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Horrible experience at favorite restaurant with SUPER rude hostess... - Page 3

post #41 of 119
Well...I wouldn't bother calling the owner. The next time I saw him or her I would mention it then but I wouldn't make a special case of calling. After all my son was wrong and knocked over the plant and while her comment was rude and inconsiderate I think it can wait.
Now if I was the waitress and I saw that the child was obviously o.k I wouldn't run right over and make a fuss over him either. I would try to clean the mess up as quickly as possible so the ordeal can be quickly forgotten and less attention drawed to it. Afterwards I would have come over.Speaking from experiance.

I don't think it's realistic for a young child to stay still at a resturant either.
post #42 of 119
ITA with oceanbaby.

Accidents happen in restaurants. I'm talking about little ones like a knocked-down plant. Who gives a rat's butt if a plant gets knocked over. I certainly didn't feel the Earth stop turning when it happened. The hostess's job in that situation was to divert attention and make everyone feel as comfortable as possible. It wasn't her job to be a freak about it.

Call the owner. Then go back again and again and smother her with kindness. (If I see a dustbuster at a garage sale, I'll have to pick it up for you. We'll spray paint it gold and give it to the Queen.)
post #43 of 119
Another seasoned waitress here with a slightly different view.

I had adults do far worse things when waitressing, so the fact that he dumped a plant doesn't even faze me, personally.

The hostess's reaction, however, was atrocious. You apologized and she was contemptuous, degrading, and demeaning.

If she treats a CUSTOMER like that, how does she treat coworkers? I'll bet she isn't well-liked, causes problems among staff, and the owner might want to fire her but doesn't have grounds to do so. I worked with a lot of people in various customer service positions who were real @ssho!es but management couldn't get rid of them because they feared a lawsuit. One good customer complaint would often be a relief for all the workers--management included--because it finally meant that the workplace could be cleansed and life would be more pleasant.

Write a detailed letter--accepting responsibility for letting him down and explaining that you apologized--with a blow-by-blow of how she blew up at you, her poor attitude, and how it deters you from patronizing his restaurant and makes you reluctant to continue recommending the place to friends and family. Make it friendly but clear.

You've been clear that this was a family-friendly restaurant, you have a long-standing relationship with the place, your son was two steps away and out of the path of waitstaff--so why is everyone making sweeping generalizations about the role of children in restaurants that have nothing to do with your particular story?

post #44 of 119
Thread Starter 

OK! I finally talked with the owner....

We had played phone tag all week, and today I finally spoke with him.

He would not accept an apology from me about ds...he said that we were not at fault. He said that those plants have been knocked over many times, and probably more times by adults! He said that as soon as someone knocks it over, he or his wife relocates it to another part of the restaurant-only to find it put back there by his MIL who insists it perfectly fits the spot!: :

He apologized for the hostess behavior,saying it was absolutely inexcusable(sp?). He said that she told him the next day how awful she was to us and that she had had a really bad day, and felt bad. He said he told her that he pays her to check her bad days in at the front door. It is her job to please the customer. I basically told him that while I most certainly can forgive her, her general attitude has never been good or family friendly. He said that she has no kids and that she is clueless about them.

He asked me what he could do to make things better, that he valued us and *our children* as customers. I told him we deserved a face to face apology,but would accept a written one as long as we were assured that her behavior towards us and other families would improve. He assured me that she would receive a harsh reprimand , and most definitely we would receive an in person apology. He also said that he wants to pay for our next meal if we come back.

I told him we most definitely would be back. We were there before her and we'll be there long after she is gone. It will take a lot more for us not to come back!!

So there it is. Not much drama. I feel like I've been pretty fair,dh has cooled down too, and we feel valued by the owner and his family. Life goes on!!:

post #45 of 119
good on you! Glad you got it resolved. The boss sounds great.
post #46 of 119
Glad it all turned out for you, but I'm a bit disappointed that the hostess wasn't fired. I just don't understand anyone being kept on when being rude to ANY customer -- longstanding or not! Ah well... she probably won't last much longer in any case.

Enjoy your free meal!
post #47 of 119
Good for you, mp! I'm glad that the restaurant owner was able to see the situation clearly, and I hope that this was some sort of eye opener for the hostess.
post #48 of 119
The whole thing has been completely blown out of proportion IMO.
post #49 of 119
:LOL You could be us! We have a 2.5 y.o. and a 9 mos old and we've been going to the same Mexican restaurant about once/week for many many years. We love the waiters b/c they love our kids. No, we don't have crayons, but they bring us extra spoons to play with, crackers, and to go cups. Those chips are on the table asap to keep my son happy. I really and truly believe that the more experience kids have in restaurants, the better behaved they are. My kids are awesome. But, we eat fast and those margaritas are speed sucked.

Good for you for exposing your kids to society! Personally, I don't (and won't) let my boys on the ground but that's just my personal quirk. I think that once I've let him out of his seat once, it'd just be a battle.

Yes, follow up on your call. She's snotty when she has absolutely no reason or right.

BTW: It sounds like the disagreements here are really rhetorical. People who are out for a relaxing or romantic dinner aren't likely to pick someplace that caters to families. You kind of pick up on that atmosphere when you walk in the door. KWIM? Kinda like buyer beware...

PS: Oceanbaby...I don't get it...did that guy's coffee cost more than yours? :
And, Yoopervegan I simply CANNOT believe that accident. OH MAN, people should have been falling out of their seats to help you.

Ah, I finished reading...YEA, it's resolved. GOod for you
post #50 of 119
Thought I'd mention, since no one yet has, one strategy I use when a salesclerk or waitress or hostess etc is rude to me. I remind myself that they are being paid, mostly likely, minimum wage or close to it. Yes, a hostess is paid to be nice, but at 7.00 dollars an hour . . .

This helps me "cool off" some.

I allso try to remember when I worked these jobs just how many peopel were rude to me and how easy it was to be unreasonable to someone when someone else was unreasonable with you. These are emotionally and physically tiring, low paying jobs.

Anyway, this helps me not stew about something for too long. teh older I get though, the harder it is to brush off the occasional rudeness of a telephone operator etc. Why is that?
post #51 of 119
First off let me say that I think the hostess was rude and you deserve an apology. I am glad you are going to get one.

However, I must emphatically disagree with all the posters who are complaining about "society's" lack of tolerance for children in public in general and restaurants in particular. Everyone's comments seem to imply that this attitude is a new thing. It is only new because until the past 30 years parents didn't take children to restuarants. How many of our parents saw the inside of a restaurant before the age of 10 or even 20? Dining out was a special occasion for our parents or grandparents to celebrate. I would wager that most of the "disapproving" looks come from the over 50 crowd because they were not raised with the attitude that you took kids everywhere and demanded respect for them from the other adults around you. They were raised with the attitude that restuarants were for adults and if a parent is going to bring there child to a restaurant the child should be able to act accordingly.

That all being said - I have been on both sides. I was a waitress at a family restaurant and the kids ran wild. My biggest pet peeve though was not with kids wandering around but with the total disaster they would make with food, etc.

I now have a 1 year old and he would love to wander if he could. I have let him do this only when we were seated in a banquet room by ourselves. However, I will ALWAYS pick up as much of the food off the floor as I can before I leave because he has an awful : habit of tossing his food for fun and I don't feel it is fair to ask anyone to clean it up.
post #52 of 119
The whole thing has been completely blown out of proportion IMO.
Mine too, Ard.
post #53 of 119
Arduinna & Sweetbaby: As a waitress & hostess, I don't think it was blown out of proportion at all. If something like this had happened where I worked, my boss (the owner) would have been furious if he found out that he wasn't told. When he did find out the Hostess would have been fired and the family apologized to & offered a free meal as well.

After all, there was a study done that showed that when a person had a positive experience at a restaurant they told an average of 2-5 people, but when they had a negative experience, they told 10 - 15 people.

I'd say that's pretty important to a restaurant's business reputation.
post #54 of 119
good point, irishprincess

my dad was bron in 1942 and he said he went to a restaurant once a year as a kid--it was like a Denny's--and his parents went out once a year as a couple to a nicer place to eat and dance. that was it.

they were solidly middle class--grandpa was a foreman at a rubber tire factory. he said you simply didn't go out with kids. he didn't see a restaurant until he was about 10, I think.

even if they were travelling grandma made sandwiches. they only travelled to places where there were relatives or relatives along the way to visit, so they would just load up on food whenever they stopped, then go on. they drank water and would stop by the side of the road for picnics.

it is a surprise for older folks, the way we bring little kids to restaurants. but it shouldn't have been a surprise for this hostess, and she shouldn't have taken out her frustration on the OP.

i waited tables for 6 years and while ITA on the gross factor of people leaving the tables a mess after little kids eat there, I was always happy to clean the table if they tipped 25%. that's what we do now if i can't clean up (like travelling alone with a 4 and 1 yo). I waaaaaaay overtip as compensation.
post #55 of 119
I don’t really see how the fact that back in the 50’s to whenever; children were not welcome in restaurants. I guess it would be in interesting point if this were about an issue with an older group of people who didn’t understand why you would bring your child out with you but it's not.
There’s so much that we’re trying to change about parenting left over from that time period that I don’t think it’s a good idea if we pick and choose what we liked from that time and used it to our advantage. Kwim?

Not to mention that the assumption that children are the worst behaved clientele in restaurants is not accurate. Okay, on a give day there may be a particularly poorly behaved child but there may have been a badly behaved man or woman also. Like one poster (and the OWNER!) said that pot has and could have been broken by anyone. I have found that some of the most pleasant people I have waited on are families who know how to dine, and this probably comes from children taken to restaurants throughout most of their lives.

I think yours is a good strategy if it helps you be more compassionate towards people in the service business but I must say that your assumption about how much people in the restaurant business make is off by a bit. I’m sure there is a big range but I was making $300-$500/night in San Francisco a few years ago…ah, those days. Where did all the money go?

About the messes that families leave, I couldn't agree more. I vowed to always clean up after my kid...and myself when we make a mess. I have other peeves about restaurant edict but that's another thread..
post #56 of 119
Hannah Sims - thank you, that was the point I was going to make about parenting practices left over from years ago. That was also the "children should be seen but not heard" and "spare the rod spoil the child" mentality that screwed my parents up so badly that they vowed to do differently with their children.

I also wanted to point out that this seems to be largely an American attitude. In European countries (and possibly others, but I am not familiar with them) children are a normal part of society, and are expected to be in restaurants and elsewhere. It's interesting to me that children are also usually very well behaved in these cultures. I really believe that children tend to live up the expectations that we have of them. If the general attitude towards them is that they are a nuisance to be tolerated, then that's what they will be. That's why I've always hated the phrase the Terrible Twos. It's like a self fulfilling prophecy. (Not that we haven't had some terrible moments over here, but that's for another thread!)

And I too spend many meals cleaning the floor and table, and leaving huge tips these days. More often than not I have the waitress or waiter come by and tell me to please not bother, but I just don't feel right leaving a huge mess.
post #57 of 119
Originally posted by oceanbaby
And I too spend many meals cleaning the floor and table, and leaving huge tips these days. More often than not I have the waitress or waiter come by and tell me to please not bother, but I just don't feel right leaving a huge mess.
Yea.... we just say that to be nice! :LOL :LOL Just teasin. I had a regular who would get the bistle/hokey and start getting even the cracker crumbs! Then she left a 25% tip! I love(d) that woman! :LOL She is also still nursing her 2 1/2 year old

Seriously, a bigger tip for a bigger mess is what I always thought was right -- or just clean the worst of it up.
post #58 of 119
Originally posted by oceanbaby
I also wanted to point out that this seems to be largely an American attitude. In European countries (and possibly others, but I am not familiar with them) children are a normal part of society, and are expected to be in restaurants and elsewhere.
I have so far not posted, lest I be revealed as the intolerant person y'all are refering to in some of the above posts.

But this is something I couldn't resist commenting about.

Honestly, in my travels in Europe, Asia, even Canada, their children are not as loud. I have had several German mothers comment out of the blue that American children are SO LOUD. American parents, in general, do not moderate the volume of their children's speech.

I could care less about children being in a restaurant, but if I hear that stupid SHREAAAAK, ah ah ah ah ah SHREAAAAAAAAK from another two year old with a clueless parent, I swear. It's not going to be pretty for the waitress. She's gonna have me telling her to do something about the kid screaming or I'm leaving.
post #59 of 119
ITA, Apricot.
post #60 of 119
I'm with ya too Apricot!! I used to be a server, and dealt with my fair share of unsupervised children, screaming ones, extremely messy ones ect. Management always kissed butt to the parents face and then told us what they really thought. A free meal is a cheap payoff in the long run when the person will come back and spend more money.

I don't get the attitude that the whole world revolves around anyones child?? Yes, children should be taken to restaurants (we took dd from birth) but that doesn't mean they are more important than any other diner there. My dd is very well behaved in restaurants and in peoples homes because she was raised to be. To be completely inconsiderate of other diners, the wait staff and the public in general while out creates self centered and bratty children and selfish adults IMO.
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