Saturday, May 25, 2013

5/25/2013 Mystery Diners

(Tucson, AZ)

Memorial Day Weekend and we’re not at the beach.  Instead, we’re still in Tucson.  Still in Lazy Days.  This is day 74.

A couple of weeks ago I told you that Bob and I and Bonnie and Steve went to dinner at the restaurant here on the grounds.  The Florizona, remember?  Bob and I both ordered steaks that were like shoe leather and we were referred to as “you guys” by everyone which a pet peeve of mine. 

Well, a few days later I called over to the restaurant and obtained the manager’s name and email address.  I wrote her a very nice letter explaining about our steaks and the “you guys” but also gave kudos where they were due.  Friendliness of staff, dinners enjoyed by Bonnie and Steve, freshness of salads and the quick smile of our server were some of the things I mentioned.  I didn’t hear anything for about a week and a half and then got a reply to my email.  The manager told me that she was glad that I wrote and brought the “you guys” situation to her attention and that she was sorry the steaks were not to our liking.  She went on to say that she would talk to the staff about how they address the guests and she hoped we would return to give them another chance.  That was it.

It is not unusual for me to write a letter to an establishment to bring something that was not to my liking to the manager’s attention.  At the same time I am also just as likely to write a letter to an establishment to bring something to the attention of the manager that pleased me very much.  An outstanding meal, an employee that went above and beyond and sometimes just because I liked an employee and they did their job right.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t send out a letter every week or even every month, but when it warrants it I will take pen to paper or in this case put fingers to computer keys.  Most times I will receive a note in return and most times will receive a token of the manager’s appreciation in the form of a gift certificate for a return visit.  That didn’t happen this time.  The gift certificate part that is and that’s perfectly ok, I didn’t write the letter for that purpose in the first place.  However, since we had less than acceptable meals I was surprised there wasn’t something said about coming in for dinner on the house.
A few days later I wrote the manager back and said that yes, we would very much like to give them a second chance.  I went on to suggest that she leave a gift certificate at the front desk of the campground and after we had dinner again I would email her or call her and let her know if her talk to the wait staff was worthwhile and taken to heart.  We would in fact be “mystery diners”.  Within a few hours I got a reply and my suggestion of being mystery diners was embraced wholeheartedly.

So tonight we went to dinner again.  It was their prime rib dinner night and the restaurant was busier than the last time we were there.  We happen to have the same servers.  The young lady who took our drink orders and brought us the bread was the same as was the woman who was our server for dinner.

We both ordered the prime rib and it was delicious!  Friendliness and smiles were the call of the day and we were never asked a question when we had food in our mouths.  The service was truly attentive but not overbearing and I can honestly say it was top notch.
Dinner done, we handed over our gift certificates and tip when presented the bill.  As we got up to leave our server called to us…..You guys have a good night.”

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