Wow. This morning I took my 3 and 5 year olds for breakfast at Patty's Eggnest on Holman Road in Seattle. It's always busy there on weekends and there a lot of people waiting for a table. At the end of our meal, my 5 year old announced that she had to go to the bathroom so I flagged our waitress and asked her not to buss our plates. My three year old son had a few scraps of pancake left on his plate and wanted to finish.
When we returned to our table just a few minutes later, it had been cleared and there was a new party seated. We walked to the cashier just as our waitress got there and she apologized profusely and IMMEDIATELY comped the meal. All of it. No discussion, no asking for permission, no hand wringing, just an immediate move that guaranteed we will return. The cashier then handed us a card for $5 off our next visit, and I let them know how much I appreciated the gesture.
WOW. I've been to many of the nicer restaurants in Seattle and have never had an establishment move so quickly to make up for a service error. Not even close. Granted, it was a major mistake. Also, it's just a breakfast spot in a strip mall and the entire meal was under $25, but still. Had they simply handed me the $5 card I would have been satisfied. If all they had done was apologize and ask me to return so they could do better, I would have (it's really a solid place for breakfast). Instead they chose to go way above and beyond and I hope this post gains them a few customers.
So, thanks to Patty's for a great experience. I will be back.