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: Country Pantry - Customer Service is important and word of mouth spreads fast  ( 12574 )
mkr
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« : March 10, 2014, 12:11:01 PM »

_________________________________
Story #1

I had a cousin go there and have the Black and Blue steak requested med/rare. It was over cooked, not even pink in the middle. So she sent it back, her next steak was so cold that the fat wasn't even melted, just a bunch of white hard gobs throughout the steak. She told the waitress that she was not going to send back again but they might want to give the chef some training on how to cook a steak.

The waitress comes back with half a perfectly cooked piece of meat and says the chef said this is what I sent back the first time. I told her no way that was my piece of meat and she agreed that there was no pink in my first steak. (My opinion the Chef was not putting the customers needs first at all.)

My cousin did not get a discount but she did feel bad for the waitress. She tipped her 20% anyway and told her how well she handled the situation even though my cousin did not eat practically any of her meal.

__________________________________
Story #2
I had a friend who went with family and friends and they wanted a pizza and other items. They will not sell you a pizza there and I was told "I could have a $100 table over a $17.95 table sitting there"
(You can also have NO ONE at your table!)

Customer Service is extremely important and I have heard several other stories as well.
Not impressed new owners..... We are fortunate to have great local stores and bakeries who all provide great customer service. I will spend my money there.

"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
Loctavious
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« #1 : March 10, 2014, 12:41:27 PM »

I recently had a business meeting there.  We stayed for 2 hours in the side room.  The server, checked in several times with us, refilling coffees, waters and clearing whatever she could.  Even after we had had our fill of coffee and didn't need anything else she Still checked back a fe wmore times citing she didn't want us to feel forgotten.

I agree Customer service is important as is clearly explained policies.  Cooks egos, inconsistentcy, and a servers unprofessional and selfish excuse for non-service MAY not be the establishments intentions... in fact they may not even be aware.  My dealings with the new owners has been positive.  They genuinely seem to want to succeed and have good intentions.... unfortunately their inexperience may allow some of these inconsistencies and inadequacies.  A good measure of a business owner is not issues or problems with their product/service... it is how they handle the issue and rectify it. 

I suggest giving them a civil opportunity to ackowledge a complaint or criticisim and allow them a chance to respond and rectify.  This is what any of us would hope for if the roles were reversed.

"Conservatives see any progress outside of what they approve of as the 'liberal agenda'.  Apparently no one told them they and what they think aren't any better than the rest of us"

"A closed mind is more dangerous than an ignorant one"
Travis
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« #2 : March 11, 2014, 12:19:14 PM »

My eggs were so good there on Saturday that I sent a shot of Rum back to the chef.

Maybe you're the reason why he couldn't cook the steak medium rare. :)
mkr
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« #3 : March 11, 2014, 12:20:44 PM »

A friend insisted I share this post in regards to what she shared with me.


Recently, I ate there for the first time since they came under this new ownership (what is this, the 8th incarnation of the Country Pantry?). NOT impressed. All of us agreed we would not want to eat there again.

We stopped in because we heard they make pizza now, and we wanted to order one and eat in. They told us you're not allowed to eat the pizza there--it's take-out only. No one in our group had ever heard of such a thing.  They said it was because they wouldn’t make as much money selling eat-in pizza as other menu items.  That was a huge turn-off.  We considered leaving right then and there since we really only wanted pizza, but decided to give the menu a try.

We looked at the menu and ordered, and it was awful. The food was not cooked well (some veggies boiled to death, and others not cooked enough for instance), and it was not seasoned at all, so it was very boring tasting (especially the parts that had been boiled to death). It was supposed to come with wild rice, and they substituted rice pilaf without asking if that was okay (I like rice pilaf too, but they should at least notify you of menu changes when you are ordering).

For my son, we ordered something that seemed very "safe" for him--mashed potatoes and bread (holy carbs!, right, but that's the only thing he wanted and he ate additional non-carb food when we got home). Anyway, his mashed potatoes were cold and flavorless, and he wouldn't finish them (he usually eats four times that much when I make them), and his Italian bread was still frozen in the middle! We had to ask them to heat it up.

Even the Shirley Temples were bland. The glasses were 70% ice (hello, it's wintertime!) and so there was hardly any ginger ale or grenadine.

Anyhow, given the very poor quality of the food (especially for the prices they charge), and the weird rule about not being able to eat pizza there, I am not planning to return.  I’d much rather buy pizza at one of the other delis/gas stations in town!

"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
mkr
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« #4 : March 11, 2014, 01:06:45 PM »

It saddens me as well Raz.... I am the girl always promoting the local establishments as much as I can. I am a buy local girl and if you notice I always try to be positive. 

Unfortunately this is the first time you have ever see me do this on Dad's site regarding a business.  Honestly, there were a lot more experiences expressed to me that were similar in nature to the ones mentioned above so I consolidated.  When customers bring these issues to the attention of the waitstaff and who takes their bill. The customers feel they are expressing their concern appropriately to people who should be relaying the information if they are not the owners but employees. So I turn that part back on to the restaurant.

"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
suze
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« #5 : March 11, 2014, 06:20:36 PM »

We had dinner there last week and were delighted with the food and the service. My son raved about the yummy burger so much that we returned tonight. We each ordered burgers and salads. Again, we were pleased. We will go back for sure!!  I'm so sorry to read about the negative experiences. Prior to these posts, I've heard nothing but excellent reviews.  I'm hoping they can stick around!!
Loctavious
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« #6 : March 12, 2014, 09:46:48 AM »

Perhaps there's a certain 'shift' of workers that are good at showing a facade of integrity and ethics to the owners, but are actually the opposite.   Having worked in the food industry for both coporate giants and 4 diamond establishments, i can tell you good businesses take constructive criticism and complaints seriously and as opportunities to improve.  They break down the complaint and take key factors into consideration.

Important information to provide in comment cards, is Date, Time, where you were seated and what your server's name was, as well as exact verbiage used by staff.  This allows management to identify who the staff were at the time of the complaint so as to follow-up and addres appropraitely.  It also affords them some insight into what's is fact and what is embellishment of the facts...... a report of a server talking loudly, rudely, and frequently about the establishment, when all other criticisms have been that sever is absent, quiet, and personalitiless..... helps determine the validity of complaints... as some folks look for issues solely for comped meals.

Not saying your friends partake in this act Mary, but i am saying certain information is vital for management to properly address the issue with the right staff.

"Conservatives see any progress outside of what they approve of as the 'liberal agenda'.  Apparently no one told them they and what they think aren't any better than the rest of us"

"A closed mind is more dangerous than an ignorant one"
nhibbard
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« #7 : March 12, 2014, 03:23:38 PM »

Social networks are word of mouth now. It's just how it is. If you run a business and you're not checking comments online, you're missing out. This site should be the first place in town any new owner goes.
dvallett
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« #8 : March 12, 2014, 06:55:45 PM »

Another couple of data points ...

Have had bkfst twice, lunch twice, and pizza twice since new owners took over. Bkfst and lunch were all fine and about what one would expect from a restaurant of this type. Service was fine as well. In fact when at lunch I inquired about the pizza and was given a small pie for free to try out. Had two pizza deliveries and both were prompt and unexpectedly good (all the more meaningful coming from a self-appointed Buffalo New York pizza snob!).

IMHO, not having in-house pizza service is their choice. Though I must say it's a strange one if the reason was really because it makes for a low-revenue table. So does having only a salad and a drink or an oatmeal and a coffee.

Though not a frequent restaurant goer I hope the new owners take customer comments seriously and constructively and make a go of it. The Pantry is a welcome addition to the town.
CountryPantry
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« #9 : March 13, 2014, 02:30:53 PM »

    Hello all,
Just so everyone's on the same page as far as where we, the new owners stand... We aren't wildly into the online forums and networking much at all. We'd prefer to spend our free time shooting bows with our children, playing outside, working on our home and enjoying the world around us. We obsess over trying to get this place back to its glory, but, in like all new business, it will take time. Time to weed out the staff that aren't up to par, time to correct the mess that was left for us to clean up.   People seem to be very interested in why people have failed in this building, the rent is very high. close to 6k a month. keeping in mind thousands a month in gas bill, electric bill ,food bills, labor, beer and wine, linens, cable, insurance... costs roughly 30-35k a month to operate this restaurant. WE are paying for the mistakes of Sam through high rent due to leans on the building. Just so everyone is clear in what its taken to get this going.
     As far as the complaint about the black and blue prime rib, its a ROAST, not a steak. the lady cut bout 1/2 inch into a ROAST and decided it was over done. when it was returned i DID find it important to investigate the issue, cut the meat in 1/2 and it was in fact correct. i asked the server to remove the item from the bill and offer desert. our deepest apology if that did not happen. If the lady had asked to speak to a manager it would have been resolved. I agree there is no excuse for the lac of communication with our staff.
     As far as the pizzeria goes, it's separate investments and investors. It may seem odd to some but at the end of the day its our business and its what we thought best for it. We pay thousands a year in insurance to provide DELIVERY to YOU in Fairfax. Keep in mind Dominoes is All you can get delivered in st A! We love this community, we plan to support opening day of little league by offering FREE pizza to players, parents and spectators. We have local musicians that play TWICE weekly and we DO take the criticism to heart. WE ARE LISTENING TO YOU, but if issues aren't brought to our attention we cannot fix them.
     As far as the "word of mouth" stuff, no, this is not word of mouth. its blanket bashing. Word of mouth is about telling your friends and family about experiences. there are well over a thousand views of this childish rant. If your upset with something go through the proper channels to find resolution or simply don't support it. 
     We have put a lot into this place, blood sweat and tears is just the beginning. We source as much locally as possible. All of the beef products are vt and all natural. I'm not into over seasoning food. There is salt, pepper and an array of condiments available to you. We are trying to be a bit more healthy minded. I'm not interested in producing processed food from a can or the freezer. My personal cell number is 802-923-6508, my name is Jesse. Feel free to contact me directly with any future issues and they will be dealt with promptly. I'm open to any and all ideas, criticisms, concerns or praises.    THANK YOU FAIRFAX AND ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS!!! YOU ALL ROCK
mkr
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« #10 : March 13, 2014, 02:58:22 PM »

Guess what, lived here all my life and welcome to my friends and family.... Welcome to 2014 and word of mouth is spread thru technology. We look for ratings online from friends and families. Social media is the FREE advertising for businesses now. I guess as long as it is positive, right???  Have you heard of Angie's list? These all came from MY FRIENDS and MY FAMILY and I am talking about it.  I have a lot more, but like I said I consolidated.

Telling us that instead of looking online YOU do things with your family says we do not do things or spend time with our family.... "We obsess over trying to get this place back to its glory" Then maybe you should spend 5minutes of your day checking out the reviews, good and bad ones. This way you can enjoy the successes and work on the loses.

In regards to the roast, she did not get a discount and if you investigated the issue why didn't you bring yourself out and speak with her instead of trying to blame the customer for not doing more.

As for the pizzeria and serving only take out, yes, very odd. But like you said "At the end of the day it is our business" yes, I can see it is about you.

If I am upset about something go through the proper channels. THEY COMPLAINED WHEN THEY WERE THERE TO YOUR STAFF. You just to turn it around that the customer did not do enough to express it.




"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
CountryPantry
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« #11 : March 13, 2014, 03:28:16 PM »

Just an FYI, we did offer a discount for the meal and we also offered her a dessert on us and she declined.  If a person doesn't accept an offer we give then we can't be faulted for that.  Do you remember playing the game telephone as a child?  And how the message was always a bit different by the time it got back to you?  We feel that is what is happening and we find it a bit crazy that such things would be posted if you weren't there first hand to experience what actually happened. Done with the rant. We appreciate the feed back good and bad. 
mkr
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« #12 : March 13, 2014, 03:33:54 PM »

FYI - She is a diabetic! So yeah she would not have the dessert.... but again this is HER fault..



"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
sdogallen
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« #13 : March 13, 2014, 04:38:14 PM »

Why can't everyone involved here just get together and resolve this face to face rather than behind a keyboard. AND only the ones involved. By most of the feedback it looks like the new owners are doing quite well. As it goes with any new business there are going to be a few kinks to be worked out and GOD forbid someone might go away  not happy! Honestly I don't know how anyone could make a go of it having to pay out that much a month to operate. Good Luck! And if the new owners happen to not make it I would suggest that the people that are not happy in this post get together and open the C.P. once again and operate it THEIR way.
RidgeRunner
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« #14 : March 13, 2014, 05:02:43 PM »

Just a thought MKR, maybe your friends should have posted here instead of you on their behalf.  When a third person says, this is what happened, it becomes speculation.  I have had nothing but positive experiences at the Country Pantry and it I am glad to have a quality restaurant in town. 

I also don't think it is that odd to not serve pizza in the restaurant.  Lots of businesses do this kind of thing.  It allows them to offer more services and stops the different services from competing with each other. 

I don't think the owner was trying to blame your relative, I think he was trying to say if she wasn't happy with his proposed solution she should have spoken up again.  Silence usually equals consent.  I wasn't there though and can't say definitely .


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