Waiter/Manager with an attitude.

Joined Sep 5, 2008
Wow, this is pretty unbelievable. I have trouble believing how many restaurant owners and/or managers who are also waiting tables have an attitude here in Los Angeles.

Part I
My wife and I go to this tapas restaurant. Very nice, the waiter (who is apparently the manager, maybe even the owner) comes and brings us the menu. We're left to ponder for 5 mn, and notice the $20 tapas plate special for two. Sounds great!

Waiter comes back and asks us what we want. We order the Tapas special, which contains baby back ribs - one of the tapas on the plate. At that point he tells us they don't have baby back ribs. He goes on to say that it takes them 6 hours to make the ribs.

That was the first negative note: first of all I don't care how long it takes you to make them. Second, if this is part of your special, and the first tapas in your "A la carte" menu, don't you think it'd be worth mentioning that you're out of them WHEN YOU BRING THE MENU, not once we've made our choice? :mad:

OK so he says we can replace them with the beef skewers. My wife says she doesn't eat beef. He replies "But baby back ribs are pork!". My wife says "Yes, so?". He says "So you eat pork but you don't eat beef?" as if she was from another planet. My wife says "Yes, is that not allowed?". :lol:

Now most tapas are A la carte between $8 and $13 or so. The $20 special includes about $28 worth of tapas including the $10 baby back ribs. The suggested beef skewers replacement are $11. I spot garlic prawns for $12, so I suggest we replace the missing baby back ribs with the garlic prawns since my wife doesn't eat beef. I can see him grimace and suggest we just order "A la carte". I insist we want the garlic shrimp in the special, and he says there will be a supplement. OK fine, I agree. I just pray the supplement is not going to be $7 or something absurd, but whatever.

Still I'm a little annoyed that because they don't have what they advertise to sell, I have to pay extra for something else that's not exactly what I wanted in the first place. But whatever, I'm here to have a good time.

From then on, the meal was great, the food was very very good, the waiter started joking a bit (albeit with a patronizing tone) and finally didn't charge us a supplement. Thank you sir, but you should have offered that from the start. Still a good effort on his part and I leave a very generous tip.

Part II
10 days later we go back to the same restaurant. As the waiter brings us the menu, I ask if they have the baby back ribs. He replies with a tone that seems to suggest I can't read: "Yes, they're on the menu, aren't they?".

You've got to be kidding me? I really want to give him a piece of my mind, but I'm here with my wife to enjoy a good time together away from the kids. I'm not here to argue and fight. So I let it go.

But honestly, despite the excellent food at unbeatable prices in a wonderful setting, I don't think I'll go back.

Sorry, you won't see my business again.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Ridiculous isn't it? Maybe you needed to apply to order the baby back ribs 3 weeks in advance....

That manager is probably not even aware of the amount of business (s)he is losing over this sort of thing. Just wants to hear the cash register ringing.
Joined Jan 24, 2010
absolutely don't go back. you can post something on Yelp as well, that will affect others decisions and might help someone else avoid your experience.
Joined Apr 17, 2010
I wouldn't go back either, although just for the record, I worked as a waitress and it kind of makes you angry all the time because customers treat you like a hat rack with moving feet. I quit after only a few months, which is what all waiters with chips on their shoulders should do.
Joined Feb 19, 2010
This is really bad service by such a reputated hotel .this problem lies with every hotel who got popular in short period of time the dont maintain the quality for longer period .
Joined Sep 16, 2009
OMG... these people!  I agree with everybody here.  Why put something on the menu that's not there?  I would understand if that something wasn't the specialty but its a TAPAS restaurant for pete's sake!  Well, there are other tapas restaurants in LA... and I like to food hop and so this will be your new adventure!
Joined Apr 29, 2010
You do have to realize running out of an item is not the servers fault....it really is no ones fault. It must have been an outstanding product if they 86ed them!
You also have to realize that the Chef and his staff play a game of roulette everynight when planning their menu and how much of each item they actually prepare. It is an extremely difficult job to predict which items will sell and which don't. Making mistakes such as overpreparing items that don't sell take a heavy toll on the restaurant's ability to make a profit.

That said, there is no reason whatsoever for a server to cop an attitude with a guest who is paying his rent. If anything he should be a professional salesperson (which is what every waiter has to be in order to be a success at his job) and be able to sell you an appealing second choice....minus the curt attitude.
Joined Apr 24, 2010
EloNat, I think the second part of your post was the problem, not necessarily running out of the item itself. I'd be a bit put off if I received that kind of attitude over simply trying to order something, and Fries was right in the regard that the server should have made it known that they were out of an item on the specials menu. That's poor form to neglect to mention it.

That being said, sometimes running out of an item is most definitely somebody's fault. It doesn't have to be someone's fault every time, but it's definitely not an exempt problem. For example, if we run out of chicken during the normal course of business (regardless if it's a special or a la carte), perhaps it was because we forgot to put it on the order. Or perhaps US Foods left it in the warehouse. Maybe it was because we forgot to store them in time upon receipt, and we had to expense and waste them. One way or another, those are all incidents where someone made the mistake.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
EloNat, I have to wonder if you actually read the original post, and understand what the problem is. It wasn't about running out of something. It was all about a server's (well, actually, two servers') attitude.

Note the progression.

1. Ribs appear on the menu in two places, both as part of the special and as part of the a la carte menu.

2. The server did not mention, when bringing the menus, that the ribs were not available.

3. The server finally told the patron there were no ribs, after they had made their choice. And why? Not because they had run out (which, btw, would have been somebody's fault), but because they take a long time to cook.

4. The server then gets snide about the patrons choice of subs.

Now we jump ahead, and the same patron, on another visit, in order to avoid the same problem inquires if the ribs are available. The server responds with attitude, and the comment that they are on the menu so of course they are available. Don't forget, they had been on the menu at at least two places during the first visit.

All this adds up to a problem with the wait staff, and actually has nothing to do with running out of a product nor the reasons for it.
Joined Jan 27, 2010
The cousin of my hubby actually owns a restaurant and they themselves are annoyed with the attitude of their workers particularly the chef and their servers. She didn't mention the details but they just said that most, if not all the people who works at the restaurant are hard-headed and really have some attitude. 

Gosh I wouldn't go back to that restaurant. That's just rude, those servers should be giving you an excellent customer service since they are the front runners of the restaurant. They will lose a lot of customers if they continue doing this. 
Joined Feb 28, 2008
gotta do 3 things here:

1-have the ribs

2-if you don't, tell the guest upon arriving at table, and apologize..maybe suggest something else...

3-dont be a jerk to the people that keep you in a job.

I try so hard not to sound like a negative nancy, but I truly believe true service is dead(or at least on life support)...Its gotten to where if I encounter good customer service I'm blown away and go out of my way to reward whom ever it is that provided it...then I get on my wifes nerves in the car going home by going "see baby, thats service, see how is it was, blah,blah,blah"..
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Grits-N-Gravy you are spot on.

Except, maybe, the part about getting on wife's nerves. That's never a good idea. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif
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