On Sunday, a customer posted about a bad service experience at Manuel's Tavern on the restaurant's Facebook page. "After fifteen minutes, I still had not been acknowledged as a patron (or even human being for that matter)," the patron writes, and he left the Poncey Highland establishment shortly thereafter.
This morning, Manuel's owner Brian Maloof responded, saying, "More important than the food or the drinks we sell is the service we provide. The best food in the world does not make up for poor service. Manuel's is not a pretty place, it is not fancy or modern. ... What we lack in modern trendiness and fancy foods is supposed to made up with personal service. We failed in a big way with [the customer]. There is no excuse for the service [the customer] and others wrote about." There's more; see the full contents of each post below.
Here's the patron's message:
Today June 30th, around 4:oo p.m. I went by Manuel's Tavern to place a take order. I have been going to Manuels since the mid 1970's. I sat at the bar and waited for service. Two women were behind the bar, one white and one black (only for identification purposes) Neither one seem to acknowledge my presence even though there were several empty sets at the bar. The white waitress was in a deep conversation with a woman patron and the other waitress seemed somewhat bored. After sitting there for over 5 minutes I decided to time the service. After ten minutes of not even being acknowledge, the white waitress turned to the customer with whom she had been chatting (apparently that customer was a waitress at another bar and they were telling each other stories about how much they hated waiting on tables. After fifteen minutes, I still had not been acknowledged as a patron (or even human being for that matter.) I had simply come into to place an order which would have probably cost 12 to 14 dollars and I had intended to order a drink while waiting which would have been 5 or 5 dollars.
However, after, 17 minutes of sitting at the bar (yes i timed it) not one had even acknowledge that I existed! I decided that I must have been invisible to both the waitresses. After concluded that I had stepped into a zone of non-recognition i decided to leave. Sadly, however, i concluded that Manuel's Tavern, a bastion of liberalism and host of so many tolerant groups, I had fallen into that class of people that Manuel's tavern no longer recognizes. White men over the age of 60. Sad, I don't think I will ever go back, and that is sad for me, but I am sure that the current management and certainly the two bar tenders could care less.
And here's how Brian Maloof responded:
My Name is Brian Maloof and I am the current owner of Manuel's. I have been following the posts from Mr. Mears and the comments following it. To say that I am disturbed or angry at the staff working at that time is a terrible understatement. I am having one of my fathers angry moments.
A previous post by a well meaning manager grossly understates the problem. I have called all the managers and started necessary changes.
More important than the food or the drinks we sell is the service we provide. The best food in the world does not make up for poor service. Manuel's is not a pretty place, it is not fancy or modern. What we have always tried to be is comfortable and friendly. We strive to know our customers their families and friends. What we lack in modern trendiness and fancy foods is supposed to made up with personal service. We failed in a big way with [the customer]. There is no excuse for the service [the customer] and others wrote about.
The service issue pointed out on FB has been distributed to the staff. A new emphasis on personal service will be the lead topic of our everyday lineup. [The customer's] complaint and any future complaints will be handled with less forgiveness by me.
You are our customers and we are in the hospitality business and we failed [the customer] and others at service. Our main goal is hospitality and we failed. Painful to write but true. I have become very aware of our problems thanks to [the customer] and all of you. I certainly do not want it to happen again so the problems pointed out are being addressed and it is my hope you will all notice a positive difference.
Owner Manuel's Tavern
· Manuel's Tavern [Facebook via Patch]
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