“Good Food, Replaced Service w Poor Technology, Inexperienced Staff, Why Bother?”
My wife has dined at Carmel Cafe on a number of occasions with a better outcome. I heard how much she enjoyed the restaurant, so we decided to dine with good friends on New Years Eve.
We arrived at 6PM and were promptly seated by a friendly hostess. They showed us the menu which is on an iPad and gave us a printed menu.
The restaurant is warm and the decor is nice. However the restaurant to the right, their neighbor) actually looks more inviting. I would try that one next time.
A server came and took our drink order and explained the iPad ordering. We looked at the menu and ordered appetizers. We were engaged in good conversation and did not think about the long wait for food. After about 40 minutes the staff asked if we wanted to order. We replied that we had ordered. They explained that our order was most likely not completed on the iPad and still in the shopping cart. That was the case. We completed the transaction and the food came quickly. I would prefer to order in person. I get the best recommendations from the wait staff.
We ate a series of appetizers. Edamame hummus (good), Braised Short Rib & Portabella Flatbread X 2 (very good), Tomoto Margherita Flatbread (very good), Scallops wrapped in Bacon X3 (very good - how could they not be good…wrapped in bacon) Vegetable Cous Cous, Dessert Trio, Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream. The food was tasty. We did not order anything too complicated.
However, each time we ordered, our food was hung up in the shopping cart. Unfortunately, we all ordered something and went thru the same experience. When i ordered the second time it happened to me again. The software needs some work in my opinion, or just take orders the old fashioned way.
My recommendation, Staff your restaurant and work to provide a better customer experience not a "fad" ordering experience. Remember Max & Erma's tried telephone ordering from the tables 20 years ago and i think they are out of business.
The food came quickly when properly ordered.
The worst part of the evening came at 8:45 PM when a young blond lady in a blue dress came to our table and asked if we planned to leave prior to 9 PM because they needed our table for another party. Her tact was inexcusable. Frankly, I should give the restaurant a Poor rating for her lack of customer concern and their technology issues. However, since my wife has successfully dined and had a good experience on a number of occasions, I am going to give them a 3.
Had they served us properly, without their technology, we would have been finished in less than two hours. Fortunately we were with good friends whom we had not seen in a while and the visit was perfect.
So, OK food, in my opinion they are trying to replace service with technology, and the blond in the blue dress, she should find another career.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.