I was recently on a girl’s trip to Whitefish when we visited Ciao Mambo. We read great reviews on the restaurant and the condo we had rented (conveniently located down the street from Ciao Mambo) highly recommended the place.
I have to say, the food was excellent! However, I have never had such terrible service in any establishments in Whitefish as we had experienced this night. The restaurant was busy- we had a reservation and were seated promptly. Our server, Wandy approached us very quickly to ask if we wanted drinks. Because we had just sat down we asked for another minute to look at the menu. Fifteen minutes later she returned to take our drink order. We ordered food at the same time and waited about another 10 minutes for Wandy to return with our drinks.
When the food arrived everything was excellent and left no one disappointed! While we were about ¾ of the way through our meal Wandy came to our table (with a 2 year old in her arms) asking if we needed anything. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids and in fact 2 of the 6 girls in our group are expecting but we all found it quite unprofessional to be carrying out a job with someone else’s child in her arms.
When we finished our meal we again waited for at least 15 minutes before Wandy asked us if we wanted anything else and brought the bill. We asked if she could split the bill so she left and quickly and came back with the split bill AND an 18% service charge for splitting the bill?!?! Excuse me Wandy but should you not tell your customers you are adding such a charge?!? If her service had been even just mediocre that evening we would have had no issue with the charge but considering we felt basically ignored all night the 18% service charge was NOT acceptable. We did not want to complain so commented to ourselves what a ridiculous charge it was and paid anyway.
The bill was split 4 ways- 3 were paid for on credit card and my friend paid for myself and her with cash. I handed her the cash and she handed it to Wandy as she was in the middle of doing a credit card transaction. When we were about to leave Wandy said she was short 20$. We said- no you shouldn’t be we handed you a 20$ bill to which Wandy replied “I have no record of any cash.” How would you have a “record” of cash? We knew we had paid her and were very confused and embarrassed that she was accusing us of not paying! She appeared flustered and unorganized all evening so it was really no surprise that she had misplaced the 20$. In the end her tone had changed and she loudly explained to our table “FINE! Ill take the money out of my OWN tips!” We all left and felt very awkward about the whole situation, and to be honest I think it put a downer on our entire evening. I am upset that I did not talk to a manager that evening about our experience.
Whitefish is an amazing place with so much to offer! We visit at least a dozen times per year (summer and winter) but will definitely not be returning to Ciao Mambo!