The following story comes from this week’s KOSHER TODAY. It is a very important topic that deserves some serious conversation. See what you think about this………..
Kosher Diners Wonder About Level of Service
New York… Kosher diners are quietly asserting that service at many popular kosher restaurants in such key cities as New York, Miami and Los Angeles has declined. Some diners complained that staff were poorly trained in being “customer friendly” but still expected gratuities. The more successful the restaurant, the greater the chances for service lapses, say consumers. One family complained that it was asked to vacate their table while celebrating a 90th birthday to make room for waiting diners. “The waiter simply told us to sit outside to talk because people were waiting for the table.” Others said that people answering the phone were rude in response to a request for a reservation. One diner said: “I was made to feel like garbage by a Miami eatery just for asking for a 6:00 p.m. reservation at 11.” A Flatbush restaurant told a couple that they would have no problem seating a couple who then proceeded to hire a babysitter for a night out. But when they arrived 20 minutes later, they were made to wait for over an hour. “If only they were honest,” said the young mother, “I would have chosen another night to pay a babysitter and go out.” A middle aged couple said that their steaks were red and rare after asking for “well done.” The couple sent back the steaks after the waiter argued that the steak was indeed “well done.”
When asked if service has gotten worse at kosher restaurants, Elan Kornblum, known as “The Restaurant Guy” and Publisher and President of Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine
responded: “I can’t really say for sure if it has gotten worse, but one thing I can say is that with higher prices and larger checks, (and some restaurants tacking on service charges), diners are demanding more in terms of customer service from the restaurants. Many people have told me that they don’t mind paying a few extra dollars if they know they will get efficient and helpful service.” Some diners said that restaurants had a double standard “being nice when they need you and downright arrogant when they are full.” Several of the kosher restaurants reached by KosherToday
said that they were aware of the sentiments of many customers and were actively working to correct the problem, “but the customers are not without blame.” One restaurateur particularly blamed customers for not canceling reservations “when they know they won’t show up.” He added: “It’s a two-way street you know.” But with the customer having the final say and with the expression of “the customer is always right,” it is clear that most kosher restaurants have lots of work ahead of them in making customer service a priority. In Miami, a customer waiting for a table for over an hour suggested: “How nice would it be if the owner came outside, offered us a cup of water or a cookie and thanked us for our patience.” Then in a more somber tone, the young woman added: “Looking at his harried face all I really wanted is for him just to smile.” Despite these feelings, some customers suggested that bad service is the exception rather than the rule, but they agreed that they had noticed some decline in service.