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  Sweets & Savories Disappointment
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  • Post #31 - July 21st, 2006, 10:43 am
    Post #31 - July 21st, 2006, 10:43 am Post #31 - July 21st, 2006, 10:43 am
    Now, having said that, I haven't heard anything on this or that other board that would prevent me from going there, but if I do have a bad service-related experience there, I'm less likely to give them the benefit of the doubt that it was an isolated, truly odd experience.


    One possible, unfortunate result of this thread is that one now might expect some service-related gaffe at S&S. Personally, in my one visit, I enjoyed the service. It was evident to me that they had a passion for what they are doing. Maybe that passion comes across poorly to some. But gosh, I'd rather experience that passion in a restaurant than the frequent "je ne sais quoi" I often experience.
  • Post #32 - July 21st, 2006, 10:48 am
    Post #32 - July 21st, 2006, 10:48 am Post #32 - July 21st, 2006, 10:48 am
    gleam wrote:If you were at Alinea and had a bad experience with the wait staff, would you find it not worth posting about?


    No question I would, but $450 is a heck of a lot more than $150.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #33 - July 21st, 2006, 10:49 am
    Post #33 - July 21st, 2006, 10:49 am Post #33 - July 21st, 2006, 10:49 am
    The GP wrote:
    Now, having said that, I haven't heard anything on this or that other board that would prevent me from going there, but if I do have a bad service-related experience there, I'm less likely to give them the benefit of the doubt that it was an isolated, truly odd experience.


    One possible, unfortunate result of this thread is that one now might expect some service-related gaffe at S&S. Personally, in my one visit, I enjoyed the service. It was evident to me that they had a passion for what they are doing. Maybe that passion comes across poorly to some. But gosh, I'd rather experience that passion in a restaurant than the frequent "je ne sais quoi" I often experience.


    To be clear, I do not mean to imply that this thread alone has influenced my thinking. I'd like to think that I'm much more fair-minded than that. There have been other threads, here and other places, containing a variety of comments about service, some related to timing, some to the management's response to complaints. As gleam stated above, almost everyone is enthusiastic about the food, but less so about service.

    Indeed, as a result of this and other threads, I think I'm more inclined to make dining at S&S a priority, just to see how the experience pans out and where I fall along the service divide.
  • Post #34 - July 21st, 2006, 10:52 am
    Post #34 - July 21st, 2006, 10:52 am Post #34 - July 21st, 2006, 10:52 am
    aschie30 wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:If people were going to S&S and reporting back that the food was uninspired, poorly prepared, or some other terrible food-related experience, the community has every right to know about it. People should not hesitate one bit to discuss negative experiences at restaurants.


    Agreed, however, are you limiting discussion of "negative" experiences to only food-related experiences? Sometimes, one little service-related issue can ruin a whole dining experience. We may be on the same page here, but I think it's justified to discuss those, too. I don't think any good restauranteur out there would relegate service to the lowest tier in the dining experience.


    There can be bo doubt that service is an essential part of the dining experience. I enjoy the enthusiasm of the service at S&S. I think that sometimes just people misinterpret this enthusiasm. Obviously I can't say for sure since I wasn't at the table for those meals. I'm just going on my own experience.

    Can we please get back to food now? It is almost lunch time.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #35 - July 21st, 2006, 11:00 am
    Post #35 - July 21st, 2006, 11:00 am Post #35 - July 21st, 2006, 11:00 am
    Can we please get back to food now? It is almost lunch time.


    Sounds like a grand idea! What's for lunch?
  • Post #36 - July 21st, 2006, 11:05 am
    Post #36 - July 21st, 2006, 11:05 am Post #36 - July 21st, 2006, 11:05 am
    jesteinf wrote:
    gleam wrote:If you were at Alinea and had a bad experience with the wait staff, would you find it not worth posting about?


    No question I would, but $450 is a heck of a lot more than $150.


    Okay, but for something in the $150 range you wouldn't?
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

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  • Post #37 - July 21st, 2006, 11:27 am
    Post #37 - July 21st, 2006, 11:27 am Post #37 - July 21st, 2006, 11:27 am
    Depends on the issue, depends on the restaurant.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #38 - July 21st, 2006, 12:10 pm
    Post #38 - July 21st, 2006, 12:10 pm Post #38 - July 21st, 2006, 12:10 pm
    aschie30 wrote:Indeed, as a result of this and other threads, I think I'm more inclined to make dining at S&S a priority, just to see how the experience pans out and where I fall along the service divide.
    I was just thinking the same thing. All of these references to S&S have actually put it on my radar screen. It seems that most of the complaints I have read, have to do with miscommunication with the customers. Not properly managing expectations often leads to disappointments. In larger operations there are usually professional hosts and dining room managers whose jobs are specifically to handle customer service. In smaller establishments where whoever happens to be closest to the phone takes reservations and handles customer complaints and requests (in addition to their regular job), there will be inevitable problems with communication. What is not acceptable at places like Tru or Trotter's can be overlooked at a place like S&S, especially if the food is good. Bottom line, I judge a restaurant by whether or not I feel like I got my money's worth when I pay the bill, and so far I have never seen anybody complain about that with regard to S&S.
  • Post #39 - July 21st, 2006, 1:20 pm
    Post #39 - July 21st, 2006, 1:20 pm Post #39 - July 21st, 2006, 1:20 pm
    I agree with d4v3's point below. Coincidentally, right before my first visit there I read the discussion on this board that began with the Chowhound incident. On the one hand, that made me more aware of service and server issues. On the other hand, I can be a little prickly sometimes and knowing these issues ahead of time perhaps made me a little more accepting of eccentrities, so to speak.

    Second, as d4v3 pointed out, nearly all of the discussion is centered around two things: the food is excellent, and the service is different (not "bad service" in the traditional sense, though perhaps less refined). I hazard to guess that 95% of other restaurants wouldn't get this much attention on this board if their service was not acceptable. S&S gets this much attention because most of us like it very much, want to go back, want it to succeed, though perhaps adjust itself on the margin.

    Finally, I agree with the earlier poster who said service is an essential part of dining. I had a terrible service experience the last time I went to Blackbird, which was followed by an exceptional dinner. I left with a bad taste in my mouth (figuratively, of course) because of the service, and a feeling that I deserve to be treated better. Service is part of the high end dining experience.


    d4v3 wrote:
    aschie30 wrote:Indeed, as a result of this and other threads, I think I'm more inclined to make dining at S&S a priority, just to see how the experience pans out and where I fall along the service divide.
    I was just thinking the same thing. All of these references to S&S have actually put it on my radar screen. It seems that most of the complaints I have read, have to do with miscommunication with the customers. Not properly managing expectations often leads to disappointments. In larger operations there are usually professional hosts and dining room managers whose jobs are specifically to handle customer service. In smaller establishments where whoever happens to be closest to the phone takes reservations and handles customer complaints and requests (in addition to their regular job), there will be inevitable problems with communication. What is not acceptable at places like Tru or Trotter's can be overlooked at a place like S&S, especially if the food is good. Bottom line, I judge a restaurant by whether or not I feel like I got my money's worth when I pay the bill, and so far I have never seen anybody complain about that with regard to S&S.
  • Post #40 - July 21st, 2006, 2:50 pm
    Post #40 - July 21st, 2006, 2:50 pm Post #40 - July 21st, 2006, 2:50 pm
    Akatonbo wrote:It wasn't a mean or nasty e-mail...

    Akatonbo, I'd like you to clear up something that you haven't quite cleared up yet. Was your impression that the owner was telling you to kindly take your business elsewhere? Because that's the impression I got from your paraphrase, and if it was accurate, that's mean and nasty enough for me! (And I can find no excuse for it, whether he read all your emails or not.) On the other hand, was he not saying that? I'm very much hoping you'll confirm it was the latter, but I haven't heard you say that yet.
  • Post #41 - July 21st, 2006, 3:04 pm
    Post #41 - July 21st, 2006, 3:04 pm Post #41 - July 21st, 2006, 3:04 pm
    Was your impression that the owner was telling you to kindly take your business elsewhere? Because that's the impression I got from your paraphrase, and if it was accurate, that's mean and nasty enough for me!


    Even if it was what was being said, I don't see that as being "mean and nasty."

    Here's the bigger problem, though, that I have with the repeated picking at this scab. Now we're on to discussing, totally publicly, the finer points of a private communication between the restaurant and a patron. What effect do you think that's going to have on restaurants in the future if they have to fear that their attempts to rectify matters with a customer will be dissected word by word on the Internet? They'll apologize less-- better to lose one customer than let the whole world in on your private business.

    For that reason I think it's best that this thread be closed now. There's plenty of evidence for whatever interpretation you want to put on events in it as it stands.
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