From the Customer’s Eye: Bad Food Blues

Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company (@OggisAppleV) is known for…can you guess? Delicious pizza and beer, of course.

My sister and I, out and about doing some shopping, stop in for lunch. I order a salad (yes, I know…salad at a pizza place. Don’t judge me for wanting something slightly healthy) and Buffalo chicken sliders with a delicious amber ale to wash it all down.

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This is not what my food looked like!

My food arrives and I’m munching away on my salad, happily. I’m talking with my sister as I take a bite of a large peperoncini and am sprayed with the hot pepper juice…all over my face and in my eye! While very humorous for her (and possibly you reading this), the burning sensation in my eye was none to be reckoned with. OUCH!

After washing my eye, I settle back in at the outside table and get ready to eat my spicy sliders. However, they looked a little…blah. The sliders had hardly any Buffalo sauce and no cheese. They appeared as dry as the desert and tasted that way too. YUCK! I’m now officially singing the bad food blues!

I approach the waitress by going inside and ask for extra sauce. She asks, “Sure! Is everything OK?” and I tell her that it’s not really all that good–they are lacking in pretty much everything delicious. She comes to the table and checks them out…and the look on her face also says, “YUCK”. She asks if I’d like them to remake the meal. I say no (we were limited on time at this point) and to just give me extra sauce and I’ll make it work. She brings the sauce, another waitress to look at the sad meal and discuss it with us, apologizes and leaves.

The waitress wasn’t the one who brought our food to the table, so she didn’t have the opportunity to examine it prior to it being put in my face. I question the empowerment of the food delivery waitress for not having done this, though.

The checks arrives and she explains how she removed the charge entirely for the sliders. She also mentions that she informed her manager of this as well to avoid it happening again.

What Oggi’s Did

  • Owns up to the mistake: They admit the issue on their side and apologize. The waitress didn’t say “The kitchen made it this way, not my fault.” She said, “We’re really sorry that the food came this way. We do not make them this way normally. I’ll check with the kitchen to see where we went wrong.”
  • Makes management and other team members aware of the issue: Sharing the situation with other wait staff allows for learning opportunities. Also, informing me that the details were shared with management assures me that the issue is being investigated and is unlikely (hopefully) to happen again.
  • Comps meal due to their mistake: I didn’t expect them to do this since I still ate part of the meal but it just makes sense on the restaurant side to waive the cost for a mistake.

While I would have loved a free beer on top of this to wash down the bad food (am I asking too much here?), I am somewhat satisfied at how this situation was handled. But, it’s unlikely I’ll ever order these again from the restaurant.

I also learned a personal lesson to not bite into a peperoncini without first putting on safety glasses!

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Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

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