Please Wait Not To Be Seated?

please wait to be seated - long restaurant wait times

We try to do a night out a few times a month and last night headed out to a chain restaurant (I will hold off mentioning where as I have emailed a complaint to them) for dinner.  It is a restaurant we go to often, but not usually this location.  It is not all that unusual for a restaurant to have long wait times but our experience last night was ridiculous.

We got there with just one family ahead of us and at least five open tables visible just from the entrance so you would think you would not wait long?  You would be wrong.  There was no sign of the host staff when we arrived, about five minutes later a busser passed by and said he would go find the hostess, who came out and took details for only the family in front of us – telling them children can’t eat at a booth –  and said she would be back in a minute leaving us and the couple who arrived shortly after standing there with no greeting, no apology.

Almost ten minutes later she comes back to a crowd out the door, two tables had left while we stood there and she goes to one of the groups who arrived later and starts to take their details, they say themselves that others were there first and she finally takes just our details, the couple behind us left so she took details for the family behind them and announced “maybe you all want to wait in the bar area because it will be a while”.  We asked how long as she replies with “as long as it takes, I don’t know how long people will take to eat”.  What about the tables who left? Oh those tables are not available.

We copied the couple behind us in choosing to eat elsewhere and were seated right away at the nearby Swiss Chalet,  obviously many of the people behind us did too as I recognized a few of them in Swiss Chalet.  We will not be eating at that location again, but it is the worst host experience I have ever had, I am fine with being told it will be a while for a table but when I can see non-reserved tables and you don’t even bother to greet me – you have lost my business.

11 thoughts on “Please Wait Not To Be Seated?

  1. I wouldn’t go back! What horrible treatment of their customers! If a place is friendly and welcoming I’ll go back repeatedly.

  2. Ooooh I would not be going back! I have heard a ‘fact’ that one unhappy customer will generally lead to 70 people knowing (from details being passed) about a bad experience – so places really should make it in their best interest to keep a customer happy. This experience is just inexcusable though!

  3. wow that’s really pathetic. I would have complained too… I love swiss chalet and we often order from them when my mom comes over. (usually once every 2 weeks and its often a 50$+ order for 4 adults and 2 kids to eat.) weve had 2 problems with them in the last 6 years and they have always been beyond generous with an apology and a credit. (the last time there was a problem with one meal and they gave a credit for the value of the whole order not just the 1 meal.)

    I hope whatever place you originally went to gives you a proper apology and something to get you back in the place.

  4. UGHH!! That has happened to me on a few occassions, once when I was waiting almost 30 minutes for the waitress to take our order!!! And was not a busy night. I got up and left (and left my date sitting there..lol)

  5. Working in retail, I find people will put up with waiting, if you just ~tell them~…. and that was the problem here, no one told you what the big delay was. And that’s how they lose business!

  6. Unfortunately it seems like a lot of mismanagement, perhaps a few reserved tables or a lot of disorganization. Who knows? I would have left too, that’s ridiculous!

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