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Thread: YardBird Review (Finally) - A lesson in Service Recovery

  1. #1
    Senior Member Marc Middleton's Avatar
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    Default YardBird Review (Finally) - A lesson in Service Recovery

    In the Hospitality Industry, Service Recovery means "Wow'ing a customer directly after a bad service experience/encounter"...But this is not a common practice in this city. Actually, Good service isn't really a common practice. Most Miami'ians are used to mediocre service that when they receive great service and are impressed, it is just what you should be receiving in any 'normal' city.

    Our Yarbird experience starts with a visit to my local fav, Lime, on Alton. After an exhausting VBall game on 7th & Ocean on a Saturday, we all went to the usual meet up spot for tacos & burritos. I had my usual 3 tacos, my friend had his, and my wife had her 'usual' salad. By 'usual', I mean unsual but she orders it every week so it has become a normal item for the folks at Lime. She removes the Pico, Corn Salsa, & Carrots and gets the Guac on the side. By the time this salad arrived, it was almost an empty bowl with a little bit of lettuce, some beef, light cheese sprinkled on top, and 1 blob of sour cream. For $9, it was a joke.
    My wife, being the hot-blooded Italian that she is, was not going to eat a salad with 3-4 bites for $9 while I ate 3 large tacos for the same price. So she got up, went over and showed the manager on duty her salad. He said that the portions were changed recently because the cooks were giving away too much product (lie!). My wife said "That's not my fault, I get this salad every week and its never this small" to which he replied "Its your fault you took all the stuff out of it". She was shocked, as was our usual cashier who was helping run food that day. My wife sat back down and told me what he said. She decided to eat her salad and not return to our favorite under $10 place in all of Sobe. Despite her hatred for Twitter, she knows Lime tweets me as well as some Real Housewives that I've tweeted when at Lime and I've spotted them, she told me to tweet Lime what happened and tag the famous people, including our very own MB411. I did..and waited....
    About 4-5 hours, on a Sunday, Lime tweeted me the Operations Manager for the company, 50 Eggs, contact info. I explained what happened to him in an e-mail. And on that same Sunday, I received a call from him expressing his displeasure for his Manager's actions. He said not only do I want you to come back to Lime (which I have since), I want you to experience a VIP dinner at one of our other restaurants. (Since was in the restaurant biz, I know Yardbird was 1 and the new Khong River House was another, and both were pricey places). I said "Sure, which place". He replied "I want you to come out to Yardbird". I was immediately thrilled. I wanted to try this place for over a year and my wife didn't want to go there and spend that kind of money on fried chicken. He took care of my reservation and Friday night, before our Tracy Morgan show, we went to our free, VIP dinner at Yardbird.

    I must say, I'm sorry it took so long for me (a South Beach lover) to get out to Yardbird. The location is not what we are use to (16th & Lenox) but very conveinient for locals & Lincoln Rd shoppers. They offer valet parking (we have a resident sticker so we parked across the street). We checked in to our reservation (they were booked for the night and its Mid April!) and the hostess sat us. She alerted the GM that we had arrived and he came over and greeted us immediately. He was very friendly and even called me by name all evening. I'm sure he was wondering who we were to receive such treatment, but never the less, he didn't ask and was happy to have us. He recommended several items and then brought our friendly server over. She was extremely nice, helpful, and knowledgeable of the menu and drinks (surprising for Miami). She pointed out a concoction with moonshine, lemon, and a watermelon garnish and said 'despite the moonshine, it goes down smooth'. She couldn't have been more spot on and the drink was delicious ($13-$16/drink). A lot of their cocktail concoctions were bourbon/whiskey based and they serve them in small mason jars to go with the Southern Atmosphere.

    We asked what the best items were and we ordered both her choices: Fried Chicken with Spiced Watermelon & Waffles ($35) and the ribs ($24), along with a side of mash potatoes ($6). She wanted us to try their homemade biscuits so she brought two of those as well. The biscuits come with a sweet jam and a sweet butter. I don't know which is better actually and both were excellent and I could eat an appetizer of those next time.
    The food is served family style so whatever is ready first is what comes out. They were just about to get busy so the food came out very quickly and our Fried Chicken and potatoes came out first. For $35, you get a meal that you can share with 2, maybe 3 people easily. 4 large pieces of delicious fried chicken (not publix or KFC quality, much better), 4 pieces of waffles and 5-7 pieces of spiced watermelon. They use a bourbon based dark sauce instead of maple syrup and let me tell you, its one of the best sauces I've ever had. My wife and I had to fight over the last amounts of sauce for our waffles.
    While we were feasting, a giant plate of ribs arrived. We looked at each other and thought, "we ordered wayyy to much." Atleast 8-10 large pieces of ribs, full of meat, are in the bowl with a light amount of sauce so your fingers aren't covered in Bar-B-Q like at a Chilis. There was no way we were going to devour all this food. We decided to stick to the chicken and waffles and brought most of the ribs home for later. The waffles were delcious and the bourbon sauce was amazing. We didn't care for the pickeled topping so we scrapped it off and just used the sauce. The fried chicken skin was delicious and the chicken itself was very moist, which is very important with fried chicken. While the watermelon was 'spiced' it wasn't spicy and we both enjoyed it and went well with our items. The rib meat was very moist as well and no fork was needed.
    During our meal, all 3 managers on duty checked on our table and others to see if everything was delivered properly and recommended additional drinks and dessert. I don't know if they continue this while they are busy or if its because we were VIP, but they definitely made us feel like a VIP, which was a very nice change for South Beach.
    The waitress recommended some delicious dessert items but after we thought about it for awhile (and we did labor over it), we declined. She informed us that our entire bill was comp'd by the GM which was very surprising as I figured they were just going to offer us the entree's and not alcohol. Again, a pleasant surprise for South Beach and left our waitress the appropriate 20% tip on what we guessed it would have been ($100 or so).

    To Summarize:
    I can't remember the last time a restaurant reached out to a dissatisfied customer the way 50Eggs did and take care of a loyal, local customer who had a bad experience. In all of my teachings, you read about how it costs 8x more money to find new customers than to keep your current ones happy. And that a negative customer will tell 8 people where a positive experience customer will tell 4 people. Well here I am, hopefully telling many people how great the service was, how nice it is to be treated like a loyal customer should be treated, and what a pleasant surprise it was to be given this VIP experience in a city known for bad service restaurants. I'm glad that some establishments still care in Miami and I'll definitely be a customer for life.

    I rarely give out this rating, but Service, Food Quality, and Atmosphere was a 5 out of 5. If you are looking for a great date spot that won't break the bank but is a nice break from the usual Sobe 'Pasta/Sushi/Burger/OverpricedUpscale' that you see everywhere, definitely head over 16th & Lenox for Yardbird. Don't forget to make a reservation and you can split the chicken & waffles with a couple of drinks and dessert and still be well under $100 for the night!
    Last edited by Marc Middleton; 04-22-2013 at 11:21 PM.
    rk likes this.

  2. #2
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: YardBird Review (Finally) - A lesson in Service Recovery

    YES! Anything 50 Eggs does is basically done right. Khong and Swine are no exception and since they sold Lime it has taken the traditional Miami turn to complete crap. So thanks for this review, indeed there is hope.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: YardBird Review (Finally) - A lesson in Service Recovery

    I love Yardbird! Anywhere that has a gluten free menu is a happy place for me to have dinner. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. #4
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: YardBird Review (Finally) - A lesson in Service Recovery

    Quote Originally Posted by Valet Tan View Post
    Yardbird is one of my favorite places. I have been there for brunch and dinner. Both times service was on point. Coming from NYC im a little bit of stickler on service standards

    Yes. coming from Sacramento I am also a stickler on service standards.

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