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Anthony s Restaurants, Pier 66 Complaint - ABYSMAL SERVICE, ATTITUDE, AND MANAGEMENT

Review by samethingonlydifferent on 2002-07-18
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- Here is a letter I wrote after a recent trip to Anthony's Restaurant Pier 66 in Seattle:

July 11, 2002

I am writing to tell you about a very unpleasant experience at one of your restaurants.

It started with me calling from a land-line, the Anthony's Pier 66 restaurant to make reservations. After being told the downstairs part of your facility does not take reservations, I was hung up on. There was no mistaking the lack of cordial salutations, just a click, not a disconnection.

Looking up the phone number once again, I called back to ask if there was a wait. I was aware there was a concert at the pier and the weather was nice enough to draw hungry visitors to your outside dining area.

Our group was coming straight from our office in the SODO area of town. We had after work business to resolve and thought Anthony's at Pier 66 would be an ideal place to finish up the day.

Upon our arrival, we were immediately seated. It was no later than 5:55pm. Three different sets of watches and cell phones told us so.

When inquiring with our server, Jonathan, about the sunset dinner, he told us we aren't able to order it since it ends at 6:00pm. Pointing out that it wasn't yet 6 o'clock and we would certainly be able to place our group order quickly, he told us that wouldn't be possible even though he admitted that the restaurant clock was a bit fast. He suggested we speak to the manager, so reluctantly, I did.

The female manager, who failed to give us her name, did agree that we were seated before 6:00, but explained four times without taking a breath that we would not be able to order the sunset dinner. We were harshly reprimanded for our lack of punctuality, yet she obliged us.

Now, perhaps we shouldn't have asked, however, what was the harm in asking? We three (expecting two more to join us), were all cordial and friendly, appreciative of being permitted to order off the menu we wanted. Although curious but not confrontational, we were met with discourtesy, defensive argumentativeness, and downright disdain from the manager, our server, and the wait staff. We were treated like a bawdy team of hockey players.

As he was serving our drinks, our waiter snapped, "I've been told to serve your food all at once. I am a robot." Jonathan's demeanor was simply, rude. We asked for no special accommodations--no substitutions, no strange food or beverage requests. He and your restaurant staff made us feel as uncomfortable as they possibly could, intentional or not.

After the tab came, we gave him three different credit cards with two different amounts equaling the total bill. Evidently, Jonathan did not want to do this for us and told us that our request could not be done; the "Rameko" machine would not allow him do this. (The fact that every other restaurant I have ever been to in Seattle allows us to do this seemed odd---we dine out as a group or department frequently.) A woman in our party who has an extensive restaurant background informed Jonathan that in fact, it was possible. Jonathan proceeded to argue with her, once again reprimanding us for not letting him know of our multiple means of payment earlier.

Before leaving our dining area, he stopped to apologize to the tables across from us for having to witness such a sight, projecting his voice in our direction so that we could hear. Until that point, I doubt that your other guests had even been aware of us. We were not boisterous or ostentatious. We were discussing business!

Minutes later, our ill-mannered server returned with our unsigned charges making underlying snide, sarcastic remarks all the while "apologizing" for our Anthony's experience and reminding us as to exactly how accommodating he was, "…especially since you weren't seated until 6:05pm". Jonathan had a knack for making matters worse.

While our experience may have been unfortunate, my co-workers and I realized this was not an isolated incident. Out of all the Anthony's that we collectively frequent, the Pier 66 restaurant consistently has the worst customer service, as in abysmal.

With the exception of the valet service, from my initial telephone inquiry, to the visit with your manager, to the wait staff, I cannot recall a more dissatisfying restaurant experience. Individual instances could have possibly have been dismissed. Collectively, it is inexcusable.

I do not believe that Jonathan should be your main concern. Poor attitude and poor customer service has a "trickle down" effect, and from what we witnessed, on this and many other occasions, from your incompetent manager, Sandy Schaffer, perhaps you might want to consider enrolling her and her staff in an attitude adjustment and quality customer care workshop. She should not be allowed to speak to your clientele until then.

I am the marketing communications event manager for my company, and I will be informing the rest of my company about this horrendous experience, and I will no longer be directing our out of town clients to your restaurants.

If my co-workers or I can provide you with additional details, please let me know.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2002-09-23
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-07-24:
Would someone e-mail me a tissue!
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-07-26:
it's all in the timing! you came at 5:55 for a dinner special that ends at 6:00....duuh!....
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-08-23:
Next time just wear a sign saying you're stupid so everyone knows in advance.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-09-10:
Ok, you wouldn't run into a store that was closing in five minutes and demand to be helped would you? Unless you're an (insert word I'm not allowed to use) I guess-so why would you demand a special dinner when you arrive five minutes before it ends? I'd have been rude to your moronic (insert reference to body part I'm not allowed to name b/c my3cents won't let me) also-I bet you didn't even tip. Now, as I've always been pleased with the service at Anthony's, I assure you I will continue to return.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-09-23:
Oh boo fricken hoo! Your little scam didn't work and the manager saw right through you. I hope she told you never to come back!

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