Saturday, May 12, 2012


Yes, it does, but not always in the way you think it might. My sister took me to Paneras restaurant for my birthday. This casual sandwich shop offers the option of eating off real china or taking your dinner home in Styrofoam. We stated twice that we were eating there. When our order was called, it was packaged to go. I told the staffer who simply shrugged her shoulders. The manager asked why we were eating salad out of Styrofoam to go boxes. I told her a mistake had been made. She said it was too late to do anything about it. Too late, is it ever too late to provide good service?

I told my friend whose husband manages restaurants. Complain to corporate she insisted, and I did by going online.  I received a personal apology from the manager, plus a gift card. I also got a follow-up call from corporate. The end result was that I returned to Paneras several times since then with family members. It paid off not only for me, but for the restaurant too. I’d have probably gone elsewhere without the follow up apology and refund.

Another restaurant where I lodged a complaint was Ruth Chris Steakhouse.  For the prices they charge, I was amazed at our poor treatment.  We had reservations, but were made to wait when tables were available. Service was slow. It was the equivalent of mentally slogging through quicksand to get appropriate treatment. We cut dinner short because we didn’t need further aggravation. The shrieking toddler who had screamed for ninety minutes didn’t help either. I approached corporate with my complaint. I received a voicemail from the manager who never returned my calls despite the fact, I called him back at various times. Did complaining work ? In one way it did, I felt better. It also allowed me to mark Ruth Chris off as a possible dining destination. That’s okay because there are plenty of places I can go that are better, and in turn will treat me well.

Most places will give you fair treatment regarding merchandise and treatment. They realize people talk more when they get bad treatment as opposed to good treatment. Some people even blog about it. Don’t be afraid to complain. You’ve already received bad service, shoddy or wrong merchandise. You really have nothing to lose.

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