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Bad Night at the Palace (SEA)


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Bad Night at the Palace (SEA)

travelbuff | Apr 9, 2007 10:23 PM

I recently reserved the "private" room at the Palace Grill. It's a room set for 12, with a minimum of $700 before tax and fixed gratuity (almost $60 per person). I told them we would have 14-16 people, which they said would be fine. The food varied--my steak (rare) was tough, sinewy and flavorless ($21), another persons' (medium-well) was inedible. The cake dessert I had was average. Other food was fine. Interesting Oregon wines. Our waitress was not gracious and disappeared for very long periods of time. We ended up not meeting the minimum, and were faced with a $230 "room charge" (plus tax and gratuity on that amount). This was a little distressing and the waitress could tell. We ended up leaving the place with a bad taste in our mouths--no one said goodbye or thank you in spite of our having dropped almost $900. It was late on a Sunday night, and there were many free tables in the restaurant throughout the evening. You know what I would have done if I was the manager in this case? I would have come to our table, thanked us for dining there, and given us a couple of $50 gift certificates and urged us to come back soon. It would have cost them little or nothing (about 75% of gift certificates are never redeemed) but would have meant a lot in goodwill. This was the night before 1500 of us began a several day conference at a hotel just a block away. It meant lost business from negative word of mouth, plus at least one person told the concierge that our experience wasn't good. This is my point of view as a customer, but I also used to own a successful restaurant. You can never be too successful to provide good service and be friendly and generous.

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