Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why we'll never go back to Zucco Le French Diner, a restaurant/bar in NYC's Lower East Side

I posted this to my Facebook wall:

Waiter/bartender at Zucco Le French Diner asked us to move from our table (where we had been sitting for a while) to the bar to have dinner, because there were only 2 of us and "there's a party of 5 here; I could lose them if I don't seat them at your table." Well, you just lost 2 customers for good.
Response #1:
He should have asked nicely and offered you free drinks/desserts. It can be fun to sit at the bar. _____ and I often choose to when tables are available, but it's bad to be treated brusquely.
I say:
He was definitely brusque. When we said no, we wanted to stay at the table, he didn't seem to accept this.
Response #2:
Unfortunately a restaurant like that probably has enough demand they can afford to be jerks to the occasional small party. Or they are really pushing that rude-French shtick.
My response:
Yeah, he probably figures his restaurant is so small, and there are so many potential customers, that he can afford to be rude whenever it will directly serve the bottom line. I don't agree with that calculus, but I understand it.
To be more specific about why I said I disagree with the calculus: if they truly just wanted to maximize profits, the way to do it wouldn't be to rudely shift their already-seated customers around to try to seat as many people as possible at each table. They should try to create as much customer satisfaction and good will as possible, so more people want to go there — even if this means more people want to go there than can physically fit into their cramped Manhattan restaurant. Insofar as the demand exceeds the space, they should raise their prices just enough to tamp down demand while keeping the restaurant full.

When I choose to give my money to a restaurant or bar, it's not just to have them give me food and drinks, but to have an overall experience. Most places seem to understand this, because if they didn't, it would hurt them in the long run.


RichVR said...

I've worked at a few restaurants in my time. In my opinion it is inexcusable to move people once they are seated. Unless they request it themselves. A restaurant's fortunes wax and wane. It's plain stupidity to burn your bridges this way.

Anonymous said...

The experience might have been a little more pleasant if you hadn't actually shown up and acted like a little girl. I don't think Zucco will go out of business anytime soon because of your bitchy ramblings on a blog that nobody cares about. Start writing material that is interesting, and stop going to out to eat and expecting to be fed by hand.