I Voted With My Feet

When’s the last time you went into a business with cold, hard cash in your hand but you couldn’t get anyone to help you?

It happened to me last week. I was with a friend and we went to a local steakhouse for dinner (translated: not fast food, so not inexpensive).

We walked through the bar to the hostess stand to be seated. There was no one at the stand. Looking around the dining room, we saw no restaurant employees anywhere. After we had been waiting for five minutes, a waiter came from the kitchen to serve diners at one of only four occupied tables in the entire restaurant. He looked at us, and then marched right back into the kitchen without saying a word to us! “Are we invisible?” we wondered.

After another few minutes, said waiter came back out of the kitchen and approached the hostess stand. He asked us if we wanted a table (what do YOU think we wanted?). He showed us to a table, told us we’d be getting bread and water shortly and asked us if we’d like to order a drink while looking at the menu.

Both my friend and I said we’d wait to order drinks. After about ten minutes, the waiter hadn’t come back to our table. I saw him walking toward our table. I stopped him and said that we’d like to place our order. He said, “You’ll have to wait. I’m in the middle of something,” and he proceeded to walk towards the bar. He said they were short-staffed that night. I asked him if he was the only waiter in the restaurant and he said that he was. He then left us and went to the bar.

My friend and I took one look at each other and decided that we didn’t want to spend our hard-earned money at a restaurant that didn’t seem to want our business.

We got up and left the table and walked out of the restaurant. What would you have done?

I can imagine the restaurant owner wondering why sales were down that night and racking his brain to figure out how to get more customers. Imagine his surprise if he found out that his problem wasn’t getting customers into his restaurant; it was keeping them in his restaurant!

So tell me, have you walked?