Some familiar names are posting thoughts on Eater Seattle's Facebook page about how they might have handled Art of the Table's big spending, Big Gulp-drinking patrons. Here's the way a few members of Seattle's food scene answered the question, "Would you allow big spending diners to carry in Big Gulps?"
Seems like a missed opportunity to blow a guest away. Why not tell the coca-cola loving guest to wait a few minutes, and then send a staff member to run across the street to 7-11 themselves! Present the ice cold coke in a decanter. Have fun with it. Show a sense of humor. These are the service moments that make this industry worth getting out of bed for. Isn't it more fun to figure out a way to say yes instead of no?
Il Corvo and Pizzeria Gabbiano's Mike Easton:
This is an interesting dilemma, I'm as guilty as anyone else of venting about the frustrations of being a Chef/Restauranteur on Facebook, I always try to keep it anonymous and only post it on my personal FB -away from the customs eyes. ....and yes, I would scoff at a customer, even at Il Corvo, for brining in a personal big gulp, but I also feel like the situation could of easily been avoided with just a simple offer by the waiter to pour the coke into a glass for the customer? -We often forget that once upon a time this was called the "hospitality" industry not the "service" industry, a subtle change in the language makes a big difference in the frame of mind
Former Seattle Magazine critic Allison Austin Scheff:
Say what you mean and mean what you say. If a customer wants Coke and the waiter says yes, that should be the end of it. If the chef in this instance is angry, he should direct the anger towards his server, who apparently said yes when his boss wishes he would've said no. The best way to handle this would've been for the restaurant to run out and buy the Coke themselves and serve it without attitude. (Read Ruth Reichl on the time her kid ordered pb&j or something similar and the waiter said, of course! and ran out to get the ingredients.) Of course I agree drinking Coke with dinner sounds terrible, but if making the customer enjoy their night—above all else—is the goal, it's a no-brainer.
Check out what Eater readers have to say and share your take on Facebook, or leave a comment.
· Restaurateurs Use Social Media to Shame Annoying Customers [Seattle Met]
· Art of the Table's Big Gulp Dilemma [-ESEA-]