The Avocado Situation
So PC and I thought that we would take advantage of having the sitter at the house and grab a quiet dinner sans children. And it was a good idea…until
the avocado situation.
PC ordered a tri-tip salad and I selected a turkey club (less the bacon, of course). What I really wanted was a Turkey and Avocado sandwich, but they don’t have that on the menu. I typically order the Turkey Club without the bacon, leaving me with…turkey and avocado.
Some time later, our meals are delivered to the table by one of the kitchen guys. Noticing the absence of the avocado, I mention it to the kitchen guy, who says that he will inform our server.
[Sidenote: why is the server called a server when it’s the kitchen guy (not the chef) who serves the food? Shouldn’t we call her the orderer?]
About 6 minutes later, our server comes to the table.
Server: We have an avocado situation.
[I seriously thought she was making a little joke. She wasn't.]
Server: We’re out of avocado.
FrumeSarah: You’re out of avocado?
Server: Yes, we’re out. We get our deliveries on Mondays and today is Sunday. But we sent someone out and he should be back within 10 minutes. Unless you want something else…
Want something else? The sandwich is sitting right here in front of me. Isn’t it a little late to be asking me that question?!?
FS: Well, since the sandwich has already been made and you’ve already sent someone out, I’m good with this.
Server: My manager just told me otherwise I would have said something sooner.
And off she went. During which time, PC discovered avocado slices in his salad. Guess we know when they ran out.
TWENTY-FIVE minutes later, the under-ripe avocado slices (pictured above) were brought to the table. No fanfare. And no apology either.
It was an aggravating experience. Not because the restaurant ran out of avocados. These things happen. However, the kitchen should have forseen that they were running low and made certain that the wait staff was aware of the potential problem.
Once things has unraveled into a “situation,” the server should have done a better job of apologizing. And we were really rather shocked that the manager never approached us. Not even once.
So here is a little tip for the manager and her staff for dealing with a “situation”:
- Thank — “Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”
- Empathize — “I can see why this would be frustrating.”
- Apologize — “I am really sorry that this has happened.”
- Fix — “What can I do that would make this better?”
(alternately called LEAF)
If the server had employed this technique, it would have taken an annoyance and turned it into a funny experience. Instead, we grew more and more frustrated. If she had simply let us know from the outset (assuming that the kitchen staff alerted the wait staff about the avocado shortage), I would have changed my order. It would have been no big deal, we would have ordered pie to go, and we would have been on our merry way. Come-to-think-of-it, if we had gotten a simple apology, we still would have ordered the dessert. But now, they not only lost the profit on the dessert, but we are in no hurry to run back there.
Customer service, folks, customer service.
The latest Haveil Havalim can be found over at Batya’s place!