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Ono Service (Long)

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Ono Service (Long)

JGS | Apr 16, 2006 01:21 PM

Well, I tried to send this e-mail to the Ono manager, but it got bounced back, so I guess I'll post it here:

To the Manager --

I've been to Ono several times. I like your restaurant, and I've always found the staff to be quite helpful and friendly. But I had a poor service experience this past Friday night, and I thought I should at least mention it so you are aware. Please note that I am not trying to get anyone fired, or anything of the sort. But I think that one of your waitresses could benefit from additional training.

My friends and I were seated in the upstairs portion of the restaurant. I don't know our waitress' name, but she had an accent. Two of the people at our table also had an accent, and she asked where they were from, so we asked where she was from. She said "Hungary." I assume not too many wait staff at Ono fit that description.

Our initial interaction with her was fine -- she explained the menu the way all of your wait staff do. She rushed through it a somewhat, and it was a bit difficult to follow what she was saying, but she was otherwise pleasant and professional. And then...she disappeared. She never came back to take our order, so we literally had to waive at her across the room. Even that did not work, so we eventually flagged down another waiter who took our order. We barely saw her again the rest of the evening -- she may have stopped by once to ask how things were, but if so it was perfunctory. When we wanted to order a second bottle of wine, we again had to find another waiter. We also had a couple of mishaps: a busboy shattered the glass of one of my dinner companions, and we were served a dish we didn't order. Those things happen, and we weren't bothered by them, but it was a bit amazing that the waitress never came by to apologize or check on us.

But the icing on the cake, and the reason that I am writing this note, is that she made a point of telling me, as she handed me the check, that "just so you know, service is not included." No one has ever said that to me in an American restaurant before, and I was frankly a bit shocked. I was also tempted to say "what service?", but I let it go. I left her a 15% gratuity (I almost never leave less than 20%), but I was offended. I attempted to say something to the manager on the way out, but no one was immediately available at the check-in desk, and we didn't want to wait, so we left.

I'm not in the habit of writing notes of complaint, and again, I'm not looking to cause anyone to lose their job, but I thought someone should know about this. Since I've been to Ono before, I know that my experience last night was an aberration, but if it had been my first visit to your restaurant, I probably would not return. And I'm afraid my friends, who had not been there before, were not left with a good impression. - JGS

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