Wine Purchase Puzzles Diners

June 20, 2012

in Server Stories

This happened last night and it was so weird, I’m still going over it in my mind. My husband and I took our 25-year-old niece out to dinner at a new restaurant in town. We had a reservation and were seated promptly. Very lovely atmosphere. Upscale. After 10 minutes our waitress showed up and took our order. After another 20 minutes she brought our salads. Then we sat and waited.

Fortunately, we were enjoying our conversation. After about 45 minutes, the waitress came up to our table, not to apologize or explain, but to inform us that “Jan” was buying us a bottle of wine. I thought, “That’s nice. The management is recompensing us for the slow service.” But no, she told us someone called the restaurant and said they wanted to buy us a bottle of wine. We kept insisting we didn’t know Jan, that it must be a mistake, and the waitress kept insisting that we take the wine. We finally said yes to the wine to get her to back off and, hopefully, go check on our dinner.

After a few minutes, a woman who did not identify herself but who I assumed must be the manager approached us somewhat aggressively and said, “Janet Smith. That’s who bought the wine. Do you know her? Is it anyone’s birthday?” It was sort of accusatory.

We politely reiterated what we had told our waitress. We don’t know Jan, and it’s not a birthday for any of us. She stomped away, and after a few more minutes our waitress, who was all of a sudden becoming attentive, swooped on our table with a reservation book in hand which she flung on the table and dramatically pointed to what appeared to be a reservation. “Is that you?” she demanded. We all dutifully examined the information. It had our phone number and our name (misspelled) and it said “BIRTHDAY!” after it.

We said, “Yes, that looks like us but…”

“Okay!” said our waitress. “It’s not my fault!” She disappeared.

We probably would have gotten up and left at that point, but we still held out hope for dinner. It had been an hour and a half since we were seated. It really was a very pleasant place to relax. After about another 15 minutes our waitress appeared with our long-awaited food. It was mediocre and expensive. And, our waitress made no more mention of the promised wine.

I really don’t blame the waitress. I know she was doing her best. What a bizarre place!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Hemi July 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

Well, that was bizarre. I think I would have left after the waitress AND manager was rude to me & my companions. Especially after the waitress flung a reservation book on my table.


JoJo August 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I would have gotten up and left.


Katy November 7, 2012 at 1:16 am

The waitress was out of line, but probably because that manager was up her ass. The manager's behavior was inexcusable. I would have asked to see the manager again and told her exactly why I was leaving, and then leave.


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