Last weekend my wife's brother (Y-man) was in town, so we all went to Maryland to grab lunch before he left for home. First one funny story, then the main crust of this post. My wife ordered Moo Shu Chicken. While we were eating, Tikvah asked if she could have some of mommy's "mushy chicken." Oy, kids!
Later, during the meal, the manager came by and asked if everything was okay. We told him everything was very good. Tikvah then asked "Why do they always ask us if it's okay?" Good question my dear. I gave her the simple answer, "If something is wrong, they want to be able to fix it, so that we enjoy eating here." But after that Y-man and I were talking about it more. I told him about a kosher restaurant that opened in the area almost 2 years ago. The food there was pretty good, but the service was spotty, at best. One time we went there and I never got a soda that I had ordered. When the waiter asked if everything was okay, I told him about the soda. He said that he thought they were out of it, so I asked for a refill of my water. I never received it. Another time we were there, I ordered a side of fries. Not only did they never bring the fries out, but no one came up to the table to ask if everything was okay. They only came to the table when it was time to clear the dishes and present the bill.
Because we liked the food there, and there are so few kosher restaurants in the area (one had opened up the year before, but went out of business after about 9 months), I decided to send a letter detailing these issues to the owner of the restaurant. I explained that the purpose of the letter was not to beat them over the head or anything, but because I truly wanted the restaurant to succeed. My family went in a few months later. There was a new waitress working there, and service was excellent. When I went to pay the bill, I mentioned to her how impressed I was with her services, and how things have really changed. She said that she used to be a customer there as well, and thought the service needed improving. I then mentioned that I sent a letter in to the owner. Her eyes grew wide and she said "That was you??" I guess they got the letter... Afterwards (as we were getting our jackets on) the manager stopped by and asked if everything was satisfactory. I told him that the service was great, and I appreciated the changes. We have been back several times, and have never had a problem since. Sometimes the little things, like asking "Is everything okay" (and acting on it if the answer is negative) do make a difference!