living a full life on a smart budget-naturally and organically

When Bad Service Gets Redemption… August 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — nskinner @ 7:05 pm

I’m sharing this experience because it is one of the few times that I’ve gotten great resolution to bad service at a restaurant. It is not intended to relay that you should expect this level of resolution for all instances or abuse establishments who do handle things by offering free meals or gift certificates.

We had family in town several weeks ago. We love to take family to Old European in Post Falls, ID. It is normally the best place around for breakfast and they have a great lunch menu selection too. Plus nothing beats their fresh squeezed OJ. We went during non-peak hours (after breakfast and before lunch) and the restaurant was not very full. That considered, it seemed like we would get fast service and the great food quality we normal expect.

Well, it turned out to be the worst experience we’ve ever had for service and for the food. I came home and wrote a letter to the manager. I was honest, but I did leave a few things out…so it was actually worse than my letter. I didn’t want my letter to be longer than one page though, so I just hit the most important things.

Within a few days I had a letter from the restaurant in my mail box, hand addressed. I opened it to find an apology letter with no excuses, but just acknowledging this kind of experience was unacceptable to them. Excellent!  I find it very commendable when people or businesses can just own up to a mistake, apologize and learn from the experience. Included with the letter was a $50 gift card to invite us to give them another shot.

Now you may be surprised at the amount, but I did something very important in my letter. I included my ticket # , table and server name as they appeared on my receipt. I’m sure this allowed the General Manager to review our ticket and make sure he was offering us something close to what we paid for our ticket. I was very impressed by this gesture. I honestly expected an apology letter and maybe a coupon for a free meal or something, but nothing of this amount.

So, I am impressed at how this was handled. And yes, we will be trying them out again on their dime to see if that day was just an isolated incident. I sure hope so because we love Old European…on a good day.

If you’ve never been there and want to try them out (because outside of this incident they are phenomenal!) I recommend: the pancake plate, fresh OJ, the goulash and just about any sandwich with a bowl of tomato basil! They have a location in Post Falls, ID or Spokane, WA (on the North side) but the two locations are separately owned and have slight menu variations.


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