Most restaurant owners simply can’t be on duty every hour their place is open. But thank God for your managers, who are the Robin to your Batman, your eyes and ears when you’re off saving Gotham City. Or, at least you hope so. The truth of the matter is, there are tons of bad managers out there making horrible decisions while many of you are gone. I see it all too often.
A case in point: I was recently out for brunch with my daughter when I found myself sitting at the bar drinking Bloody Marys while waiting for a table. As we sat there, a runner passed two plates off to the bartender, who deposited them in front of us. “Those are not our plates,” I said. Meanwhile, a manager walks over to the bartender and loudly says, “Are you stupid? You can’t see that those are seats four and five and not eight and nine?” That display embarrassed everyone at the bar.
Thankfully, my daughter and I were soon escorted over to our table. Our order was taken and then we waited and waited. After about 50 minutes we asked our server if she could check on our food. “Oh, yeah,” she said, as if the thought had never occurred to her.
She returned with our plates, both containing food that was cold. Cold sunny side up eggs and grits are not at all appealing, so we asked her to take them back to the kitchen to be warmed. Another manager, not the one who lost his cool at the bar, walked over and asked what was wrong. I explained that our food was cold and we wanted it warmed up. He said, “No problem, I’ll have it all replaced.”
In about 20 minutes, they were returned. What we got were our two original plates of food that were likely put in a microwave oven and torched. I know they were our same plates because the cuts we had made into the food originally were still there. The yolks on the eggs had turned to rubber.
“Please take these plates away and give us our bill,” I told the server politely. The manager comes over to our table and says, “What’s the problem?” I explained what had transpired, but he insisted that everything was made from scratch the second time. Now I’m getting annoyed. He’s flat out lying and insulting me. “Please, just get me the bill,” I said. And then he loses it. “I want you two out of here. I’m not going to allow you to treat my server so badly.” I have no idea what he’s talking about. We were nothing but kind to our server.
He points to my daughter and says loudly, “You called her a c**t, now get out!” Yeah, he said the c-word, and loud enough for everyone around us to hear. This guy was out of his mind. We left in shock and completely embarrassed by this vulgar, insane display of behavior.
Obviously the owner of this restaurant hired these two managers believing they were competent enough to represent him and his brand. Yet, both of them are burning down the house. My daughter and I would never go back there again, and I’m sure a lot of others who witnessed this mess won’t as well. So, I ask you: How do you know that the people you put in charge are representing you well? How do you prevent people you trust from misrepresenting you so badly? Email me.
Michael Sanson, Editor-in-Chief
e-mail: [email protected]