Competency in Restaurants – Take-Out Blues

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If you have ever ordered take-out food more than a few times, I am sure you can relate to this article. One of my pet peeves is poor training and sour attitudes in restaurant establishments. You know what I mean—the wait staff that never smiles, that could care less if your glass is as barren as the Sahara, and brings you everything except napkins and utensils. Even worse is the same staff that still expects a substantial tip.

Recently I ordered pizza from a local chain restaurant (no name mentioned!) and received an order totally opposite what I ordered and paid for. I specifically ordered three medium, thick pepperoni pizzas. I paid $30. I received one medium hand-tossed pepperoni and two medium hand-tossed cheese pizzas. These were on special and the total for that order would have been $15 plus tax.

I wasn’t upset simply because I paid double for the value of what I received, but mostly because I hate hand-tossed pizza. I am one who believes a good meal is worth the price. This was not worth the $15 value much less the $30 I paid.

Pizza establishments aren’t the only restaurants that frequently fall into the category of poor service. What about the drive up windows of fast food burger places? If the prep staff is not going to get the order right, why even ask what I want on my burger? Why give options to me if I’m not going to get what I want anyway?

Another gripe I have is the way beverages are dispensed. What’s the deal with the watery drinks? I’ve often wondered if the soda I drank was actually one someone else ordered, that sat with the ice melting, and then was given to me because I happened to order the same thing.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not bashing the restaurant worker in general. Most are hard working individuals making a living for their families. Heck, I have some family in the industry. Nevertheless, just as an accountant is expected to be accurate in preparing someone’s taxes, I expect my waiter/waitress or drive-thru window employee to get my order right! Is that asking too much?

If I order thick I don’t want hand-tossed. If I order a burger with only mayo, cheese, and onions, I don’t want one with the works. If I order a soda, I don’t want colored water. If I dine in and order from the menu, I expect to receive napkins and utensils (kind of important in the eating process). And if things go poorly, I don’t tip the full amount. Sorry! In my line of work, if I botch a job I don’t get paid. Tipping is not that different.

It’s pretty simple, I think—do half the job, get half the tip. What do you think?


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