DD’s birthday dinner

It was DD’s birthday the other day. Being the awesome mother that I am, I took her out for dinner. She just happened to choose a local restaurant for which I had a two-for-one-entrée coupon, so that was a nice bonus for the person paying – me.

We had been there before for both my birthday and for my mom’s. We had liked the ambiance, the food, the service, the location. So we knew what to expect.

But we didn’t totally get what we expected.

Oh, we got the ambiance, the food and the location, but I’m sorry to say that the service was pathetic. I don’t think either of us will ever go back there, two-for-one-entrée coupon notwithstanding. And I’ll discourgage everyone I know from going there, too.

When we got there, it wasn’t super-busy (we were pretty early, what with it being a weeknight and all). We were greeted promptly and pleasantly, and shown to a table. Not a great table, since it was in the centre of the room rather than along a wall, but it was okay. I could still see the TV above the bar and surreptitiously check the score on the hockey game.

But then we were left alone. We sat there for fifteen minutes at least. No one approached us to offer us so much as a glass of water, never mind take our drink or food order. The host seated a few more parties, the server flitted about bringing food and drink to a few tables, but it was like we were invisible. We weren’t still perusing the menu or wine list, either. They were laying on the table, a clear sign that we were ready to order. But no one even glanced our way.

I started getting pissed when I realized that people who had been seated after us were getting their orders taken and their drinks brought to them. I was looking around rather pointedly, and finally the host came up to us. She almost waltzed right past us, but maybe the disgruntled expression on my face stopped her. Or maybe it was the fact that I was currently gnawing off a thread that was sticking out from my sleeve and she thought I might be hungry.

We gave her our drink orders and also our food orders. No point in wasting time when we’d already been sitting there fifteen minutes twiddling our thumbs.

Our drinks arrived, then our food arrived, and all was good. We toasted DD’s birthday and ate lovely meals. The previously invisible server came by and asked how everything was. We said the food was great, but we’d like some water, please. I was a bit concerned, but the glasses of water did arrive quickly. Maybe the long wait for service was just a timing blip.

When we’d finished, the server came back to clear our plates and offer us dessert. We checked the dessert menu and decided that yes, we would indulge. It was, after all, DD’s birthday.

She ordered a special coffee along with her apple crumble. I was driving, so I requested a decaf coffee to accompany my berry shortcake.

DD’s coffee, laced with various liqueurs, was delivered first, along with the cream and sugar for my coffee. The server told me that my coffee would be right out.

Our desserts came next – and they were divine! So many calories, but so much happiness!

My coffee, however, did not arrive. At all. You would think that the server’s memory would have been jogged by the fact that he himself had placed sugar and cream on the table expressly for adding to my coffee if so desired. He passed our table more than once. He stopped to see how we liked our desserts. He had to have seen that there was sugar and cream waiting on the table.

And I, already miffed, did not feel like asking for my coffee again.

So when the bill came, I had a dilemma. (Well, not really, because I knew I wasn’t going to tip very much at all.) The two-for-one-entrée coupon had been applied and the total cost of the meal reflected that. I happen to know that in this situation, you are supposed to tip on what the full amount would be before the discount was applied. So I had to pull out my mobile and use its calculator to figure out what the full amount would be. Then I had to figure out an appropriate percentage to tip.

I’m not a math person, so this took some time.

I was paying with my debit card. On the restaurant’s debit machine, there were buttons for 10%, 15% or 20% tips. Normally, this saves my tiny little brain from math anxiety. But this time, those percentages were being applied to the discounted total of our bill, not the pre-coupon cost. That was not what I had figured on! I didn’t know what to do!

But then I realized that even if I added a 20% tip to the already-discounted total, it would still be less than what I had originally calculated. So that’s what I did.

And we left that restaurant and we will probably never go back.

(But DD says she still enjoyed her birthday anyway!)

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5 responses to “DD’s birthday dinner

  1. Bad service ruins a restaurant in my esteem. And I won’t hesitate to tell others about it. I believe in the adage that holds that each time you say something negative about a place, the person you tell tells 10 others. Bad service deserves to be punished. We work hard for our money. And Happy Birthday to DD.

    • mrwriteon – Everyone to whom I’ve told this story and has been to this restaurant is quite surprised by our experience. So it may have been a one-off, but I’m not planning to go back and find out! (Also, DD says thanks!)

  2. p.s. happy belated birthday to DD

    • VioletSky – No, I didn’t get charged for the forgotten coffee. And yes, I was wondering if there may have been a connection between the coupon and the crappy service. Sounds like that may be a far too common occurrence.
      And thank you from DD!

  3. I hope you did not get charged for the coffee.

    A friend and I were just yesterday discussing the poor service we get in restaurants that offer Groupon or 2for1 discounts or the infamous Summerlicious/Winterlicious events that Toronto offers and I will never again attend. It was great to get into restaurants to test them out and not pay full price, but almost every time the service was less than stellar. There were a few that I would have loved to go back to and would have brought friends and paid full price but because of the service was poor they were struck off my list. I have read many complaints about this very issue.