Monday, May 30, 2005

Complaining about bad service?

We got lotsa customers complaining about bad service. We appreciate that most of the time. Being in the restaurant business myself, I need these feedbacks to see how we should improve our operations, products, services etc.

But then .. there are those customers i wish i could strangle them, tell them off, burn them at the stake .... but being the civilized me and always having the "customer is king" attitude, I endure, smile ... But anyways, the complaints are always the same. Food is slow, Payment is slow etc.

It is very sad about some simple observations about many Singaporean customers, ask anyone who runs a restaurant and they will agree with you :

1) They expect to be treated like Kings and Queens
2) They think "I am paying money and service charge, of course I expect nothing less than what I demand"
3) They think their money is BIG DEAL
4) Even if they are told they have a certain waiting time for their foods, they still complain.
5) They finish their foods, then they complain - when you couldn't do anything to resolve the issue by then.
6) They can't put themselves in other people's shoes.
7) You apologize, give them discounts, and they will still want to give you a hard time. Should I retract my apologies and discounts then, because if they are not pleasing to you, what will?
(I had even given customers free meals before and they are still angry. HUH???)

If there are any of my customers who are reading my entry and had experience bad or slow service at my restaurant, I apologize, and I would also hope that, you guys be more forgiving. I am just asking Singaporeans to be more understanding, forgiving and gracious. We're trying to make a living, by selling you our foods and providing a nice ambiance.

Stop thinking spending your money at restaurants will mean you can start treating people like they are your slaves. The next time readers, when you eat at any restaurants please keep the following in mind:

1) We're just humans.
2) To you, you're just waiting for your food and paying up when you're done. To us, we have to do the following:
- Send you to your tables, send you your menus, explain to you about the menus if necessary, take your orders, send your orders, prepare and make your drinks or salads and soups, send you your bill, collect and process your bills/cards, return your change/receipts, and clear your tables, and set the tables for the next customer.
3) And we do not have 1 service staff to attend to each customer, typically, it is 3-4 persons, doing all the above (and other things as well) and serving 70 of you all. Think I should hire more? Are you will to pay more?
4) Ever waited long for your payment? The bottleneck could be the credit card machine. OR if multiple customers wanted to pay all at the same time, you'd have to wait your turn. More machines/staff to process payments? I'll ask again, are you willing to pay for them?
5) Look around and see if we're trying to slack on our work. Seriously. Does it look like we're not trying our best to serve ALL of YOU??

All I am urging, is that customers do not just ask and complain why services suck. But they should also ask themselves, am I being reasonable or gracious at the same time? If you want to complain, we'd be happy to hear them, and accept criticism, but also let us offer you a way to compensate you, in a form of a discount, replacement or whatever. And please please please, appreciate it.

PS. A friend recently asked "Is there a place where I can place complaints abt bad restaurants and all?" Most restaurants allow you to channel your feedbacks via a form or something. Why not go direct? Instead of complaining and destroy other people's reputation via a blog, maybe you could help by giving them advice or feedbacks to help them improve directly?

Remember, you're not really helping anyone by being nasty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Apart from describing the minimum standards of what is expected of you as a professional in the hospitality business...I can't see anywhere the understanding that the guest, as a minimum, must be treated with respect and dignity as they - not the establishment - are responsible for your pay check. I also notice that in your description of your duties in service, no where do I see..."Responsible in ensuring that all guests are served in a manner so as to ensure that they leave with a positively memorable experience with a strong inclination to return and speak positively about the establishment"