Second-Rate Service at Moose Jaw Restaurant

July 8, 2012

in Server Stories

OK, I live in a small town. I am a waitress in a small diner in my town. It is a very busy diner and there is only myself and my boss who work the floor. Most times there is only one of us at a time. We both have worked where the diner fills up to approximately 60 people.

One day my husband and I went to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. As it was close to lunch time we decided to go to J__y’s for lunch. When we got to our table there were probably only 12 people in the whole place with about 3 servers on. All we could hear is our server talking about her night out the night before.

My husband ordered a coffee and I asked for an ice tea with lemon. She came back with our drinks but not my lemon. She took our order. I asked for the shrimp to start and I ordered the 3 different kinds of fish dinner with fries, and my husband ordered the 3 piece cod with fries. So after listening her yell at the cook and other wait staff about her night out the night before, our meal came.

Needless to say we did not get our starter of the shrimp. I asked where it was and she said, “I don’t know.” She went back and yelled and yelled for the cook. When she came back she said, “I guess the cook missed it, and I don’t know where he is. We are so busy.” By this time there is only 10 people in the place. Then she asked, “Do you still want them?” My response was “NO.”

Also when our food came the fries came with seasoning salt on them. Nowhere in the menu does it say that the fries come with seasoning salt on them. I am allergic to seasoning salt. So I asked her nicely to get some fries without it. She rolled her eyes and said, “OK.”

So I get my food back, we finish our lunch and we leave. Needless to say she did not get a tip and she was rude to my husband when we left. I had filled out one of the comment cards that they left on the table. I think she must have taken it out of the box because no one has ever gotten ahold of us.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Bryan July 8, 2012 at 10:01 pm

How are you allergic to seasoned salt? An allergic reaction is to a certain ingredient, not a vague term like seasoned salt. And when allergic to something like that, I would seriously ask the server before hand, "are your fries seasoned?" Because where I come from, more often than not…food in a restaurant is seasoned, and it isn't something they typically say on the menu.

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Rumpot May 2, 2015 at 9:18 am

I guessed they weren't talking about plain salt but about that season-all style stuff, which usually contains paprika. Pepper/capsicum allergies aren't too uncommon. I've never had it added to fries without being mentioned, or as an optional extra.

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J.R. Locke July 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

As I restaurant manager I can tell you, even though it may seem counter-intuitive, usually service in a slower venue is worse than service in a busy place, I mean there's a reason why they're slow and busy has a certain efficient rhythm. http://complaintothemanager.blogspot.com/

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Monica Rhodes April 30, 2016 at 1:15 pm

You are so correct about that. I know I am late to this thread (I just discovered this wonderful website and am devouring it!), but want to add that my worst mistakes on the floor have always been when I am slow. When busy, I am usually on point, but when I start forgetting stuff, it is usually slow as heck.

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jbz July 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

sounds like you got poor service, simple as that. however, i have worked in 4 restaurants and pubs over the last 7 years and none of our menus stated that the fries were seasoned, but all were. if you have an allergy to a commonplace seasoning or ingredient, i believe the onus is upon you to mention it to the server. it takes two seconds and can save you a headache and a delay in getting your food the way you want it. i'm not arguing that the service sucked, but the fries issue could have been avoided.

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Amber May 10, 2016 at 2:25 pm

I think the allergy sufferer always has the onus, common allergen or not. The potential for cross contamination means you always ask, simple as that.

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momo July 15, 2012 at 12:27 am

How the heck is someone allergic to salt? Most fries come with some sort a seasons (no one eats fries plain) so that wasn't her fault. I'm going to say the only things she did wrong was the appetizer (well the cook missed it so who knows) and her attitude.

As for the lemon thing, lemons are one of the dirtiest things in a restaurant. Consider yourself lucky.

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Amber May 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Seasoning salt is not simply salt. It has other spices and seasonings mixed into it, hence the name seasoning salt versus salt. If they were allergic to one of the other spices or seasonings mixed into it it's not that uncommon. Though I do think that with any allergy the onus is always on the customer with the allergy, even if the item they order doesn't have the allergen in it, cross contamination happens if they use it on other dishes.

The waitress is also in the wrong for the appetizer, she should have noticed that she never brought it out and noticed it wasn't there when she took out the remaining items. She took the order, she entered the order, so she gets the onus of missing items just as much, if not more then, the cook. For all we know she never put the appetizer through. Also the server was neglecting the customers to instead talk with coworkers, that is completely on her for the poor customer service.

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AmyKat November 5, 2012 at 2:09 am

I call BS. If you are grown up enough to go out to eat without your parents, you are aware of your allergy enough to know you need to mention it to your server before ordering. Everything in every restaurant everywhere has salt and seasonings, I simply don't believe that you have always received your food unsalted and unseasoned unless it said so on the menu.
There are people with legit allergies that can kill them – saying you are allergic to something because you want attention is a super dick move.

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Amber May 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Salt is not the same thing as seasoning salt, it's a ingredient found in seasoning salt but they are completely different things. Fries typically come salted, most places do not use seasoning salt on their fries. Also, this restaurant, in my experience of the locations in another province, does not use seasoning salt on their fries, just basic salt. So had they mistakenly added seasoning salt instead of salt to the fries which normally only come with basic salt, the customer wouldn't expect it. Though with allergies you always inform simply to prevent cross contamination.

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Monica Rhodes April 30, 2016 at 1:16 pm

I always wish people knew how dirty those are when they float them in their water!! I want to say "Yeah that was just rolling around the walk-in floor five minutes ago", but I don't.

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Amber May 10, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Health regulations require all produce to be washed before preparing for use in food service. Lemons not being cleaned prior to cutting and use would at the very least subject them to large fines.

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Amber May 10, 2016 at 2:26 pm

OP, not really sure what you'd expect from Saskatchewan.

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