My adjacent hotel gives out 10% off coupons for this restaurant, so that's why I went here for dinner. Posted outside was a menu with something on it I liked, but I didn't realize it was the lunch menu. The menu looked familiar and I remembered this restaurant was the "sister" of another restaurant I ate at in St. Augustine - but I didn't know the menus would be identical at restaurants with different names. I decided to go in anyway, was seated immediately and my pleasant server took my order for the item on the lunch menu.
The fish and chips serving was small and a bit greasy but was good. I asked for the bill and gave the server the coupon, then waited. She came back to apologize for the delay but she had to wait for the manager to process my credit card with the discount. That immediately irritated me and I did something I haven't done in years - I asked the server to send the manager back to the table with my credit card and bill. I couldn't believe that the server wasn't allowed to process a credit card with a discount and I had to wait for the manager to do it.
I told the manager the coupon was the reason I chose his restaurant - and he laughed. I asked why a manager had to process my credit card if I was using a discount coupon and that I wasn't happy with the delay while I had to wait for him to do that. He said the employees couldn't be trusted to do it, explaining they'd give discounts to their friends and for unauthorized reasons if management wasn't required to handle the transaction. Now I've never worked in a restaurant so maybe that's common and I wouldn't have known any difference except that my server told me the reason for the delay.
The manager began arguing with me after I mentioned a coupon had to be attached to the order ticket to justify the discount, so why couldn't employees be trusted to do that right? With an attitude, he asked if I'd ever prepared a tempura batter, which is what was used on the fish for my dinner - I guess it was his way of explaining why my dinner experience had taken so long when I had ordered off the lunch menu and I should have expected it would take longer. I said it didn't take long to get my dinner ordered from the lunch menu but I was irritated I had to wait for him to process my discount. I couldn't believe he was fighting with me!
I said if he didn't want customers to order off the lunch menu for dinner, then servers should tell the customers that wasn't allowed. If he did allow items on the lunch menu to be ordered for dinner and he thought it would take longer for the chef to prepare it, then he should train the servers to tell customers that. I think that if a chef knows what he/she is doing, preparing an item from the lunch menu at dinner time shouldn't take longer. The manager still seemed amused that I wasn't happy with his statement that none of his employees could be trusted to process discounts. I tipped my server well because she did a good job and even though the restaurant was busy, I didn't have a great experience.
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