Without question, the Valentine's Day restaurant scene is a horror show. The PDA, the absurdly pricey pre fixes, the insane waits; the PDA. If your night was filled with the usual waits, hassles, and service shut-downs that tend to be the status quo on the 14th, do share.
Clearly, it was a real shitshow at Town last night. This was the note one unlucky diner sent to Town management:
We are writing to you today to express the great disappointment and frustration we experienced at your establishment last night.
We had an 8:30 pm reservation with you for Valentine’s Day. We arrived at 8:25 pm to check in at which point your reservations manager, Ms. Maura Shipley, informed us that all of the earlier tables had arrived late and so our table was not ready. She estimated that the wait would be approximately 20 - 25 minutes. While it seemed strange that all of your earlier seatings were late, we nevertheless decided to wait in the bar area. At 9:00pm, we checked in again with Ms. Shipley. Upon checking the reservation system, we discovered that there were still nine tables to be seated ahead of us. Ms. Shipley informed us that the true estimate was in the range of “at least 45 minutes” (though she was only forthcoming with this information after we indicated that we were not willing to wait any longer). I am sure you and Ms. Shipley agree that this is not only unacceptable but unprofessional for a restaurant of your caliber.
Like all of your patrons that night, we filled out and returned a reservation guarantee form with our credit card information. So, as an initial matter, please ensure that our credit card is not charged as a “no-show”. In light of this form though, we wonder why the earlier late tables were seated at all. While Ms. Shipley’s argument that “if you had arrived late you would want to be seated,” is an attractive one, it falls short given the guarantee. It would seem that if a patron arrives two or three reservation timeslots late, knowing the problems this will cause for your later guests, that you would enforce your guarantee provision on the latecomers. Instead, by seating the late patrons immediately upon arrival, you not only encourage their behavior but also punish those of us who arrive on time.
In the past, we have entertained a number of business clients in your establishment and would hate to reconsider continued patronage in light of this very upsetting experience. We hope that you will take this opportunity to improve your seating policy in the future.
UPDATE: Said diner has informed us that Ms. Shipley and the management at Town have responded to his note with the necessary apologies and such. They did not, however, give the gentleman and his date their Valentine's Day back.
· Reports from V-Day Hell, Town Edition [~E~]