Friday, May 01, 2009

Jaipur Grille: bad service = no customer

So the other night I went to Jaipur Grille on Yonge between Davisville and Eglinton.

The reason I was there was because I had a 2-for-1 entrée coupon via my Entertainment Book. (If you eat out and are comfortable giving your server a coupon, this is a good buy. I got one for my New York City trip, too.)

The coupon states that you get a second entrée for free when you order an entrée of equal or greater value – up to a value of $15. Pretty standard.

The food was alright. The lamb dish had some tough pieces, but overall the meal was fine. Not as good as The Host, but fine.

The service was ok during dinner (though they tried upselling at every turn, even after we declined) but it took forever to get the bill even after the guy had wrapped up the leftovers to go. We had mentioned we had the coupon when we first ordered and presented it to the server. Still, the bill came back at the full price. I’m not completely convinced this was an accident, but let’s give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was just absent-minded. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that there were perhaps 4 occupied tables in the restaurant and at least two or three servers, so it’s not like these guys were running off their feet.

The bill came back again and $10 had been scratched off the full price.

Not only was the amount short, but we were still being charged the tax on the “free” entrée. That’s fine, but kinda cheap – most restaurants who have this deal will remove the amount from the bill before tax. You tip on the full amount, though, before the coupon.

Tired of the slow service and not wishing to potentially debate the issue at the table, I got up and approached the server who was at the till. Another server stepped in and so I explained the situation to him. He seemed to be the more senior guy, anyway and they’d all been serving us.

The server explained that this is how they always do it. The Entertainment Guide rules are a little vague, but refer to the fact that the establishment may credit the “least expensive” item on the bill. It doesn’t clarify if that addresses bills containing more than two items. So that’s what the guy was crediting – the $10 item on our bill, not the $16 item (up to $15 – there was also a $17 item on the bill).

By that rationale, coupons that refer to “free menu item” could be used to credit your fries instead of one of your two burgers. That’s obviously not what the customer wants.

I had never seen a restaurant interpret the rule this strictly and so blatantly in their favour as opposed to the customer’s. While this may have been “by the book” it was certainly not “good customer service”. The server explained that they had been participating in the Entertainment Guide system for 6 years without a complaint. “Well, I’m complaining,” I replied. There goes that streak.

The server refused to budge and I was left stunned by his lack of customer service savvy.

Let me repeat that the only reason I was there was because of the coupon. The coupon got me in the door. The coupon got me to try the place out (that’s the point) and this guy was ensuring that I would not return.

Way to go.

Since I was certain that this was an establishment that shared tips, I informed the server the difference would come straight out of the tip.

And out the door we went, never to return again.

Some places just never learn; provide good service and maybe I’ll tell a few friends – provide BAD service and I’ll be sure to tell a dozen.

I wonder if a dozen people read this blog?

I guess Jaipur Grille is betting not.


Dan Misener said...

This post is _exactly_ why I'm glad Phil Loses His Mind is back.


Stick it to 'em, Phil.

Michelle Sullivan said...

Oh *I* read your blog, baby - and I always have my brother's back. Blog post re-published on my Facebook profile (461 'friends'), linked from Twitter (892 followers). #fail !

Michelle said...

Just checked my Twitter link tracking - my Tweet generated 49 visits to your blog blast of the Jaipur Grille.

A few more than a dozen ...

dicampbell said...

Welcome back!
And thanks for this post. If I ever get one of those Entertainment Guide coupon books, I'll definitely keep this in mind.