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Restaurant Customer Service Lessons

I had a meeting yesterday at noon at an upscale restaurant.  Mind you, I don't normally eat at upscale restaurants.  I prefer eating my own homemade lunch at my desk and using the entire lunch hour to eat and just relax.  I'm also not a big fan of driving much of my lunch hour away.
Well, I had been invited to what I thought was a mixer but instead was a prelaunch for a referral networking organization.  Networking organizations are wonderful opportunities to grow your business.  I just wish the person who invited me had been more clear on what it was I was being invited to attend.  I probably should have asked more questions to prevent an obvious misunderstanding on my part.  Lesson learned.
Anyway, there were close to twenty people who were there in a reserved room of the restaurant.  For those twenty, there was one server.  
Customer service means to serve in a way for people to receive what they want in a timely manner. It was unfortunate for the young man to be overloaded and perhaps he should have been willing to share the built in tip with another server to make it easy on himself and to ensure all were satisfied in a timely manner.  One long section of tables had two bread bowls for sharing.  I had to ask an obviously put out server to bring bread for the same number of people at our long section of tables.  The same went for drinks which were included in the meal.  It was spotty service for a fee that should have guaranteed more from the restaurant.
If a tip is built into a meal then you should expect a certain level of service.  A fast food restaurant is not required to give you the same atmosphere and dining experience as an upscale restaurant.  That's why the food costs more and a tip is expected.
You can translate the experience to other things like waiting for hours in a Doctor's office or at the upscale car wash places.  Paying a premium price should mean getting more service and quality than your discount choices.  Isn't that why you spend for it in the first place?
I am a CPA in San Antonio and serve individuals and small business in San Antonio and surrounding areas.

Richard J. Garcia | 05/13/2010