At The Standard: More Adventures in DASM
The Standard Hotel is new to the Meatpacking District in downtown New York, and I like it quite a bit. I’ll come back when I’m in the neighborhood (our grandchildren are about 10 blocks away). However, dining there is another issue.
The restaurant has been open for only two days, and is still on its “shakedown cruise.” Compared to this, the Titanic had a successful journey.
At breakfast, when people want coffee, it is most difficult to get (drum roll, please): coffee! It takes ten minutes or more because the coffee is a half-mile from the tables, and management insists on “barristas” (how I detest that pomposity) making it in special receptacles that, inexplicably, hold 1.5 cups of coffee, so they are useless for sharing or a refill at the table.
I had to ask a manager for service, since everyone was ignoring our table. My wife’s grapefruit, a fifteen-minute wait, became grapefruit juice, then a “brulee grapefruit,” and finally cancelled. Her soft-cooked eggs were pure liquid. My breakfast sandwich was tasty but cold. Her accompanying “toast soldiers” were AWOL. (“Are they marching to Valley Forge?” she asked an uncomprehending waitress, apparently lacking either a sense of history or irony.)
When we walked into the restaurant, the hostess actually seemed stunned, as if customers were not expected at the front door. When we asked for outside seating, she stopped in her tracks and actually uttered, “Oh!” She eventually got us to one of several tables available, while getting in the way of three servers.
The gentleman next to us, there before us, finally got up and left when the restaurant could not deliver his smoked salmon which, to my shallow culinary knowledge, requires only to be placed on a plate.
I could go on (coffee, when finally served, was not accompanied by spoons), but I may get giddy. This is a management problem, not an employee, motivation, communications, or wage problem. It is the height of stupid management. On your first day, when coffee can’t be delivered within two minutes at breakfast, you move the coffee. (That will be $25,000 for the advice, please.)
The buck stops at management, and fixing these things is not rocket science. We received no check and abundant apologies. We were told to come back, that they were still experimenting.
Yes, but I don’t enjoy being a lab rat.
© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.