Good service — point / counterpoint

So recently we went to Restaurant Iris and were delighted with the food and service. We’re not the only ones to have noticed Iris. In fact, Iris was declared best new restaurant by the readers of both Memphis Magazine and the Memphis Flyer. Memphis readers proclaimed Iris to have the best service while the Flyer went so far as to single out Iris’ Jeff Frisby as the single best server in town. Preach on Jeff!

Still, it’s only natural that a high end restaurant would have good food and service. What about another restaurant, a regular, everyday sort of place? Not long after our Iris dinner, we decided to hit one of our favorite places for lunch. This place has always given us great food and service. It is a perennial favorite in local readers’ polls.

This day was no different. When we sat down, our server was hustling to clear a large table. She promised to be right with us, and she was. She took our drink order and then our food order with a big smile. Everything came just when it should. We were well into our main course, though, when Angela commented that we needed more to drink. During a meal, I typically drink faster than Angela, so when her glass is empty, it is definitely a sign that service has dropped off. I commented that it had been a while since we had seen our server.

It was at that very moment that our server walked by our table and, with that same smile, and with her purse on her shoulder and keys in her hand, proceeded to walk out of the restaurant, across the parking lot, to her car. We weren’t getting a refill.

After a few more minutes, another server walked by our table and, with an expression that clearly said, “oops,” asked we needed anything. We got our drink refills and, eventually, our check.

I can’t exactly call this bad service; although the server hand off could have been handled better or at all. No, not bad, I think this experience is better described as surreal.

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