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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

The Waiter Chronicles: Just Deserts

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Last Saturday night a group of four young, energetic people came in for dinner at around 8:30. They ordered bottles of wine, laughed a lot, and were generally a pleasure to serve. As I went to clear their empty entree plates, one of the young men very respectfully held up a short piece of silver wire for me to see and said, "I just thought you should know I found this in my ravioli."

I stared at it aghast.

He suggested that it was a piece from a kitchen scrub brush, and he insisted that he didn't want his meal comped. I couldn't just let it go, so I offered the table free desert. They declined, saying, "Next time."

Right. Like there would be a next time. Would you return to a restaurant that served you Brillo Pad with your pasta?

Well, tonight, half the party returned. I recognized them right away, and, even though neither of them were the offended party from last weekend, when the time came I offered the whole table free desert. I didn't go into details.

The result: one creme brulee, one pumpkin ice cream, and one 22% tip.

The only question is, what do I do if the other half of the scrub-brush party comes back?
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 11:47 PM

4 Comments:

two free desserts... seems like you could get away with two more if they return.

I remember when I was working in a pizza place, a guy brought his pizza right back in, and showed us where our 4 in by 3 in sponge was stuck to the bottom. Were we careless? Yep. Was it closing time and we had already pulled the grates on the cutting board and started cleaning? yep. Was the guy totally cool with it, and just wanted a new pizza? Yep. Did we give him a pizza and his money back? yep. Did he come back... I'm pretty sure he did.

I remember my mom getting a press-on fingernail in her pasta once. She wouldn't go back for years. Yet, at another place, she got some plastic zip ties (probably from chives) in her pasta, and thought nothing of it. I guess it depends on level of nastiness and one's mood that day.
commented by Blogger Matt, 8:08 AM  
two free desserts... seems like you could get away with two more if they return.

I remember when I was working in a pizza place, a guy brought his pizza right back in, and showed us where our 4 in by 3 in sponge was stuck to the bottom. Were we careless? Yep. Was it closing time and we had already pulled the grates on the cutting board and started cleaning? yep. Was the guy totally cool with it, and just wanted a new pizza? Yep. Did we give him a pizza and his money back? yep. Did he come back... I'm pretty sure he did.

I remember my mom getting a press-on fingernail in her pasta once. She wouldn't go back for years. Yet, at another place, she got some plastic zip ties (probably from chives) in her pasta, and thought nothing of it. I guess it depends on level of nastiness and one's mood that day.
commented by Blogger Matt, 8:10 AM  
Give him a scrub-brush and say something like, "I thought you'd like the rest of it."
commented by Blogger Happy In Bag, 8:48 AM  
You mention something else I've noticed in my experience as a customer ... on those occasions when I have been comped, say, a dessert or a glass of wine for some kitchen error or minor delay--I'm talking about cases where the server doesn't have to offer something but insists, just as you did -- I invariably give the server a larger tip, usually of about the amount that I would have spent on the dessert or the wine. My question is, doesn't the boss wonder about this practice? It seems like a good way to pad your own pockets at no cost to you but at real cost to the restaurant (although, or course, they benefit in the long run through happy customers).
commented by Anonymous Point of Order, 9:59 AM  

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