Service Recovery. How Not To.

I just saw a friend’s post about a rather less-than-satisfactory dining experience. This is what she wrote. No names or locations mentioned in this post.

“I feel compelled to write this review as this is the worst restaurant experience I ever had.

When I made the reservation I was told that there is only a table in the outdoor area available. When we arrived, we sat at the table that was reserved for us. The next moment, the guy at the next table started smoking and the wind blew the smoke right into our face. This happened for quite a while as he smoked 2 sticks of cigarettes consecutively. I asked the waitress if she could move us to a table indoor and she said that they were all reserved. However we noticed that there was an empty table for 2 and my husband talked to the waitress and she allowed us to move there.

After ordering the food we waited quite a while for the starter. After finishing the starter, my husband’s food came after a while. I kept waiting for my food and it did not arrive even after he had finished his. We asked the waitress whether my food was coming and she did not seem to check with the kitchen. Another half an hour passed. By then we were already in the restaurant for about an hour and my food was still not served. There was a couple who took the outdoor table that we vacated, and their food came before mine though we came much earlier!?!? This was the last straw. We questioned the waitress and she said that the kitchen probably mixed up the order papers!?!? That’s not a valid reason!!

After a while my food came but I had lost my appetite. We had originally wanted to order some dessert but didn’t in the end as it was such a bad experience.”

The restaurant did get back to her with:

“Hi (Name),
After reading your email, we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience you may have gone thru with your husband.

We truly understand how you feel.
In order to show our sincerity to u and your husband, we hereby offer to you a dining voucher of value $50 to u and your family.

Can I have your mobile phone no. So that I sms you the S $50 offer dining sms. You just simply show our waitresses this sms. You are entitled to have this offer from us.

Also, I will inform them this $50 dining offer is for you.

I hope u and your family have a good dining experience in (Restaurant name).

Best Regards,

What do you think of the restaurant’s service recovery action? What would you have done? Write and let me know! I’ll give my opinions in the next part of this post.

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