What happened to restaurant service?

Customer Service is an Endangered Species.

Every time I visit a restaurant, I am consistently reminded that the pride and decorum with which people used to wait tables and serve patrons is no longer something you can simply expect. I’m consistently let down, whether I am visiting an old favorite after a long absence and finding it’s not what it used to be, or when I optimistically patronize the latest, hip, new gastropub in the hopes of finding a new cool spot. It’s no longer about us customers, but about what is best for the restaurant staff. Because everything is pre-made and the typical server of today’s generation feel they are doing you a favor just by being there, you needn’t DARE try to order anything made your way because there “isn’t a key for that,” on the computer. This is the new reality that ends up ruining the experience.

True customer-centered service can basically now be found only in the finest of dining establishments (which is already a guarantee at such places) proving that the next level removed from fine dining (which used to be only a small step into more casual dining-but no less expectant of professionalism) is now a huge drop into the land of “you’ll get what we give you and like it.” This is not to disparage restaurant servers and bartenders in general – but the element that has taken over in recent years.

Stay tuned for my essay on this. Friends and colleagues have weighed in and there are MANY opinions converging on the same conclusion – impeccable customer service has truly become a Lost Art.


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