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SSW Complaints Dept: Seating Snafus at Vento

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Months ago, we asked readers to submit their worst dining experiences of the past year. In this space, we run those complaints, no matter how cranky. Have one of your own? Send it this way.

2009_09_vento1.jpgFrom: [an eater]
Date: Monday, August 10 2009
To: Shitshow Week complaints dept.
Subject: Seating Snafus at Vento


I arrived last night at Vento on time for my reservation which I booked through Ppentable. I was happy to see about five empty tables of two when I arrived figuring that I would not have to wait long, yet I was told it would be about a twenty minute wait. As I stood there waiting and watching empty tables, walk ins were quoted 45 minutes for a table. Eventually I asked why I was being made to wait since there were now seven empty tables, and I was told that they did not want to overwhelm the kitchen. I then looked up and realized the lights on the 2nd floor were on full blast because that level was closed!

How can you overwhelm a kitchen that was built to serve a full outdoor section and two indoor levels (400 seats at a time)? BY NOT PROPERLY STAFFING YOUR KITCHEN. I saw the weather forecast of 80 degrees for yesterday two weeks ago. Surely you can predict that it will be busy.

If they want to pull that shit on the 90% of customers who were walkins, that is one thing, but don’t annoy customers who took the time to make a reservation. I only stuck around cause I had a gift card that I wanted to use. In the end I was seated after waiting a half hour. At that point there were TEN empty tables of two. To make it worse, I was not offered any comp drinks or appetizers for a pointless wait that was obviously due to staffing screw up s at the restaurant.

I saw numerous potential walk-in customers walk away after looking at empty tables and being quoted ridiculous times. If they don’t get their shit together they will have to close more than the 2nd level of Vento.