BAD SERVICE/BAD MANAGEMENT. This was my wife & I's first time at DuClaw. We told the hostess we'd like to sit outside, up on the balcony if possible. She told us just to find a seat. We went upstairs, where there was another party of 8 with menus and drinks.
After 5 minutes, no one came up. I went downstairs, and told a server we'd like some menus. She said she'd be up in a second. 5 more minutes passed. I went downstairs, made eye contact with the same server and another. Nothing happened. 2-3 more minutes and I asked another server if we could get a menu. He said the area was reserved for overflow. I asked if we could still sit up there, and he seemed confused and didn't give us an answer. Fed up, we went downstairs. I told him we were leaving and he just said "OK" and didn't try to stop us.
I asked for the manager at the hostess station and a meek little woman came over. I explained the situation, and all she could do was wring her hands and say "I'm sorry." She said that the balcony was closed (this is after the hostess said we could sit up there AND there were already people up there AND the 1st server said she'd bring menus up).
I told her "I guess we'll just have to go somewhere else" and she just said "I'm sorry" again. My wife said "I know you're sorry, but what are you going to do?" She said she'd help us find a table. I said "I think we'll just leave" and she let us go out the door.
RULE #1 IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY: If people are upset at your bar/restaurant, instead of letting money walk out the door, just offer a few free drinks or a free appetizer.
If she had done that, we would have stayed and ordered food and drinks. Instead, we went to California Tortilla, where the guy behind the counter was much friendlier than anyone at DuClaw.
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