I once planned a trip entirely online. It was my first experience in turning everything over and completely trusting the internet with my travel plans and credit card information. It was a special trip for me and my daughter, then a senior in high school. Affordable airfare, a delighful and historic hotel was selected, planned-out meals and entertainment all booked and paid for in a snap, all done well ahead of time.
I kept a meticulous file and double- and triple-checked the plans and confirmation numbers before our departure. No problems at the airport, no delays or issues. The hotel, upon our arrival, upgraded our room to a suite and offered us free breakfast. Several restaurant reservations fell seamlessly in line with fun entertainment plans. The trip was a fine example of proper planning and follow-thru, that is, until...,

Our final meal in New York City. Reservations had been made for a special dinner at a well-known restaurant; I had prepaid - $75 each, not including the tip or any extras like alcoholic beverages or desserts. We anxiously arrived and were exposed to a highly agitated maitre'D who seemed to hate us instantly, well, as soon as I handed over my print-out with my confirmation number proving we had paid online. We were seated next to the kitchen doors, so every waiter rushed past us with a dangerously extended elbow or jostling plates. A cheap photocopied menu, with front and back printed upside down from each other I might add, was slapped on our table, with only three entrees from which "we" would be allowed to order. We were then left alone for almost forty minutes before our order was taken.

The restaurant was almost empty for we had made early reservations to immediately follow a Broadway matinee. And yet, we were seated in a horrible location. The food, when it finally arrived was horrible, the service worse. We left disappointed that our trip had been seemingly spoiled by one lousy meal. I recently read that Tavern on the Green was slated to close down. After our dreadful experience, I am not surprised.

My stubborn nature drove me to go ahead and leave an undeserved 25% tip, and speak briefly with a non-caring staff supervisor. An ensuing letter brought no response and I learned a valuable lesson about customer service and how to better appreciate even the least of my customers/clients. Reputation means everything in business...

© by rayannethorn

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25%?! That is terrible. I would have left 5%. If we reward bad behavior, why would they change?

Great post though. I do love reading your stories.
Yikes, that scares me. I sent a gift from Tavern on The Green to a family member for Christmas. I better call them to be sure they received it and that it was good. Oh, my.
TOTG has been a hell hole for years. It lost it's luster 2 decades ago. The only thing really ever going for it was location. With so many amazing restaurant choices in New York, tourist trap lure or not, why would one bother. There are great restaurants on W. 46th between 8th & 9th street that cater to the theater crowd both before and after show time and the entire street is pretty much dedicated to dining. Becco for example is fantastic.

I also agree, customer service can make up for "okay" food any day of the week, or at least we'll forgive them and maybe try them one more time.

Fun post!

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