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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is it Fair to Blame Your Waiter When...

Written by  Ira Koretsky

My wife and I went to a big name chain restaurant last night. It became the third consecutive bad experience. 

We thought the first "bad" experience about a year ago a fluke. Six months later, we said it's just a bad coincidence. Last night, was our decision point in deciding never to go back.

Toward the end of the evening, I asked my wife, "Is it fair to blame the waiter when it wasn't his fault, at all (add emphasis on "at all")?"  

Here are the three big gotchas occurring last night:

- The hostess was surly and a bit rude to us when we simply asked at 45 minutes the status when we were promised a 30 minute wait.

- The person who was supposed to seat us walked right by us without making eye contact or saying anything like, "please follow me." 5 minutes later he came back without one even hinting at an apology or misunderstanding.

- The wait staff who came to serve the food (not our waiter) gave us the wrong order

We have all experienced varying levels of bad service at restaurants. While the experience was unpleasant, none of it had anything to do with our waiter. 

Why then do we blame the wait staff? It's simple. He/she is our primary point of customer service. First impressions are lasting impressions. Each time someone visits the restaurant there is an expectation for quality of food and service. 

Are visitors to your website, callers to your 800 number, guests in your office, and so on having the experience you want? 

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky is the president of The Chief Storyteller®, a boutique marketing and sales consulting firm. He has delighted audiences around the world helping them achieve better business outcomes and accelerate their revenue with highly effective written, spoken, and social media communications. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, columnist, consultant, and executive coach. Twitter @chiefstorytellr

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