Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What's with customer service these days?

Myself along with 6 other moms had our MOPS steering Christmas party on Monday night at Houlihans. Since we are a bunch of moms who rarely get out without our kids we picked Houlihans because they were one of very few restaurants that were open until 11 pm on a Monday night and we like to stay out as late as we can :-)
We had a fantastic time, the food was incredible and the service was excellent. I know I spent about $25 not counting the tip and I didn't even get a drink like most of the others so I'm guessing that we probably spent around $200 with appetizers, dinners, drinks and dessert.
If you've never been in Houlihans, I would say it's maybe a step up from an Applebees type restaurant. The atmosphere is nice and the restaurant is pretty dimly lit. At about 20 to 25 minutes before 11pm there were still 5 of us sitting at the table and the hostess comes around the corner and flips the lights on above our table - it was like we were in a spot light! Someone said, "oh, it must be time to go."
Hostess: yes it is
me: Oh well you made it so subtle!
The hostess starts clearing off the table and I said, "you know that was really rude!" Several other people made similar comments and the hostess just kind of shrugged her shoulders. Someone asked what time they close and the hostess looks at her watch and says, "in 20 minutes." That's right, 20 minutes! Not 10 minutes ago, not right now, but we still had 20 minutes before they closed! We had already paid our bill and hadn't seen our server in at least 30 minutes. I don't think any of us would have minded if the hostess came up to our table and asked if she could start clearing the dishes for the kitchen since there were closing soon - or even to ask us if we could have moved to the bar where there were several other people - no we were not the only people in the restaurant. So, someone asked the hostess why she would have done that and she said that her manager told her to. It just so happens to be a man that I sat on a jury with so I knew him. I was going to say something, but he conveniently disappeared! So instead I decided to write the corporate office.
What is it with customer service these days? It seems like people are so rude and just don't care. I wonder if the outcome would have been different if we hadn't paid our bill yet - I'm willing to bet that it would have been!
I used to be a server so I know what it's like to have a table who stays a little longer than expected. I know what it's like to go in on a rainy Monday night and expect to get out early since it's a slow night - I know all about it, but never in a million years would I have ever done that to a customer and there isn't one manager who I EVER worked with who would have ever told someone to do that or even went along with it - this just shocked me!


Leenie said...

Customer Service sucks these days. People don't care-they are rude and unfriendly. I think you should call them and let them know you wrote a letter about how bad they are so that they know they are going to get in trouble---Just to rub it in their faces a little.
I think Human kindness in general has gone down the toliet.

Jen said...

That sucks. And I love Houlihans.

mommy to an angel said...

I do too! I've been there twice and both times their food was excellent - everything from appetizers to dessert I would recommend! Then one person has to ruin it!