Do You Return To A Restaurant If You Have A Bad Experience But Were Compensated?

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Slow Service

Recently we visited a Chili’s in the Phoenix area. We had decided to go there because of a special they were offering that week. 3 items for $10, drink, entree and side salad or soup.

We got seated after waiting ten minutes for a table. After we were seated it took quite some time to get our drinks. When our server came to the table I asked if we could use our free appetizer rewards as it was expiring. The server stated she was new and would need to ask the manager. After speaking to the manager she returned and responded “No” because we were ordering the special. We then proceeded to order our entrees.When I inquired about one of the entrees on the special, she again reminded us that she was new, but believed the chicken came with broccoli and rice.

We waited awhile for our salad and soup to arrive, after twenty minutes I asked our server when we could expect them. She said they would be out shortly and five minutes later they arrived. After we finished them we waited again for our entrees. When my entree arrived it wasn’t the same as she had described, she apologized and said the manager will be out to talk to you. I spoke to the manager about the entree discrepancy. He verified the order, yet was confused which chicken entree was on the special. He apologized in a very professional and friendly manner for the long wait for our food and for the server describing the entree incorrectly. He was friendly and professional. We appreciated that he came to speak with us.

As were waiting to leave we ask for our check and the server responded that manager had comped our whole check. We never asked or expected to be compensated however it was a nice gesture given the confusion.

Would you return?

Pros: Server and manager were both friendly. The food was good even though one entree was wrong, drinks were refilled, manager visited our table, manager comped our check

Cons: Server was improperly trained, slow service, incorrect explanation of entree

Great customer experiences are few and far between so it was comforting to see the manager cared enough to visit our table and comp the check. It is the responsibility of the manager to ensure the servers / staff are trained properly. Instead of giving away an entire table of food, perhaps apologize and take accountability for the additional training needed.

Who is responsible for training in your restaurant?

Many corporations have specific trainers that train employees at a training store, while others have a specific trainer in each location, some training takes weeks others train in 2-3 days. In smaller restaurants training is done rapidly to get staff on the floor immediately in understaffed situations.

What do you believe is the correct way to train staff?

The Hart Experience works with restaurants to improve their customer experiences through mystery shops/ business assessments. After we complete our reports we offer training for the staff. If your restaurant needs to improve their customer experiences maybe it’s time to hire an expert to help you…

Contact Debbie Hart at The Hart Experience for your Complimentary mystery shop 602.717.3271

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