seen before. Their job is to work in the deli, make sandwiches and do simple tasks to keep the area clean.
                      They act like their job is secondary to their texting, their visiting with other employees and picking up a cloth to keep the area clean isn't being done.
                      I've stopped going there as often as I have been (daily) because I'm tired of bringing things to the attention of the manager…nobody seems to care.
                      Conversely, when an employee acts like the job they're doing is their pride and they do it with 100% efficiency it makes all the difference in the world.

                      1. re: latindancer

                        Yes. And as someone who has had plenty of "rotten" jobs, I can attest to the fact that approaching any job with a positive attitude makes it far more pleasant for the one doing the work.

                        To me, smiling, being courteous, respectful, friendly and helpful to the customer is about having pride in oneself and wanting to do a good job because that's the kind of person you are, not about kissing someone's butt or feeling inferior to the customer.

                  2. re: fourunder

                    I'm with you, my sage friend. Generally speaking, it would take a waiter smacking me in the face with a two by four as he took my order, to turn me off to a place that offers solid chow. Even in that case, I might turn a blind eye to the inconvenience if the chef was exceptional and special plate that I had my heart set on.

                    Mr. Martinez put it very well: "Great food can compensate for bad service. Great service can 'never' compensate for bad food."

                    1. re: MGZ

                      Using NYC Chinatown as an example....food good, service bad. If I were like the many on this thread who expect good service....I would never have ventured into Chinatown for the past 50 years.

                      1. re: MGZ

                        Unless of course ...the goo/bad service includes an exceptional rack.

                      2. re: fourunder

                        "Good food trumps service.....the latter is over-rated. i go out to eat and drink, not have my arse kissed."

                        Sure, but I think the OP is referring to whether or not you are willing to put up with "rude" service, as in the place she referenced.

                        I don't, even if they are serving bliss on toast.

                        1. re: EarlyBird

                          So what is your opinion on customer service in general?

                          1. re: fourunder

                            I expect a minimum standard of politeness, professionalism and competence regardless of the food. That's all. I have no time for surly or too-cool types, especially when I'm paying to be around them.

                            1. re: EarlyBird

                              I was quoting the last line in the OP...

                              *as in the place she referenced.*

                              Your comments about mine. I have no idea where the OP references