Not About Food

What's with the lousy service in Calgary?


Not About Food

What's with the lousy service in Calgary?

KevinB | | Oct 25, 2007 06:27 PM

I was flying home last week from Los Angeles on Westjet, and I had a 7 hour layover in Calgary. Not knowing the city very well, I chose to stay at the airport, and have dinner. I went to Montana's.

There I received the worst service I've ever had. I ordered a steak and a carafe of wine. My waiter returned a few minutes layer with the wine, plunked the glass and carafe down on the table, and then left rather quickly. Now, I know there have been other threads where people have talked about the waiter refilling their glasses, and I don't really feel strongly about it one way or the other, but I DO expect him to pour the first glass for me.

Some time after that, a completely different waiter showed up with my steak. He confirmed my order, put the plate on the table, and left quickly. I don't need to be fawned over, but I would have expected him to ask if I needed anything else (steak sauce, bread, etc.). And, I really do expect people to come by, and ask if everything is satisfactory after I've had a few bites. No such luck.

I didn't see my original waiter again for quite some time. I was left sitting with my empty plate in front of me (the food was OK; not spectacular, but definitely edible, which I would expect from a chain like Montana's). Finally, I flagged down a waitress, and asked to see the manager. She came over after a few minutes, and I pointed out the errors I've noted above, and then also noted that no one came by to offer me coffee or dessert. (I didn't really want either, but again, I expect to be asked.)

We discussed the "tip out" amount, which she said was 3%, and I told her that was all my waiter would get. She said she would definitely discuss it with him, which she did, but I still had to wait another 10-15 minutes before he brought over my bill. He apologized but I still left him only the 3%.

This all happened on a Thursday night, and the restaurant did not appear overly crowded. So I don't get it. Later, I did feel like coffee, and I went into Kelsey's. Same thing - ignored at my table for 20 minutes, never got a refill, and I had to beg another waitress to find the guy so I could get my bill.

I know this is only a sample of two, but is this typical of service in Calgary? I'm not expecting superb service, especially at chains, but these are the basics that any good server should provide. I really wasn't impressed.

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