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On Not Receiving Bread

Enjoyed a lovely meal at the bar at Coda tonight that was just about perfect, besides one thing--we never received bread, even after the bartender specifically mentioned that it was coming over. Not receiving bread is something that has always aggravated me beyond the point of what seems reasonable, but I had never stopped to think why. I wasn't starving and needed the bread to fill me up, nor is their bread and hummus spread something of note, but I realized that not receiving bread signifies "we aren't thinking about you" and "we don't value your patronage as much as the customers around you." Is this what's meant 99% of the time? Nope, but that's how the customer experiences it.

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  1. huh?

    Is your question whether Coda values your particular patronage because the waiter forgot your bread, even though you didn't really need, like or want it?

    And why didn't you say, "Excuse me, could you check on bread service for us, please?"

    1 Reply
    1. re: thegforceny

      No question, just thinking out loud.

      Did ask for bread while ordering, then mentioned it again, to which the bartender responded it was on its way. I've been to Coda many times, and will continue to go there, was just making the point about how minor aspects of service affect the customer experience.

    2. very cerebral.

      my mum expects bread and water served before her touché hits the seat. however finer restaurants don't serve bread until at least the cocktails and first course is ordered in many fine establishments.

      breaking bread is not cut and dry toast - there are many social mores.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bellachefa

        I agree, and we had ordered both cocktails and appetizers at that point, followed by entrees, followed by wine (not saying Coda is a fine establishment, more of a neighborhood spot). All I was trying to comment upon was how not getting something that the surrounding tables have automatically received can make one feel.

        1. re: BlueTrain84

          makes sense to me that you would have that reaction. i'd be just the same.

      2. although i don't share your feelings about them forgetting to deliver your bread, i have a related pet peeve.

        i absolutely dislike it when a restaurant serves sup-par bread.
        i cut an otherwise lovely restaurant off of my regular rotation because they stopped serving freshly baked perfect warm bread and started serving cold, dry, meh bread.
        their food continued to be wonderful,
        but not having great bread with which to eat their terrific cheese selection, ruined the experience for me.

        conversely, i added a neighborhood italian restaurant to my rotation because they serve little loaves of bread (i think they're made from pizza dough) that come fresh from the oven with a great chew and crispy crust.
        the bread elevates the eggplant to another level. . .
        without the bread, the eggplant, by itself, would not be enough to induce me to make the drive.

        3 Replies
        1. re: westsidegal

          I love neighborhood Italian restaurants! Which one was it? I love bread so when it I was really disappointed the first time I went to Ruth Chris (Beverly Hills location) and the bread was freezer-burned! I asked the waiter for new bread and he told me because of the volume of business they do, they have to use frozen bread!

        2. I think many places serve bread because they've always served bread, not because there's any particular customer need for bread. I'm growing increasingly fond of those places where bread can be ordered and charged for, or not ordered.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Harters

            I'm fine with being charged for bread too. With so many gluten free types around, I'd rather a restaurant continue to serve good bread for a reasonable price than to waste money through uneaten marginal stuff.

            1. re: tcamp

              I would rather it be optional. In the OP's case, the cost is built in and they are paying for something they did not receive so that would bug me. I would say the server/bartender was at fault not the restaurant.

              1. re: tcamp

                i am fine as long as they ask.

                too many places just bring out bread and then add it to the bill

            2. The way I used to see it, the less bread they serve me, the less bread they'll keep as a tip...

              1. I agree in general, and in particular, too. A while ago, I was at a place known for (among other things) its bread sticks, and when they hadn't shown up after our drinks arrived, I asked about them. Nothing happened until about halfway through our meal when the waitress plopped them down without comment.

                I was extremely, childishly, let down.