Sunday, August 16, 2009

Didn't come Chop-Chop

Sunday evening was spent at Chop, a casual dining restaurant that opened in Richmond (really close to the Steve Nash Sports Club). Admittedly, this was not one of the best nights we've had out for steak, but the level of service we were provided did improve, so we felt obliged to let the manager know what was going on. However, this did not occur without a little bit of prodding.

As the late afternoon/evening was relatively sunny and warm, we chose patio seating over indoors (as well, indoor seating would've meant an additional wait). After choosing our own seat, we made notice of the decor, but started to notice that things were taking an inordinate amount of time to happen, and out of order at that. Our starter is a plate of mussels, which somehow manages to arrive before cutlery and before the complimentary bread. And where the heck is our server?

We finally do get our meals (steaks and prime rib with Alaskan crab) and the food is good. The steak can be cut with a regular knife (ie: not a steak knife), the presentation is good, and the previously mentioned starters are delicious. However, Denise seems to be missing the 3-pronged shellfish fork, forcing her to pick at it manually.

Our requests for certain things ultimately goes unfulfilled...a ginger ale refill fails to materialize, wet naps for after handling seafood are unavailable, and our server is nowhere to be found. And then a wasp decides to pay us a visit.

Something like this is generally expected during a warm summer day, but this one is particularly persistent, not attacking anyone else except for us. So far, we haven't been stung, but since the service up until this point has been rather mediocre, a wasp sting would've ruined the evening completely (that, and they can sting you through two layers of clothing). With us avoiding it and me wielding a napkin like a rolled up newspaper (I am lacking practice and precision in towel whipping), we make a big enough scene that we are moved inside.

Once inside, the service dramatically improves. We get everything we ask for, our new server actually wants to know how we're doing, and we get our drink refills. After assuring our new server that our complaint is not with her, we request to see the manager, telling of the things we've experienced since showing up. Because even after all that has been experienced, the food was pretty good and we wouldn't mind coming back. That, and the manager was very appreciative of our feedback and suggestions (which included the means to get rid of pesky insects). The manager admits to several shortfalls (they were also short-staffed, which he admits is not an excuse), and applies a discount the bill.

We write a small note on the bill that the tip is to go to our new server and not the unhelpful guy we had before.

1 comment:

My Jenneration said...

I think if the manager we spoke to had mentioned his short staffing situation one more time I would've said to him that it doesn't explain why the other waiters were able to keep up with the demands of their table. Because, really, it was only Matt's tables (our first server) that had sporadic service.

Regardless, a couple things to add:

1) While we were waiting for our food, I had watched a group of people sit down near us. They had been sitting there for about 10 minutes when a hostess peeked out from behind their booth and asked them if their table had been wiped (the table was currently covered with their large menus). The look of shock came over some of their faces as they lifted their menus and then general confusion because they really weren't sure. In the end, the hostess said that she would go ahead and wipe it.

2) They should have disclaimers for the patio booth seats. In one instance, a young guy was attempting to shimmy himself out when the cushions became detached from the frame (from what sounded like velcro being ripped). He hadn't realized that the next section of the cushion he was about to shimmy onto was only supported by air. Yep, you guessed it, his bum was kissing pavement and the bottom and back cushion went flying. Funny enough for someone who's younger, but I also watched as an older lady had the same problem but luckily she already had one foot on the ground and was holding her husband. I seriously think that's a lawsuit waiting to happen.