This week was most definitely not a happy week for me as it disturbs me to give negative reports toward anyone or their business. Three incidents this past week colored my world gray in the area of kindness, care for the client, going the extra mile, and truth in advertising.  I think I’ll stay home this week.

My son and I had dinner together on Saturday evening at a lovely Italian restaurant in Boca Raton called Mario’s Osteria.  I asked the waiter if it was possible to have their appetizer “Calamari Fra Diavolo” as an entrée. He agreed, stating that it wasn’t a problem at all.

An older waiter delivered my dish.  It had no sauce on it –  just a bowl of calamari.  He saw the quizzical look on my face when I asked if this was fra diavolo, to which he replied, “No, it’s garlic and olive oil.”   I took a bite while he stood there and it was indeed delightful.  He asked if he might bring me some red sauce on the side.  That sounded great to me.  At this point, our younger waiter walked over and said to me, “Don’t talk to him. He doesn’t know anything. I see what happened. I’ll take care of it.”

Wow.  I was speechless.  The younger waiter had completely emasculated the older gentleman.   A simple,”Thank you. I’ll take care of it,” to the senior gentleman would have sufficed.  The older man said nothing, just walked away.  This made me sad – the disrespect that was shown to this man who was, in earnest, trying to rectify the situation.

In the interim, my son’s dish was delicious so I had a few bites of his and waited.

My dish finally arrived and I couldn’t eat it.  I’ve never had an Italian sauce that was so sour.  It was prepared with sautéed bell peppers and they were quite pungent.  At that point, I decided to order something safe – a Caesar’s salad, which arrived, again after a wait, and was quite pleasant – something I would order again.

Silly us, we opted to try dessert – profiteroles.  They were so hard that we couldn’t eat them.  We left them on the platter and scooped out the two tiny bites of ice cream inside each one.  Meanwhile, my son is begging me not to say anything, so I didn’t.  He doesn’t like it when I critique customer service, even though I do it for a living, and so I obliged.

The waiter cleared our dessert and saw that it had not been eaten.  It appeared almost the way it had been served.  He made no inquiry.  

A DISCLAIMER HERE:  I never go out with the intention of someone “giving” me something.  In fact, on many an occasion, I have declined, but customer service is all about how to ensure return customers and promote a positive buzz about your business. A “happy” customer is a company’s best PR. 

THE KICKER: The bill came. There was no compensation on the bill at all except for having taken off the calamari dish, despite the lengthy inconvenience and inedible food. Oh well, we left and most likely . . . will not return