What's The Diff?

The things Quicken Loans team members care about and want to share with the world

Eating Too Early?

By Joel Jarvi

My wife and I went out to eat one evening to Carrabba’s Italian Grill. It was a busy weekend night, and the place was absolutely packed. The hostess asked if we wanted to wait for a table, or, if we wanted to be immediately sat, we could sit at the pasta bar. It was non-smoking, and we were hungry, so we opted for the pasta bar. We got to sit and watch the cooks in the kitchen, quite entertaining. We ordered our food, and it took a little while for our soup and salad to come, but we were in no hurry, enjoying being out and watching the floor show going on in the kitchen. Finally, our starters came and within maybe taking two bites of my salad, our entrees showed up. We explained to the runner that our starters just arrived and we hadn’t even a chance to get into them, and he apologized and said he would come by later.

We were glad he offered, but were then a little worried about when our entrees would actually come and their general temperature. Within another five minutes, the kitchen manager came out with a giant paper bag. He apologized for our meals coming so quickly and explained that he had boxed up those initial meals for us to take home, and we would be getting hot meals when we finished our soup and salad. We hadn’t complained or demanded to speak to the manager. We hadn’t even been angry when our meals had been brought early. Talk about service and keeping customers for life! Customer service and simple courtesy has insured that we will frequent that restaurant any chance we get! They “get it” there, talk about the DIFF!

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  1. Great example of the Diff. It’s amazing how often the hospitality industry forgets about the “hospitality.” This is usually the type of thing that you see at the smaller, independently owned restaurants — the places where employees are actually empowered to do stuff like this (mostly because they are family or small enough to know how the owners would respond.) I wouldn’t have expected it at a Carrabbas.

    Posted by: Madgeman | January 3, 2007
  2. This is quite a contrast to a recent business lunch we had at Bravo. One of our meals was ice cold. The waitress never came back to see how everything was; we had to flag her down later. Her response to the complaint was, “Oh really?”.
    A considerable length of time went by before the new entree arrived, still no apology or sincere concern for the fact we were all done and one of us was just getting her food. Afterward, the bill came and the entree was still on there. I went to the manager to complain and he was apologetic and took the item off.
    But wait, there’s more!!! The waitress came back and blasted us with how she did say she was sorry and how she’s sorry even though she didn’t make the pizza, and how she is sorry again. Trust me, from her tone she wasn’t sorry! The manager was again very apologetic and concerned, and he did give us cards for a free appetizer or dessert. But, I think it’s interesting that instead of the waitress saying to herself, “Ok, that didn’t go well, what can I learn from this so I can do better next time” she instead got angry and felt like a victim.
    That’s the difference between someone who is going to be a success and someoone who is going to go through life talking about what people have done to them.

    Posted by: Laura | January 5, 2007
  3. Last night, 1/7/07, my husband and I went to The Melting Pot in Troy to celebrate my birthday. Everything started out fine. The service was good, everyone was very nice, and the cheese fondue appetizer was excellent. Everything was good, that is, until it came time for our entrees. Once our main entree was delivered the waitress disappeared for what seemed like about 45 minutes. In her absence several other employees were near by to help if we needed anything. Perhaps they were covering for her or perhaps they noticed we kept looking around for her. Not sure. Once dinner ended, I noticed a gnat flying over our table. As I was shooing it away, I happened to notice quite a few more gnats on the wall. My husband and I counted 12 of them. Since our waitress was no where to be found, we pointed the gnats out to another employee who was clearing our dishes. All he said was, “wow, I have never seen that before” and walked away. I thought surely he would tell someone, however, our dessert came and went and we paid the check without any mention of how sorry they were about all the gnats. If that were my restaurant I would have been mortified. I can honestly say I would never go back. It isn’t so much the gnats as it is the fact that the person we told didn’t seem to care the least bit that an entire gnat family joined us for dinner.

    Posted by: Michelle | January 8, 2007

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Monday, January 22, 2018