Our first visit to El Pico was a huge disappointment. Me, my husband, and daughters stopped here for lunch. The chips were good, salsa was delish. We thought we had found our new favorite restaurant. However, as we were paying our $50 bill (with a generous tip), the waitress stopped my 3 year old daughter and let her know she would have to leave the 5 crayons she was given at the beginning of our visit. It was extremely upsetting for her, and embarrassing for us.
As I drove home, I became more and more upset about the episode, and decided to call the restaurant to let them know that their behavior was embarrassing and unacceptable. I thought, maybe the waitress is young and inexperienced, and this was not the restaurant's policy. I thought at the very least I would receive an apology. The manager told me that yes, it is their policy to take back the crayons at the end of a customer's visit, because "they are the only crayons the restaurant has". And, "We're sorry, what more do you want?" I did not feel that the tone used was apologetic at all. Rather, I felt it was a very annoyed tone. I was also told that I could not have contact with the owner or anyone above her.
So since I cannot have contact with the owner, I will leave this message to him or her in hopes that this policy will be changed, so future customers will not have the same experience.
Dear El Pico Owner,
You have lost a customer because of the above mentioned behavior on the part of your staff. Your food is fantastic, and your restaurant is charming. However, I cannot, in good conscience, give my money to a company that is willing to upset a toddler and embarrass a parent over .50 worth of crayons. We would have been great customers, and we would have recommended your business to other great customers.
Maybe this does not matter to you. I mean, we are only one family. You have only lost one customer so far due to this incident. You should know that we have a Saturday routine. We visit the farmers market, then we take our children to lunch. Our bill is in the $50 range. So, if we were to visit your restaurant twice a month, you have lost $100 per month in income. As a small business owner myself, I know that this makes a difference. Not to mention my big mouth, and the fact that I will tell all my family and friends and everyone who will listen about my experience today. So, other people who may have visited your establishment, may not now. Is .50 worth of crayons really worth it?
your former customer