Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Letter to Lacroix


Kim WB
 Share

Recommended Posts

Baby crying and "I didn't like the table" is not waited very heavy in terms of valid complaints in my book. Personally, I do not think there is a bad table in the room from what I can tell.

With all due respect, in a restaurant of that caliber dismissing such complaints as "INVALID" doesnt strike me as the level of customer service one would expect.

Did you say you were the dining room manager at the Four Seasons ? :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and, with further respect, this table only has a "view" for one diner. the other diner , when he looks out the window, sees only the perpindicular brick wall of the hotel/neighboring building, where it juts out towards the park. Your unique perspective would have been helpful earlier on, I sincerely regret that you did not join the thread earlier.

If, however, you don't feel that " baby crying" (defined accurately by me as 20 minutes of very young newborn wailing...really, the kind of crying that could almost make your breasts ache, plaintive, unconsolable..less than twenty feet away) is a valid complaint, I'm not sure we could have found middle ground. :shock:

Edited by Kim WB (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be absurd to hear a crying baby for twenty minutes in  European Michelin 2 star place let alone 3.......why shoud it be acceptable in the same caliber of restaurants here.

As I stated before, I was a restaurant manager in a past life. Babies crying is not the way you want to spend an evening at a restaurant or anywhere else for that matter. However, Lacroix must cater to hotel guests/condo owners with a seperate area for them to dine just as I had to at the Fountain (aka The Four Seasons).

So if that Michelin 2 or 3 star restaurant happens to be part of a hotel you may have to deal with this kind of behavior as well as wrong as it seems.

Back to my hotel days, I was not allowed to remove customers from the cafe/lounge area that were loud or had children because my Fountain customers didn't believe they belonged there interupting their evening in the very near next room. Especially hotel guests spending big $$$ on accomadations. Incedently, Vadouvan, European hotel guests tended to be the worst offenders with unruly or crying children.

As far as the table location one table may seem "the worst" to one person and "the best" to another. You can go around and around in circles with this one and I have. One guest says it's too dark, another, it's too bright, another it's too cold, another, it's too hot. On and on the bitching goes. I've heard it all believe me. Honestly, when I go our to eat with my husband or friends the location where I sit is last on my list of needs?! For me it's about the food, service, wine and the time being spent with my husband or friends, not looking out of a window. That's just me though.

Lastly..

What do you do if you spent $$$$ on a 1st class flight and have the same situation? Guess what I've been there and you can't really blame anyone. Certainly not the airline or crew.

CherieV

Eat well, drink better!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and, with further respect, this table only has a "view" for one diner. the other diner , when he looks out the window, sees only the perpindicular brick wall of the hotel/neighboring building,  where it juts out towards the park.  Your unique perspective would have been helpful earlier on, I sincerely regret that you did not  join the thread earlier.

If, however, you don't feel that " baby crying" (defined accurately by me as 20 minutes of very young newborn wailing...really, the kind of crying that could almost make your breasts ache, plaintive, unconsolable..less than twenty feet away) is a valid complaint, I'm not sure we could have found middle ground.  :shock:

Incedently, did you ask to be moved?? Also, how can the Chef minimize the inpact other diners have on your evening? Some things can be controlled, this isn't one of them. I'm convinced some people are just oblivious of how inconsiderate they are to others around them.

CherieV

Eat well, drink better!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However, Lacroix must cater to hotel guests/condo owners with a seperate area for them to dine just as I had to at the Fountain (aka The Four Seasons).

So if that Michelin 2 or 3 star restaurant happens to be part of a hotel you may have to deal with this kind of behavior as well as wrong as it seems.

Not to turn this into a europe vs US thread but there is no F -ing way they would sit a baby crying or otherwise at a place like Pierre Gagnaire/Hotel Balzac. Forget about Paris, Ducasse at Essex House and louis XIV in Monte Carlo wont seat babies.

Crying babies dont mix with sublime dinners with wine lists containing years and years of Echezeaux. It really reflects the fact that hotel restaurants in the US cant be seen ultimately as serious dining destinations they want to be.

American high end hotels tend to be too consumerist and it is the job of a Maitre'd to replace the judgment of oblivious parents with his.

As far as the table location one table may seem "the worst" to one person and "the best" to another. You can go around and around in circles with this one and I have. One guest says it's too dark, another, it's too bright, another it's too cold, another, it's too hot. On and on the bitching goes. I've heard it all believe me. Honestly, when I go our to eat with my husband or friends the location where I sit is last on my list of needs?! For me it's about the food, service, wine and the time being spent with my husband or friends, not looking out of a window. That's just me though.

Exactly, its just you.

Believe me I dont mean to insult you but there is probably nothing worse than broadly generalising that customer complaints are "bitching" and you've heard it all.

You are breaking the first rule of good service which is to listen.

Although you arent at Lacroix, you arent processing the original complaint but taking a questionable adversarial route to respond.

Lastly..

What do you do if you spent $$$$ on a 1st class flight and have the same situation? Guess what I've been there and you can't really blame anyone. Certainly not the airline or crew.

I would not use that analogy, airline flight can be sublimated to transportation.

More appropiate would be to ask if someone brought the unruly kid to seat next to you during a performance of Verdi's Requiem in Row 1 at La Scala.

Edited by Vadouvan (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to turn this into a europe vs US thread but there is no F -ing way they would sit a baby crying or otherwise at a place like Pierre Gagnaire/Hotel Balzac. Forget about Paris, Ducasse at Essex House and louis XIV in Monte Carlo wont seat babies.

Crying babies dont mix with sublime dinners with wine lists containing years and years of Echezeaux. It really reflects the fact that hotel restaurants in the US cant be seen ultimately as serious dining destinations they want to be.

With all due respect Valdouvan;

I am responding from a Four Seasons Company policy perpective. Management at my level did not have the authority to tell any customer how to behave. Our hands were tied to company policy. I can assure you that George V has similar policies. Unfortunately, we are more tolerant in this country to bad behavior in general. Especially when $$$ is involved.

Back to Lacroix, they did not seat a baby in the dining room but in a closed off room adjacent to the restaurant used for house guests.

American high end hotels tend to be too consumerist and it is the job of a Maitre'd to replace the judgment of oblivious parents with his.

Can you say Lawsuit --

Exactly, its just you.

Believe me I dont mean to insult you but there is probably nothing worse than broadly generalising that customer complaints are "bitching" and you've heard it all.

You are breaking the first rule of good service which is to listen.

Although you arent at Lacroix, you arent processing the original complaint but taking a questionable adversarial route to respond.

Well here I have to say "if it walks like a duck...." I'm all about exceptional service believe me and because I spent the last 10 years in fine dining front of the house operations I have heard A LOT. I have listened and listened. Some things are just out of your control. That is what we are talking about here. A bad table to one guest is a good table to another. A crying baby was out of management's control. Back to my original question, did KIMWB ask to be moved to another table?

More appropiate would be to ask if someone brought the unruly kid to seat next to you during a performance of Verdi's Requiem in Row 1 at La Scala.

And this is entertainment, not hospitality. There are different policies on conduct I'm sure. Incedently, what would you do? Ask the usher to escort them out?

Edited by CherieV (log)

CherieV

Eat well, drink better!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hello hello. It seems that we should get someone who has some intimate knowlege of what goes on in Lacroix. Since this my first time ever putting a word in I would like to say hell. I think I am very familiar with a lot of people in the House. Since I have worked at the Seasons, and LAcroix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe that the big Boss has good Knowlege as well, All I can say is, that Lacroix would not recieve the letter if it was faxed, but if it was written and sent to him, he will reply to the letter quickly, so chances are hemay not have recieved a fax.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome matthewj,

thanks for joining the discussion, and we'll certainly appreciate any insight you can give.

And it's good to know bigboss was indeed referring to this incident as well as the Lacroix brunch, I couldn't tell for sure...

We're not asking either of you to violate confidences, but anything you can add to this (and other threads) will be much appreciated. Again, welcome to you both.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no problem talking candidly about anything, I rarely pull punches, but I know that Chef is very dillegent (sp) with replying to all his mail, if it got to him. One thing about Jean Marie he loves his guest, and they have always been a priority #1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Vaudavan and Cherie both have very valid points.

I was and I still am very wary of why people bring children into restuarants like that. Period. Listen i know that there are very well behaved children, but when the child is unruley it should be up to the parents to notice it. But if the child is not contained then the manager should politely let the guest know that maybe it would be in the best interest for saftey of the child. If a baby is crying, and the parent is a resident of the hotel, and or condo, which I bet they were, the problem should be taken up directly with the General Manager of the Hotel. Some times Lacroixs hands are tied. But I know chef he will try to resolve it himself

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't worked the front of house for any fine-dining establishments, but having eaten in a few, I certainly would expect that management would deal with something that was disrupting my evening, not just throw up their hands and tell me it was my bad luck to come at that time... Are you really suggesting that if a baby is wailing at the top of its lungs, or some guy is singing at the top of his, or if some troubled teen is throwing silverware at me, that I really shouldn't expect that my waiter or the maitre d' might do something to stop it?

Whether it's a loud and drunken adult, or a screaming baby, or a homeless person asking for money (yes, i've seen this in a restaurant) it's really incumbent upon the staff to make sure nothing is annoying the customers.

Of course I can understand that the situation described is a dicey one, but still, a skilled manager ought to be able to smooth that out somehow.

And as to whether the specific table was a problem, that wasn't really the main thrust of the complaint. It would likely not have risen to the level of a formal complaint of that table was not also in close proximity to the decidedly NOT closed-off private dining area. I'd think that Chef Lacroix and/or managers would be interested to know that a patron found that table to be unpleasant.

All that said, I think for a few different reasons, a letter, sent through the US Mail, would have more weight, and would be more likely to be read, and responded to, than a fax.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NO, I do beleive that it is incumbent for the manager to deal with the problem there and then. But and this is a big but. But, this is a real tricky situation. If it is a condo resident, which it sounds like it was. A manager should deal with the problem, but the upper maangement, ie hotel management will not be happy, when the condo resident complians that the manager informed them, even if politly that their child was a distraction.

So what does that manager do. One, he needs to be supported for his descsion, by the upper management. So maybe that manager feels that he has no back up support, maybe.

What I am saying, is this the letter if mailed I do not know if mailed or faxed should also be cc to the general Manager and the Assistant General Manager, to make them aware of the situation, not just the chef. Although chef will get back to you. the others should know as well. Believe me this has happened before. And the complaint went to chef , he dealt with it, but the upper management needs this feed back as well. Becuase they can deal with the residents on a long term basis

As for the table. I think I remember that table. The exit sign has to be there, it is the law, We tried to cover it up, no go. If they were uphappy with the table, especially on a tuesday, Maybe they should of asked to be moved to another table, I am sure they would have accomodated. And if they did not then heads should fly.

The best table in Lacroix, is the smal dinningroom with the community table. Chef and I both will agree on this one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And this is entertainment, not hospitality. There are different policies on conduct I'm sure. Incedently, what would you do? Ask the usher to escort them out?

Again its just more consumerism.

Consumerism will be the death of culture and refinement in America.

American hotels function on the "customer is always right" absurdity.

So what if they are condo owners ?

big deal.

Restaurants cant have it both ways, you want to be a serious restaurant, then create the environment to be one, otherwise you come off looking like the "cafeteria" of rittenhouse condo owners.

Back to the Opera...

Thankfully, the Italians have even less tolerance for BS than the French and in fact I wont have to ask. I have been there and the offending party *will* in fact be ushered out..........not to mention 500 Italians in tuxedos and fancy gowns staring at you like death rays.

Edited by Vadouvan (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

NO, I do beleive that it is incumbent for the manager to deal with the problem there and then. But and this is a big but. But, this is a real tricky situation. If it is a condo resident, which it sounds like it was. A manager should deal with the problem, but the upper maangement, ie hotel management will not be happy, when the condo resident complians that the manager informed them, even if politly that their child was a distraction.

CONSuuuuuuuuuuuuumerism.

Mathew is correct though I doubt that would have achieved anything. The root of the problem here is that ultimately Hotel restaurants cannot be take seriously as food friendly dining destinations if they have polices of allowing families with crying babies to be routinely sat without doing anything about it. So what if you bought a half million dollar condo in the building, you wouldnt take your crying baby to Le Bec Fin so why Lacroix ?

You cant be a fine dining restaurant at the top of the food chain and have Chuck E Cheese policies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not disagree at all, but I am just maybe..., explaining the policy and the mid set of the manager, and the upper managements. reaction to them. Believe me it is a long fight.

You are right though, its seems like the hotel wants its cake and eat it too. By accomdating everybody. That is why these problems should be taken up with the GM, not to shrug the responsibility onto them, but they need to have this in theire face, until they do something about it. Toom nay times we saw thesed problems. LOOk at the place next to Lacroix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to belabor the already lengthy debate at hand, but I now feel compelled to add my perspective. As heated an argument as this is I don't think there is a clear answer. It really is a synthesis of many valid points raised above. First and foremost, and it pains me to say this, Lacroix (as 99.5% of American restaurants) is theoretically run as a business. With that goes all the unfortunate American nonsense of the customer always being right. Does it make sense to allow children into a supposed fine-dining establishment? Absolutely not. No way. That's part of what separates a diner from a high-end restaurant. It's not all about the food. It's also about service and ambiance. Crying children certainly detract from the latter (you pay for more than cooks and ingredients). What makes this difficult, though, is that one needs to rely on a certain level of responsibilty and decorum from the part of the guest. The onus is on the guest to operate with good judgment (i.e. do not disturb other guests who are paying a significant chunk of change to enjoy a fine-dining experience). The first logical step is to get a damn babysitter. That failing, remove the kid from the premises when temper tantrum time arrives. It should be common sense. Alas, common sense is all too uncommon these days.

Knowing how Chef Lacroix operates there is little that could be done in this situation. His first thought is ALWAYS (unfailingly) to the guest's experience. Let me check that, guests' experiences. If a complaint was made through the proper channels (i.e. to a server, manager, etc) and no accommodations were sought (i.e. change of table, comped course, etc) then I believe the complaining party has a claim. Waiting till after the fact, then sending a fax, it's just pointless. No one in the front of the house working under Chef Lacroix could EVER turn away a guest or ask a guest to leave. It would simply be suicide on their part. It's a tricky balancing act of trying to give each guest the best possible experience without diminishing the experience of another. When the lack of judgment on the part of other diners ruins that for someone it's a damn shame. But it happens. As for bad tables, again, this is a business (like it or not) they exist. The restaurant is there to make money, not give everyone the best seat in the house. You want a great seat every time? Go to Per Se. Go to Michelin 2-3 stars in Europe. Oh, also bring your Amex, cause it's going to cost three to five times as much. That's the price one pays.

I hate to see this debate turn acrimonious because it has indeed raised valid points on both sides of the argument. I really think it has done a great job of highlighting some of the difficulties associated with the service aspects of American fine-dining.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NO, I do beleive that it is incumbent for the manager to deal with the problem there and then. But and this is a big but. But, this is a real tricky situation. If it is a condo resident, which it sounds like it was. A manager should deal with the problem, but the upper maangement, ie hotel management will not be happy, when the condo resident complians that the manager informed them, even if politly that their child was a distraction.

CONSuuuuuuuuuuuuumerism.

Mathew is correct though I doubt that would have achieved anything. The root of the problem here is that ultimately Hotel restaurants cannot be take seriously as food friendly dining destinations if they have polices of allowing families with crying babies to be routinely sat without doing anything about it. So what if you bought a half million dollar condo in the building, you wouldnt take your crying baby to Le Bec Fin so why Lacroix ?

You cant be a fine dining restaurant at the top of the food chain and have Chuck E Cheese policies.

Georges does not have provisions for children nor does he need to, he is a freestanding restaurant. He makes the rules. When you are a restaurant inside of a 4* hotel you do not have the autonomy to make the same decisons. In a lot of instances your hands are tied. It makes functioning at a high level very tricky.

CherieV

Eat well, drink better!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And this is entertainment, not hospitality. There are different policies on conduct I'm sure. Incedently, what would you do? Ask the usher to escort them out?

Again its just more consumerism.

Consumerism will be the death of culture and refinement in America.

American hotels function on the "customer is always right" absurdity.

So what if they are condo owners ?

big deal.

Restaurants cant have it both ways, you want to be a serious restaurant, then create the environment to be one, otherwise you come off looking like the "cafeteria" of rittenhouse condo owners.

Back to the Opera...

Thankfully, the Italians have even less tolerance for BS than the French and in fact I wont have to ask. I have been there and the offending party *will* in fact be ushered out..........not to mention 500 Italians in tuxedos and fancy gowns staring at you like death rays.

I agree with you one thousand percent about the obvious differences between American fine dining and luxury hotel establishments compared to those same European establishments.

It would be utterly unheard of for a Parisian Maitre'D to tolerate this situation in a Michelin 3 star restaurant, furthermore, Parisians have a much better understanding of what is appropriate. What I have learned during my travels to Paris and greater Europe is that they realize that the customer is not always right. I would like to think that Parisians know to leave the small children (infant?) at home or at least have the sense to hire a babysitter when enjoying a 3 star restaurant experience.

This goes to my earlier beef with American parents who are totally oblivious to their childrens public behavior. These are the same parents who take no responsibility for and defend these very same behaviors as innocent.

Since the parents are clueless, why should other patrons, who have paid for a total dining experience, not just food and decor, have to endure this inexcusable behavior?

The management of the restaurant must weigh in and handle the situation immediately. The fact that this case is compounded by the Rittenhouse private guests dining in close proximity to restaurant guests makes no difference. I've read in this thread about restaurant managers enlisting the support of hotel managers before addressing the problem. This is utter nonsense and sounds more like competing government agencies.

I've been a guest at The Four Seasons Hotels all around the world and have never endured a situation remotely close to the one described. I can't imaging that my favorite hotel chain has no policy in place for this, as they made their rep on exceeding customers expectations over and over again. Do you really think one screaming baby is more important to the restaurant/hotel than all the other guests combined?

All of this aside, the fact remains that this entire situation could have easily been resolved had she simply asked, on a Tuesday night, to move to another table. Why didn't she do this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to see this debate turn acrimonious because it has indeed raised valid points on both sides of the argument.  I really think it has done a great job of highlighting some of the difficulties associated with the service aspects of American fine-dining.

I agree.

to clarify a few points: We were seated at 6pm. At that time, there were no large parties surrounding us, no sounds coming from the adjoining "communal dining room" for hotel RESIDENTS, and only the one sided view to object to. As Cherie pointed out, I also prioritize my companion and the food...and I asked my husband if he minded the brick wall...but he assured me it was fine. ( Actually he said"oh, I'll just look at you! " or something to that effect, which is almost too corny to believe but true :wub: ) My husband wants the wine list, just give the guy a wine list and you could seat him near the kitchen door on the path to the bathrooms. So, after very briefly considering it, but after weighing the pros and cons ( I had a nice view, after all!), I shrugged it off and began the dining experience. I always have plenty of time to analyze and dissect a menu, because as mentioned Mr. B is settling in with wine list. The table changed dramatically after aprox 1 hour, when the large tables filled, and then the baby started crying.

I was clear to state that the waiter did offer to move us for dessert to the chef's table...it was our choice not to move. At that point, we had sat through the baby crying, we had coffee, after dinner drinks, some wine left on the table.

Regarding the fax, I called Lacroix Restaurant and confirmed their fax number. If any of you in "the biz" are saying that a customer, either to register a complaint or book a million dollar wedding, needs to be more proactive than that, I don't agree. In my place of business, there are controls and procedures on how to handle incoming communication, and how to get it to the person who needs to see it. If I had sent a fax to that number inquiring about booking a party for Gourmet Magazine, do you think it would have gotten to the right person? I used the fax number that the restaurant represented as a way to contact them. I really don't think that the client or customer should have explore the heirarchy of command in a restaurant in order to communicate with them.

I agree that a restaurant is a business, ( for those that don't know me, suffice to say my children's tuition is paid by the direct proceeds from a restaurant.) and that's why I was trying to notify the business owners that there was a problem. Yesterday I called the guy who owns the tree cutting service I use. His guys did a great job pruning the trees around my electrical wires, and I told him that. However, I also mentioned that they came two hours earlier than scheduled, and that since I have a 1/2 mile driveway, I wasn't able to leave my house because I could not drive around the truck. Now, there were no emergencies or critical appointments..if there were, I would have certainly made them move. So, I suggested to the owner that perhaps they should keep a record of the homes that have narrow driveways, and make sure thsoe folks are contacted if there is a change in schedule. Not a big deal, I reiterated, just a suggestion. Friendly, short, positve conversation. He said hadn't realized that, and it will be easy enough to note that on my file, he's glad I called. That's all..its done millions of times a day in businesses all over the world...

As an independent contractor, Real

estate , I've asked clients at the end of the transaction if there was anything that could have made the house hunting better. Usually its' stuff out of my control...housing prices, dealing with municipal inspectors...( although I have passed that on, too) but once it was that my car's backseat was "tight". Well, the next time my lease was up, you could bet that I was sitting in every backseat, even making the larger salesperson sit there, to check leg and head room.

Thanks everyone for contributing, the different perspectives are interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i apologize for jumping in to the conversation in such a confusing manner; i really just wanted to say my peace and be done with it. i am the former executive sous chef of lacroix/rittenhouse hotel to which vadouvan referred. to respond more properly to this thread, i would like to assert that all complaint and/or compliment letters addressed to the chef ended up on his desk by my hand, as well as those addressed to the g.m. or other executives. faxes to the number you were given go to the mailbox of the restaurant manager, where little in the way of misplacement should occur. personally, i sincerely think you should have said something that evening. because it was restaurant week, the dining room was chock full of diners unlikely to return (i think less than 10% of restaurant week reservations became repeat guests). you would have been given the requisite lip service and received your free apology brunch letter in the mail shortly thereafter. part of the problem of that dining room, as matthewjr can attest, is rooted in inherent flaws in the design and conception of the space. in order to qualify for five diamond status, there must be a casual dining outlet open for all-day dining. however, the hotel would not permit demolition of its precious boathouse row bar (pigsty) in order to create a bar area that complimented the restaurant. thus the cafe room, which is nothing more than an extension of the lacroix dining room, exists to fill that void, where an all-day menu is served for hotel guests and residents. that's the problem: the space devoted to fine dining is not sufficiently exclusive from the rest. furthermore, i would like to add that in my experience both at lacroix and at the fountain (hello cherie), there is a percentage of guests out there that perpetually test the limits of tolerability. i've seen everything from pro athletes sit in the fountain and demand food at 1 am, to a person demand that the music be turned off in the dining room, to the more innocuous complaints of any given day. my point is that many people, unfortunately many of whom are wealthy, cannot sublimate their selfish desires. i agree with cherie that a dining room manager cannot simply walk up to a table and tell the guests to quiet their child. but, proper redress can be made more efficiently if the tolerant guest is forthcoming with his or her complaint. that is where the level of customer service provided by a fine dining establishment can be met, in spite of selfish, uncivilized customers.

I hate to see this debate turn acrimonious because it has indeed raised valid points on both sides of the argument.  I really think it has done a great job of highlighting some of the difficulties associated with the service aspects of American fine-dining.

I agree.

to clarify a few points: We were seated at 6pm. At that time, there were no large parties surrounding us, no sounds coming from the adjoining "communal dining room" for hotel RESIDENTS, and only the one sided view to object to. As Cherie pointed out, I also prioritize my companion and the food...and I asked my husband if he minded the brick wall...but he assured me it was fine. ( Actually he said"oh, I'll just look at you! " or something to that effect, which is almost too corny to believe but true :wub: ) My husband wants the wine list, just give the guy a wine list and you could seat him near the kitchen door on the path to the bathrooms. So, after very briefly considering it, but after weighing the pros and cons ( I had a nice view, after all!), I shrugged it off and began the dining experience. I always have plenty of time to analyze and dissect a menu, because as mentioned Mr. B is settling in with wine list. The table changed dramatically after aprox 1 hour, when the large tables filled, and then the baby started crying.

I was clear to state that the waiter did offer to move us for dessert to the chef's table...it was our choice not to move. At that point, we had sat through the baby crying, we had coffee, after dinner drinks, some wine left on the table.

Regarding the fax, I called Lacroix Restaurant and confirmed their fax number. If any of you in "the biz" are saying that a customer, either to register a complaint or book a million dollar wedding, needs to be more proactive than that, I don't agree. In my place of business, there are controls and procedures on how to handle incoming communication, and how to get it to the person who needs to see it. If I had sent a fax to that number inquiring about booking a party for Gourmet Magazine, do you think it would have gotten to the right person? I used the fax number that the restaurant represented as a way to contact them. I really don't think that the client or customer should have explore the heirarchy of command in a restaurant in order to communicate with them.

I agree that a restaurant is a business, ( for those that don't know me, suffice to say my children's tuition is paid by the direct proceeds from a restaurant.) and that's why I was trying to notify the business owners that there was a problem. Yesterday I called the guy who owns the tree cutting service I use. His guys did a great job pruning the trees around my electrical wires, and I told him that. However, I also mentioned that they came two hours earlier than scheduled, and that since I have a 1/2 mile driveway, I wasn't able to leave my house because I could not drive around the truck. Now, there were no emergencies or critical appointments..if there were, I would have certainly made them move. So, I suggested to the owner that perhaps they should keep a record of the homes that have narrow driveways, and make sure thsoe folks are contacted if there is a change in schedule. Not a big deal, I reiterated, just a suggestion. Friendly, short, positve conversation. He said hadn't realized that, and it will be easy enough to note that on my file, he's glad I called. That's all..its done millions of times a day in businesses all over the world...

As an independent contractor, Real

estate , I've asked clients at the end of the transaction if there was anything that could have made the house hunting better. Usually its' stuff out of my control...housing prices, dealing with municipal inspectors...( although I have passed that on, too) but once it was that my car's backseat was "tight". Well, the next time my lease was up, you could bet that I was sitting in every backseat, even making the larger salesperson sit there, to check leg and head room.

Thanks everyone for contributing, the different perspectives are interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read Kim's letter before she sent it. I've read the thread.

I still think Kim politely brought a potentially recurring problem to the attention of the restaurant in an appropriate way. She clearly indicated her enjoyment of the food, the service etc.

She did not ask anyone to go back in time and silence that child. She pointed it out so they can work on a solution for the future.

Based on the status of the private dining room, and location of room/restaurant, these will probably need to be technological solutions. Sound-deadening is a thoroughly studied science. There is almost certainly a method or combination of methods to prevent sound from the private dining room from penetrating to the restaurant tables.

Perhaps no one was previously aware of the need to research such options. Now they are. Kim did the chef/restaurant a favor.

The replies on this thread (bigboss etc) indicate they also think she did the restaurant a favor by notifying them.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...