TNT Diner

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You call that service?

Post by News Tribune Staff on July 2, 2007 at 7:14 am | No Comments »
July 2, 2007 7:14 am

Have you done a story on restaurant workers in Tacoma? To me, it just seems like place after place has below-par staff working there. I am a pretty easy-going guy. I usually don’t bitch at people. Don’t send food back. Have complained after a meal just to let the place know something was not good. But it seems time after time I go to places in this town the wait staff sucks! Is it me? Is it Tacoma? Or is it everywhere?

To answer the reader’s questions:

1. Is it me? Don’t think so.

2. Is it Tacoma? Good bet.

3. Or is it everywhere? That too.

Here are the reader’s service complaints. I’ve fuzzed up the names of the Tacoma restaurants to protect the allegedly innocent.

Expensive steakhouse: Attitude. Kissing boyfriend while working and guest can see.

Tex-Mex tequilaria: Manager seats group. No one comes to table for 10-15 minutes as several waitresses walk by, even making eye contact. I had finally stop one to ask if there were blind eyes working tonight. Not the first time this has happened there.

Waterfront brewpub: Waitress yells at cooks very loudly and everyone can hear.

Downtown Irish pub: Had to almost yell and wave for waitress to greet us at our table, offer water, etc. Multiple staff made eye contact but nobody came over. Then I think I scared the girl because I yelled for her.

I can add a few to that:

  • The greasy-haired waiter with a dirty shirt and yesterday’s body odor.

  • The tweaked-out waitress who said she would send her “assistant” to fill my coffee cup.

  • The stocky waiter who body-checked my wife and I every time he filled a glass or put down a new piece of flatware.

  • The beautiful but vacuous boy with golden tresses at the cheese counter who prompted the customer in front of me to ask the kid, “Do you even work here?”

  • The San Francisco Chronicle’s restaurant critic just returned from Los Angeles. “I was surprised how much more emphasis was placed on the front of the house than in the Bay Area,” Michael Bauer blogged today. “Some of the food was good, but clearly the emphasis was on service. In the Bay Area, it’s often the reverse: food reigns while service languishes. The pedigree of the chef is supreme, while many of the people manning the host stations seem to be there based on style, not experience.”

    I’ve had a few conversations and e-mail exchanges with South Sound chefs on the topic of service and staffing. We usually end up agreeing thusly: Lacking dining history, Tacoma’s talent pool couldn’t fill a squirt gun.

    “The Parkway Tavern is STILL seeking the right daytime person,” the pub’s craigslist job ad says. “Previous applicants need not re-apply.”

    Tacoma rests its case.

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