One woman was trying to make a special night for a family celebration. She thought she had all her ducks in a row, but apparently, duck wasn't on the menu that night. So, she decided to make sure the restaurant's goose was cooked. Enough puns, check it out for yourself.
Few months ago, I volunteered to plan my MILs 60th birthday and my FILs 64th birthday which was a weekend in wine country.
I had made a reservation for a group of 10 at a new upscale restaurant months beforehand. Because it was also a winery, we arrived 2 hours early and checked in with the restaurant to see if they could seat us earlier.
Despite an empty restaurant, they said they couldn't, and that was no big deal we understood they could be low staffed, so we went and got some wine and hung out and listened to live music.
Close to our reservation time, I got a text from the restaurant to be seated. It was beginning to rain.
We walked over to the hostess, she informed us that because it was raining, and because our table was outdoors, that they would not be able to seat us tonight.
As calmly as I could, I explained to them that I have had a reservation for months, I've been here for two hours, and I was not told that my reservation was for an outdoor table or subject to rain (there was no indoor/outdoor option).
I explained to them that it was for a 60th and 64th birthday party. I asked if they could split us up between tables, and they just kept saying that there was nothing they could do, and that it wasn't their fault... because 'we can't control the weather'
I snapped a little and said sharply 'well what you could have done was not reserve out a table to a large party that you could not guarantee'. The manager just shrugged.
We left, and because it was a Saturday at 6:00 p.m. there was no way we were getting a seat at another restaurant, I had to go to the grocery store and cook a full meal for 10 people.
I emailed the manager to ask them if there was anything they could comp because our experience was so terrible. I got no response after a week so I made multiple Gmail accounts, and left what was a fairly new restaurant TEN different one star reviews.
In the reviews I said that you should never book this restaurant if you have a large party, how they did not try to find us a table at another restaurant, how they had two hours to fix their error, that they booked out a table they could not guarantee, that they didn't move a table under cover (which there was plenty), provide any comps or otherwise make any attempt to fix their error.
They ended up with a two-star drop in their Google rating because of my reviews. I left one review for every person that did not get a seat.
Several days after I had posted, they reached out offering to comp a meal for my in-laws IF 'our group' took the reviews down. Which I refused.
This is where you edit the one star reviews to mention that the restaurant offered to comp a meal if you take the one star review down. Tell them you'll consider it for the 70th/66th birthday parties. (Given that this was 'in wine country' that comped meal would require planning a whole nother vacation...)
I hate when they offer something after the consequences of their actions caught up to them.
I always remember the time I was one of a group of five tech support people that had an hour to eat and be back on the phones. We went to a TGIChiliBees type place that we had been to before.
They may have had some kind of deal where they promised they'd have you in and out in a short amount of time. We sat down, ordered, and waited. And waited. And waited. And then it was time for us to go so we could get back on time. We flagged down our server and explained the situation.
As we left, a manager appeared with another employee and handed us all our food, packaged to go. He apologized, comped us the food, and gave us his card and told us to come back again for free.
We did, and we had six people, one more than the original meal, but they had no problem comping everybody's lunch. I'm pretty sure the place is long gone since this was in about 1992 or so, but it's been my go-to above and beyond customer service story ever since.
I might have been tempted to make 10 different reservations over the next few weeks for large groups that failed to show up....
Here in the uk, where the weather is ‘unpredictable’ restaurants don’t take reservations for seating that’s not under cover, for exactly this reason. On a nice day you can use those seats as a walk in, fair. Taking a large booking & seating you outdoors when it might rain is bad form & you definitely showed them the error of their ways. 😎
Careful, Google will hide any reviews that have certain key words in them, including the word 'review'. They'll also hide any reviews with mentions of other businesses in them, anything with too many Caps or repeating punctuation (like !!!), basically anything they deem 'low quality' or unprofessional. Best not to give businesses something to spam the report button on your 1 star review about.
Wow. I'd have not only left bad reviews but I'd post about the experience all over social media and include the name of the restaurant so other people know not to go.