Letter of the Week
ELV note: The following letter outlines a common customer conundrum, i.e., exactly how should a restaurant handle a patron in distress? Our response concerns the issue of the food poisoning rather than the manners of the management, and we’ll leave it to our loyal readers to decipher/discern/decode(?) what was really going on at the hostess stand, and how things should have been handled.
I went to Gallagher’s Steakhouse in the New York New York Casino…. wait.. Let me rephrase this so that it is clear exactly what has happened and how I plan on sharing it. I stayed in Las Vegas for additional evening to the tune of approx. $400 (hotel, extra dining, etc) to get an opportunity to try a newly learned about Steakhouse in the New York New York Casino… The wine that was recommended by Paul our server was great.. the bread was OK, but we ordered the Clams Casino, and I am sorry to say but they were horrible… disgusting and to the point that they made my girlfriend and I both sick. Literally we were both vomiting in the bathroom just outside the restaurant. I attempted to make the staff aware of the obvious isolated problem and carry about my evening, this became impossible. After vomiting in the bathroom and than making our way to a taxi and puking a few more times we made in back to the hotel where we were staying and again vomiting and feeling extremely ill. I have never gone to the length of emailing every email address that I could find relating to a restaurant, but this is how strongly I feel about this whole event.
I cannot recall the managers name that I spoke to while at the restaurant, but while standing in the entry of the restaurant upset and my girlfriend ‘green’ I was basically treated as an problem and piece of garbage as I try to give my business card to the ‘managers’ standing there expressing how sick my girlfriend had become as I didn’t want to walk away from whatever I owed for what we had drank or eaten. I was told that I would ‘get in trouble’ if I were to leave. Nearly vomiting on the hostess station I was handed a bill for approx. $17, the gentleman said it was for our drinks.. I was not too happy to say the least, but after sharing some expletives I gave a credit card to the gentleman and asked him to hurry as I wanted to leave ASAP. A moment later ‘Paul” our server and truly a classy and extremely respectable individual came out and handed me my credit card and told me I was crazy if I thought that I would pay for anything and said sorry over and over, I gave him a tip with the little cash I had in my pocket as I figured the manager was going to make him pay for my bill.
After I arrived back at the hotel I called the restaurant again to share my experience and concern of a problem with the safety of the food and was met with the same guy who had already spoke with me and rather than saying sorry, just said ‘have a nice evening’ and hung up on me. Obviously his time and responsibilities at the time were more important that me, the customer. I assured him that I would let as many people know of my poor quality food, and worse treatment as I could.
You are only one of many people that I am telling this story to. I am confident that others will take note and either not eat at this establishment, or at least ask of the people that run it the simple question of ‘Why?’. Why would you treat a customer like this and why would you not have accepted this as a mistake in the kitchen and just simply done something to rectify the problem. Why do I so feel compelled to sit in my hotel room and compose an email to anyone who might listen. Why does it take this sort of effort to get someone to say so much as ‘sorry’? The only person who apologized was the innocent waiter Paul.
Here is why… This restaurant is a tourist destination a ‘one time stop and have a meal’ kind of place. It makes for a great story about how the meat is sitting in the window and how the aged beef taste so good. It makes for a great tribute to the original in New York. The only problem with all of this is that the staff and the management knows that generally people don’t return, so why go out of their way to make it any different. Why go out of their way to be humble and apologetic? I understand that I am just a number, they proved it quite clearly in front of fellow patrons, and passers by. Well for the record, I refuse to be a number and just another customer. I want to try the great steaks of Gallagher’s, and furthermore I want to enjoy an evening in Las Vegas rather than in my hotel room sick and my girlfriend sick and in bed. I live only a few hours drive from Las Vegas and was looking forward to the enjoyable evening and good times. I have effectively wasted the money and time on this trip thanks to Gallagher’s, I spent the money on a room, gas to get here, and a couple of drinks on the walk over to Gallagher’s.
To anyone who has read this far, I hope that you can do what is within your power to ensure that one else has to have this type of experience at Gallagher’s.