Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Proceed Gingerly With That Waitress

, , , , , | Working | August 26, 2022

Around 2010, my wife and I went for dinner at a famous local Italian restaurant that was a long-time favorite of ours. I ordered the spaghetti, and, for a change, I thought I’d try ginger ale, instead of my usual Coca-Cola.

Once our order came, I took a sip, and I noticed that the ginger ale was completely flat, with no fizz at all, and it didn’t taste right, either. Our waitress, [Waitress #1], came by a few minutes later to ask if everything was okay, so I told her the ginger ale was flat and didn’t taste right. She said she’d check on it for me. She came back just a few minutes later.

Waitress #1: “There’s an issue with the fountain dispenser for the ginger ale, so if I got you another one, that would be just as bad. Do you want something else instead?”

Me: “Thank you. I’ll have a Coca-Cola, instead.”

She brought that right back and it was perfect. I had several refills throughout my dinner, and they all tasted great.  

After we were about done, another waitress, [Waitress #2], brought our check. Our waitress was either on break or perhaps her shift ended; I really didn’t pay much attention at the time. When I looked at the check, I noticed that they were charging me for both the ginger ale and the Coca-Cola. It was only three dollars, but it was still wrong. Plus, I figured it was a quick enough fix.

I didn’t see our original waitress, nor the one who had brought our check over, so I flagged down another waitress, [Waitress #3].

Me: “Hi, there’s a small issue with our check. Could you let our waitress know so she can come by?”

Waitress #3: “Oh, sure. I’ll let her know right away!”

Me: “Thank you so much.”

After about five minutes, the waitress who brought our check came by and I explained the situation to her.

Waitress #2: “I understand there’s a problem with your check. How can I be of assistance?”

Me: “Yes, it’s just a minor issue. I originally ordered the ginger ale—” *pointing to it on the bill* “—but it was sent back because it was flat and didn’t taste right, so our waitress replaced it with a Coke, but I’m being charged for both drinks.

[Waitress #2] appeared confused, as though she didn’t understand the issue.

Waitress #2: “Yes, ah, well… I see. Well, you ordered two drinks, so that’s why.”

I responded in a confused tone because this seemed like a very simple fix.

Me: “Ah, I don’t think you’re following me. The ginger ale was sent back over a quality issue, and our waitress said there was a problem with the dispenser, so she replaced it with a Coke. I should not pay for the faulty ginger ale.”

Waitress #2: “I’m not sure I understand, but you got two drinks, so…”

Me: “Sorry, but no, I didn’t get ‘two drinks’. I only took a sip of the ginger ale and told our original waitress that it was flat, so she took it away and replaced it with a Coke. Is she available? She knows the situation.”

Waitress #2: “Oh, um, okay. Let me go get her.”

She left and never returned, nor did [Waitress #1]. After about twenty minutes, I flagged down another staff member and asked him to send the manager to my table.

The manager came just a few minutes later. I explained the whole situation, including that we hadn’t seen our original waitress, which was only an issue because she had first-hand knowledge of the situation, and that the other waitress had said she’d find her but neither one ever came back to our table.

Manager: “I am so sorry. This should have been an easy fix; I don’t why she complicated it so much. Your original waitress had to leave suddenly. Give me a minute and I’ll bring back your adjusted bill.”

He returned with our adjusted bill just a minute or so later. When he came, I had my credit card all ready to save him another trip.

Manager: “I apologize for the inconvenience. I’ve removed the extra soda from your bill, I’ve comped both of your desserts, and here’s a $25.00 gift card for a future visit.”

Me: “Thank you. Let me give you my card now. Can you please ensure that our tip goes to our original waitress? She’s the one who fixed the issue with my soda, and I’d like to be certain she gets the tip.”

The manager took a look at our slip.

Manager: “Oh, yes, her name is listed on your bill, so that means it will go right to her, but I’ll make certain that it does. Thank you for your business! Again, I apologize that this took so long. Let me run that for you now!”

He came back with our final check just a minute later. I signed the slip, and finally, about forty minutes after we’d finished our meals, we were finally able to leave!

I am glad it was handled so well by the manager, but what should have been a two-minute fix — and shouldn’t have required a manager’s involvement — ended up taking almost forty-five minutes. We did use that gift card a few weeks later since, to this day, it remains one of our favorite restaurants and our favorite Italian one!

Question of the Week

Tell us your most amazing work-related story!

I have a story to share!