Appell Pie July 2014
What a shame
Recently we hosted family members including four children and two adults. I tip my hat to the parents of any family with four children or more. I frankly don’t know how they can afford four children. I’m not only speaking about money but time, commitment, sacrifice and when they are all girls, good luck. The planning for four weddings alone would send me into shock.
Being from landlocked Tennessee they wanted to stay on the ocean and I don’t blame them. We found an older property right on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale with a pool, access to the beach, and a Tiki Bar adjacent to the large pool with a full food and drink menu. I don’t remember who said it but it is common for waterside restaurants to have mediocre food with great views and locations. Surprisingly the food was very good here, but the service was not.
The first night at the hotel we went to the pool Tiki Bar area to have dinner. We were a party of ten. It was at least fifteen minutes before a server even noticed that we didn’t have menus. After another ten minutes our drink orders were taken. If you have ever experienced this kind of establishment you already know the rest of the story. Waiting, mistakes, and servers not able to deliver what we asked for in a timely manner. There was no language difference if that’s what you are thinking. It took one hour to receive our dinners. Remember, two of the group were young girls age one and two. The squirming, crying, dropping of silverware and overall anxiety was palatable. The kids were just fine that was me! As I stated before the food was good.
On another day my wife and I went to the Tiki Bar area to sit at a table overlooking the beach and keep an eye on the kids with their parents frolicking in the sand and surf. We were there for fifteen minutes again with no server anywhere in sight. Before we could order a drink we were asked to leave the table because there was a large party that wanted to sit where we were and had reserved it the day before. We moved to another table and never got a drink. I refused to go to the bar myself just on principal.
The point of this replay of events is that the hotel has a “diamond” location with good food and they are content to let poor service be the norm. Why not take the great aspects of food and location and expand on them to make the total experience great?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining for complaining’s sake. I feel bad for the owners of the property because they are “leaving money on the table” by ignoring the service component of hospitality. There did not seem to be any systems in place or a manager on site to implement any systems if they had them. I guess they feel the bar makes so much money they can ignore the food service section. I could just imagine if the proper systems were in place how popular this property could be.
As we were returning to the hotel room we passed an open door to the kitchen and being me I stuck my head in and yelled to the line cooks a blanket compliment of the food. They were stunned and after regaining their composure they thanked me. What a shame. A talented crew being hurt by poor service and no systems.
It’s no secret that a business has to get it right the first time. Customers have so many alternative choices and they won’t give you their hard earned money for bad service. Take that hard look at the products and services you provide and make sure the customer experience you provide is great. You don’t want people saying “What a shame” about the closing of your restaurant.