Everything Was Going Great Until That Busy Tuesday Evening
Everything Was Going Great Until That Busy Tuesday Evening

Lina was hired as a server in December. She was ecstatic about it. She worked under chef Kyle, who was an incredible, inspiring leader to work under. The restaurant was fantastic, and Lina would give her guests a tour whenever she had free time. She would excitedly talk about their authentic Venetian roots, beautiful whole fish, and rare salts. Lina took pride in her job and had even envisioned herself growing with the company and forming a strong career. A lot of the guests told her that the reason they would come back was that of her, even though she had only been there for a month and a half.

Things took a sour turn on Tuesday, February 6th. It was a hectic night at the restaurant. They had a Dali Special with about 130 covers in the books and only two managers on staff. Lina was told to take the Raw Bar and the high tops, which was a section with about 18 covers.

The restaurant got busy quickly, and Lina asked the host kindly to give some of her guests away to other servers. She had been working in restaurants long enough to know that it's quality, not quantity, especially at this level of service. Lina had a party of four women that sat at the Raw Bar early on in the evening. They then transitioned to a patio table and stayed until 10:30 p.m.

Even The Guest Knew The Bottle Was Bad

Luis Molinero/ Shutterstock

Even The Guest Knew The Bottle Was Bad

This was when a few things went wrong. This is how Lina went on to describe them:

  • "When I asked William to go over for adult beverage recommendations, he went to the wrong table. He said 'You don't know your table numbers?' He went to the wrong table cause he doesn't know his table numbers.
  • A $95 platter had to be sent back because they ordered incorrectly and wanted the $155 plate instead. I understand this is an expensive mistake to make, but the customer ended up ordering something even more costly in its stead. In the end, I sold her a $150 bottle of Silver Palm Cabernet Sauvignon to help cushion the blow.
  • They purchased a bottle of Riesling that had turned. One of the women is a sommelier who buys this particular bottle by the case for her private collection. When I told William the bottle was bad, he told me the bottle was fine, that the woman has no clue what she's talking about, and to tell her that we're out of the bottle cause 'I don't want to waste another one on her.' I tasted the beverage, it was bad.
  • I had hit 'Repeat' in Aloha on the wrong bottle of beverage. I took responsibility and vowed to be more mindful in the future. It was a fairly simple void. No harm, no foul."
The Main Issue Is Clearly A Lack Of Basic Customer Service

Andrey Bayda/ Shutterstock

The Main Issue Is Clearly A Lack Of Basic Customer Service

Their tab came to be $800. They left Lina a $273 tip and a note saying how incredible she was. One of them also left her phone number and well wishes. Later on, while they were closing, Lina asked Kyle why he was acting so strange, and he told her that the head Chef and William were in talks of letting her go over this table. Line just started crying, and Kyle let her go home. He told her to call him the next morning to verify and as it turned out she was fired. Lina went in the next day to return her uniform and spoke to another manager about this. The manager said she would send it to HR as it doesn't sound like they followed protocol. William looked like he had never been happier, and Chef Kyle couldn't even look her in the eye.

When Kyle told her that William wanted to fire her, She looked him square in the eye and said: "The problems won't stop if I leave cause I'm not the problem." And she was right. There was a serious lack of basic customer service skills in the management team. Whenever there was an issue, it was always, "These people don't know what they're talking about," or "They have no idea about anything." People don't walk into restaurants and spend $300 on a bottle of beverage if they don't know what they're buying.

If They Keep This Up, They'll Ruin Their Reputation
If They Keep This Up, They'll Ruin Their Reputation

Two weeks later, there was another incident in which another server ordered the wrong grouper entree. The server took accountability for their mistake and brought it back to the kitchen. Chef Kyle reused the same piece of grouper and sent it out. The guest could immediately tell and even commented on it to the server. The dish came back again and was finally right after three refires. William had the audacity to snap at the guest and snatch the check presenter from the man's hands when the man asked for the grouper entree to be taken off. The server apologized, and the man said to the server,"Everything you just said was what I was expecting from your manager." William then proceeded to write up the server for ringing in the wrong entree. Lina saw the write up in the office while she was doing her check out. The date was for August 2018. William went as far as to write a fake write-up. He knew if he wrote a real one, there would be a paper trail of his own bad behavior at that table. There is so much wrong with this situation. This is how Lina breaks it down:

  • "The management team asks for accountability, but people are getting written up and fired when they are holding themselves accountable.
  • This is a $6 million restaurant. Are we that worried about a $12 piece of fish? Do we want to be known as the restaurant that reuses grouper on their $38 entrees?
  • Why did head Chef AND William let that dish go out? When a dish goes out, that is Chef's reputation on the line, so I'm not sure why he would allow something that could tarnish his reputation out of the kitchen. The fact that William even wanted the guest to pay for a dish that came out wrong - twice - is unacceptable.
  • He went as far as to write a fake write-up because he knew that he was wrong and didn't want any evidence of it."
Her Love For The Job And What She Went Through Matters

Annette21/ Shutterstock

Her Love For The Job And What She Went Through Matters

Lina had had enough. She finally decided to write an email to HR and corporate heads with all the above-mentioned details included.

She concluded her emotional email with this:

"I did love my job, and I was looking for ways to make myself even more useful. I know that the main manager could use some help with the schedule, so I would offer to help with that and would help train the host stand. I would hang out in the back of the house during my free time to help prep. Two chefs were always helpful in explaining the ingredients and teaching me about what I'm selling. I have brought my friends over for lunch; I even showed my parents the menu when I first got hired so they could plan their anniversary dinner. On my days off I would read on the patio and grab something to eat. I watched YouTube videos on *aupoivre**sauce and filleting fish. I loved my job.*

Honestly, I'm not 100 percent sure I even want my job back. I was fired unjustly. And I love the restaurant so much, but I can't work with a management team that treats the guests like the enemy. Most of the complaints on Yelp are about issues that stem from the management team. I'm writing this because this restaurant deserves nothing but the best. I believe in this brand so much, and even if I don't work there anymore, you deserve to know about the lapses in leadership. It would've been an amazing opportunity for me to grow as well. I wish you all the best, and I hope to hear from you soon."

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