June 25, 2012 9 Comments
We were 20 minutes late for our reservation at Tramshed on Saturday but since our reservation was for 5pm, an hour which is neither lunch nor dinner, I didn’t think to mention it when we gave our name to the hostess. That’s why I was surprised when the blond amazon woman receptionist with frizzy hair made a big fuss; flipping back and forth through stapled papers, scrolling up and down on the computer screen – like I was a George Costanza claiming to be on the guest list at a lady Gaga concert.
“Oh there you are! Your reservation was at 5.” She bristled. “You are half an hour late!”
“Well now I am.” I wanted to say because you’ve been wasting my time for 10 minutes.
“I just want to inform you that we will probably need the table back in one hour and 10 min. We might not but just so you know.” I wanted to remind her that this is no longer February 2007 (boom) but rather June 2012 (bust) and that on behalf of her employers she should smile and thank me for my custom but I channeled my inner Yoda and simply look at her blankly. Humor me and let me explore this inane statement for a minute. Because by trying to bully the customer, even one that is 20 minutes late, two things are guaranteed. First, the customer knowing that he will be “maybe, perhaps, possibly’ forcibly evicted when some kitchen timer behind the hostesses desk goes *ping*, doesn’t order a bottle of wine. Second, they skip any side dishes and desserts because to get through starters and a main course in an hour in unrealistic let alone side dishes and dessert. The last thing the offended customer wants to do is pander to the bully receptionist by asking “Do you think I have time to order dessert and give you more of my money?”
Meaning that she may have made her point but the restaurant has lost out on all their margins, since everyone knows those come from drinks, desserts and side dishes.I am sure that Mark Hix didn’t open 8 restaurants in 5 years, pen 9 books and commission a special Damien Hirst installation and use Jake and Dino Chapman “Insult to Injury” wallpaper just so the customer could be put off their dinner within the first seconds of entering his restaurant. Read more of this post