A man named Tony Posnanski is winning over the Internet with an emotional Facebook post he wrote about an encounter he had as a Chili’s manager. Though it occurred 2 years ago, Tony’s interaction with the woman and child at “Table 9″ left its mark on him forever, and it sure left an imprint on our hearts too!
The post reads:
To the woman and child who sat at table 9,
I did not introduce myself to you. My name is Tony Posnanski. I have been a restaurant manager for fifteen years now. My day consists of making sure my restaurant runs well. That could mean washing dishes, cooking and sometimes even serving tables. I have also dealt with every guest complaint you can imagine.
A few weeks back you came into my restaurant. I was very busy that night. I was running around helping the kitchen cook food. I was asked to talk to a table close to yours. I did and they said your child was being very loud. I heard some yelling while I was talking to that table. I heard a very loud beep from a young girl.
I started to walk to your table. You knew what I was going to ask. You saw the table I just spoke to pointing at you. I got to your table and you looked at me. You wanted the first word. You said…
“Do you know what it is like to have a child with Autism?”
You were not rude when you asked the question. In fact, you were quite sincere. Your daughter could not have been more than five years old. She was beautiful and looked scared that I was at the table. She looked like she thought she was in trouble.
In fifteen years I do not have a lot of memorable moments as a restaurant manager. I remember some guests who were mad that their burger was not the way they wanted it. I remember a woman who called corporate on me because she said I gave her a regular Coke instead of a Diet Coke. I remember having to cut people off from drinking alcohol and I remember having to tell tables to have their child be quieter.
However, I do remember everything about the day my son was born. How I cried when I heard him cry. How I stood there and told him I would do anything for him and be the best father possible. I remember the day I married my wife. How I cried and promised to be the best husband possible. I remember the day my daughter was born. I did not cry that day. I was just so relieved because I lost a child two years earlier.
I know what I was supposed to say when I went to your table. I was supposed to politely tell you to please not have your daughter yell. I was supposed to offer to move you to another area. I was supposed to offend you by not offending you…
I did not do any of that.
Instead I just told you I hoped your meal was awesome. I high fived your daughter and then I told you that your meal was on us tonight. It was only sixteen dollars. It meant more to me than that. I do not think the other guests I spoke to were happy about it. At that moment it did not matter to me.
I do not know how you reacted. I had to leave to go cook because the kitchen was not doing very good that night. When the server asked me why I bought the food I just said you did not enjoy your steak. I did not tell anyone what you said to me. I was thankful you did say it to me though.
You asked me a question that I did not answer. The truth is I do not know what it is like to have a child with Autism. I know what it is like to be a father. I know what it is like to be a husband. I know what it is like to not tell his wife how much he loves her enough. I know what it is like to want to spend more time with his children.
You asked me the question right away. You have been through this before in other restaurants. I did not want to be like other managers for one moment. I did not want to tell you what you always heard.
Honestly, I wrote this to you and your beautiful daughter because I wanted to thank you both.
You have given me a great restaurant memory. One that I needed for the last fifteen years.
You also taught me a valuable lesson…
Sometimes doing the right thing does not make everyone happy; just the people who need it the most.
Mandee: My husband and I decided to go to Red Robin for dinner last night with our 2 year old son. However, I am not sure why since the last time we went was absolutely awful, and this time was no different.
It took 8 minutes for us to be greeted and to have our drink orders taken. 8! Last time it took 15 minutes so I guess that is considered progress. Pathetic progress nonetheless. When our food arrived my fries were cold and not crispy or golden at all. Disappointing! My sons meal came with a side of broccoli which ended up being brown and chewy and stringy. I always taste his food and examine it before feeding it to him. Let me start by saying that I had to stop my waiter as he walked right past us. He didn’t even ask how our meals were. When I mentioned to him that I could not feed my son what was presented to us, he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. He was completely useless and unapologetic, not to mention he never asked if we wanted drink refills, and when we did ask for more milk for our son, it took 10 minutes!
When we go to Townhall Pub or Boston Pizza, they have NEVER hesitated to remake the order AND remove it from the bill entirely. Your staff could get an excellent lesson from these two establishments on how Customer Service should be. You should be ashamed of yourselves! The whole experience was beyond disappointing, and I can assure you that the chances of us ever coming back are slim to none. I will not be recommending this place to anybody. In fact, I will tell them to steer clear. I hope a manager reads this and takes it to heart.
A web series that peeks into the lives of servers and bartenders working in a restaurant in Chicago.
With the crew up to their old antics, its up to Bob the Manager to set an example and remind them all why they do what they do.
See more episodes from The Restaurant HERE
Last week I had a family of 9 sit down in my section. I gave them my usual friendly greet and got everyone’s drinks and appetizers in a timely manner. I wasn’t very busy, so I even took the time to converse with them a little, and learned they were celebrating a birthday.
Everything was fairly normal, until I came to collect the payment for the bill. A gentleman at the table was paying the tab, and I hadn’t heard anything from him at all throughout their meal.
“Did that manager of yours ever do anything about that expired barbecue sauce?” he snapped at me. Confused, I asked him what had happened. Apparently he didn’t like the way our bbq sauce tasted (it’s vinegar-based) so he checked the date printed on the bottom of the bottle. The date read 7/23, about three weeks prior to the present date.
Disgusted, he had asked a different server to send over a manager. My manager had explained to the gentleman that the dates on our sauce bottles are actually bottling dates, not expiration dates, and that the sauces are actually good for up to a month after being opened. This is 100% true.
Well, I had no idea that any of this was going on until he brought it up to me at the end of the meal.
“That manager of yours tried to tell me that the dates on your bottles are born on dates, but I’ve been working in distribution for several years, and there is just no possible way that can be true.”
“Sir,” I said, “I understand how it can seem a little confusing, but I was actually taught in my training here that the date on our bottles are actually bottling dates…”
He cut me off, saying that the date on the other bottle on the table was from three days ago, and argued that there was “absolutely no possible way” that the sauce could be made, packaged, and sent to the restaurant and placed on a table in three days.
I explained to him that, since we are a locally owned company, we make and distribute all of our sauces and products at the company commissary, which is about ten minutes down the road from our restaurant.
Before I could even finish talking, he interrupted me again.
“I don’t appreciate your manager lying to me; just do your job, stop lying to my face. I know how the industry works and I wish you all would just pay more attention to your products.”
Again, I asked him what he would like me to do about the situation (the whole time I’m still holding his bill and his credit card in my hand) and he just huffed, “Nothing now, I’ve already eaten it. I just hope I don’t get sick. This is just awful.”
I left the table and confronted my manager, who told me he had already sent an email to the commissary, asking them the details of our bottling and labeling protocol. I asked him what to do, and, like me, he too was at a loss. He told me he had already taken off the cost of the man’s meal, and that until he heard back from the commissary, he didn’t know what else to do.
So I ran the man’s credit card (Still $150 tab for the table), walked back to the table, and set the card back on the table.
“He took off the price of your meal, sir. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you. Have a great evening. ”
I got a $2 tip on a $150 tab, from a group that took up 2 of my tables for 2 hours.
Ten minutes after they left, the commissary emailed us back, saying the exact same thing my manager and I had told the guy at the table.
I lost a significant amount of money because someone refused to be wrong.
As a server, I often am forced to subscribe to the “customer’s always right” philosophy, which is hard enough even when I CAN fix the problem. If a guest believes his/her steak is overdone, I can easily have it recooked. However, if a man swears up and down that our sauces are expired when they’re not, I can show him every date on every bottle in the entire restaurant, but it won’t change his mind, and I’ll still leave empty-handed.
Submitted By Andie