This post is dedicated to all the restaurant owners and managers out there. Why? Because I see an unfortunate widespread problem with about 70 percent of the restaurants I visit, including a fairly new one I visited this weekend.
The predicament: No managerial or owner presence. Take Aviator Smokehouse in Fuquay-Varina, for example, the restaurant where I dined for lunch on Sunday. To be fair, the hostess was polite and seated my group quickly. Likewise, the waiter greeted us soon after we got settled, and he managed to provide above-average service.
Food was brought to the table within 15 minutes of ordering. Drinks were refilled several times. The bill was correctly figured and promptly delivered.
The one glaring omission: Nary a manager or owner in sight. Nobody came by for a courtesy “How was everything today?” quality control spot-check. Here’s the thing: the restaurant wasn’t that busy. How hard would it have been for Joe Manager or Susie Owner to stop by our table for, oh, I dunno, 30 seconds? What a shame.
Please don’t think I’m picking on one singular restaurant. Similar scenarios play out at lunchtime all over the Triangle and beyond. In an effort to end on a positive note, at least the fine folks at Stone Walls in Banner Elk, a superb steakhouse where I dined Thursday evening, “get it” when it comes to superior customer service. The manager came by our table at least twice to ensure our dining experience was satisfactory.
So, to all the rest of you restaurant managers and owners out there in dining land: please take that extra step and check in with your patrons. Some of us really do care about this.