You’ve heard all about this top-notch restaurant, five stars. It’s been in business for ages, but you’ve never been. You keep hearing rave revues: The service is superb, the interior is immaculate, the menu is varied, the portions come in abundance, and best of all someone else has already paid for it – you have a gift certificate.
As you walk in you are greeted at the door warmly with a smile. You are escorted to your table in a lovely setting and the hostess takes your drink order. Wow, the wine selection is fantastic. You order a glass of your favorite and are informed they don’t have any, though it is on the wine list. You make another selection. After you’ve gone down the list of you’re particular likes and are told they don’t have it, you decide to settle on water. On the table is a nice array of breads. They look delicious. While you wait on your server you decide to have a taste. What looked so inviting, so enticing was dry and stale. Where is that water?
The server arrives at the table, taking your order. Wow, everything looks so good it’s hard to make up your mind. The server tells you the special. It sounds wonderful, you’ll have that. The hostess brings your water It’s a little cloudy, but you don’t want to complain so you drink it. Then you wait and you wait and you wait. At first you didn’t notice the time going by because the ambiance was so enjoyable. Soft music in the background, relaxing atmosphere. It seemed nice enough. You overlook the minor glitches.
You’ve been waiting for quite a while now,you catch the eye of the hostess and ask to see your server. You wait a little longer and the server finally arrives and sets a beautiful china plate down in front of you. The dish is nice, but it’s not what you ordered. You ordered the special, how can they not have the special? Oh, they have it, but that’s not what they served you. And they won’t be bringing you the special. The chef decided you’d be better off with this. You ask to speak to the chef. The chef is busy, he’s filling other orders. The server assures you this is better than what you ordered. The chef knows what he’s doing. What the heck, you’ll eat it. Maybe the chef is right.
The food isn’t too bad. It’s an alright substitute, but it isn’t what you had your taste buds set on. Besides, you aren’t paying, so all in all it isn’t a bad deal. You’ll take what they give you and like it. The server returns and places a bill on your table face down. You continue eating and even start to enjoy your not quite perfect meal knowing it’s paid for. That is until you turn the bill over to see that the bottom line is twice as much as you’d been told. Now you want to see the manager. The manager is the chef, and he’s unavailable. And just for questioning the price goes up.
You decide to storm into the kitchen and demand some answers from the chef/manager. When you burst through the doors, the kitchen is empty. You begin to question the server. The server divulges that they are the server, the chef and the manager. Exasperated that this place wasn’t all it was built up to be you begin questioning the methods, the cleanliness, and the credentials. Nothing the server/chef/manager tells you makes any sense and none of it is verifiable.
Now what would you do?