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2013's Most Provocative OpenThread: Can an Unfriendly Waiter Ruin Your Stay?

December 31, 2013 at 9:11 AM | by | Comment (1)

It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...

OpenThreads are our way of handing over the microphone to you dear readers. We put forth a topic, a dilemma, a question, a preference, or an opinion and you let us know how you really feel.

Past provocative OpenThread discussions have usually involved something found inside the guest rooms (toiletry dispensers, bibles, tipping the housekeeper, etc. but this year's thread involved the waiters and waitresses working downstairs in the hotel restaurant.

Here's how it all went down for ASchecter in a Brooklyn hotel:

It all started when the hostess refused to seat us until the rest of our party had arrived, even though we could see plenty of open tables. Fine. We told them we'd wait in the lobby and order some tea. Well, we had to elbow our way to the bar to get that done. And after one barista impatiently took our order, we lingered for ten minutes waiting for the tea to materialize (how hard can it be? You fill a pot with water and stick a teabag in it) before giving up and heading back to the lobby.

Five minutes later, another grouchy barista tracked us down in the lobby to inform us our tea was sitting at the bar—in other words, he could have brought it out to us, but didn't. OK, we said, we'll come get it. On the way back to the bar, we requested that the tea just be added to our brunch bill since we'd already put our names down for a table.

"Fine," he said, as if we'd just asked him to commit adultery.

Evidently, this was not off to a good start.

The meal itself didn't fare too well either. The waitress who took our order was different from the one who served us our food, who was different from the one who re-filled our teapot, so that by the time we needed the check, we didn't really knew which one 'our waitress' was. But since they were all equally grumpy and only answered in monosyllables, it didn't really matter.

Needless to say, we don't plan on returning to this place for a meal (our scrambled eggs with sourdough toast was good but we've had better), but we're still kinda curious about the rooms.

Down in comments, one reader told us that making tea in a hotel is "the single most annoying 'normal' request." Say what? That set off quite a few reactions. Another reader reminded us that the restaurant is sometimes a separate entity from the hotel and therefore the hotel can't really help you out with better service even if you are a paying hotel guest.

We say you should still complain about a restaurant to the hotel's front desk (or leave a review on Yelp or TripAdvisor) even if you aren't an overnight guest. The hotel should know how and what that restaurant is doing under their own a roof. Or you know, you can send your review to HotelChatter.

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In my opinion

The service in the hotel restaurant is comparable to the service throughout the entire hotel. Even if the restaurant is a separate company, it does not matter, bad service reflects on the entire hotel not just the restaurant. I remember that thread very well.

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