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  1. #1
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    Default Why Such Bad Customer Service in Miami Restaurants?

    I have had great service in restaurants in Miami Beach but more often than not, it has been terrible.

    Last night I had dinner with Gus and Michelle at Nexxt cafe on Lincoln Road with 2 others. Our 3 main dishes came out and we waited patiently for the other 2 meals to join us so we could all start. Ten minutes later, still no food, and our meals were getting cold. The waitress finally comes over to tell us she forgot to put the other two meals in and would do this now. WTF?! As a waitress, how can that even happen?!
    The manager didn't even come by and apologize although, after being called over when no apology was given, the two late meals were given free of charge.

    This incident isn't alone, and recently I have had such s**t service (excuse my language but it has been!) that I honestly wonder why the 18% gratuity can be added automatically. Another recent experience in Miami for me was eating out with my aunt and uncle. My aunt asked for a better table when we were seated and the waiter muttered under his breath something rude in French. BIG mistake. My aunt is fluent in french. Needless to say, it did not go down well.

    What is it with Miami that makes customer service so bad? And has anyone ever actually changed the auto gratuity amount on a check?

  2. #2
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Unhappy Re: Bad Customer Service in Restaurants in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    I have had great service in restaurants in Miami Beach but more often than not, it has been terrible.

    Last night I had dinner with Gus and Michelle at Nexxt cafe on Lincoln Road with 2 others. Our 3 main dishes came out and we waited patiently for the other 2 meals to join us so we could all start. Ten minutes later, still no food, and our meals were getting cold. The waitress finally comes over to tell us she forgot to put the other two meals in and would do this now. WTF?! As a waitress, how can that even happen?!
    The manager didn't even come by and apologize although, after being called over when no apology was given, the two late meals were given free of charge.

    This incident isn't alone, and recently I have had such s**t service (excuse my language but it has been!) that I honestly wonder why the 18% gratuity can be added automatically. Another recent experience in Miami for me was eating out with my aunt and uncle. My aunt asked for a better table when we were seated and the waiter muttered under his breath something rude in French. BIG mistake. My aunt is fluent in french. Needless to say, it did not go down well.

    What is it with Miami that makes customer service so bad? And has anyone ever actually changed the auto gratuity amount on a check?

    WOW!

    Sorry this happened.

    I have never 'cut' the 18% but, typically, I would add to it, so in those cases, I dont. Remember, the 18% is split with host staff, bus staff, etc.

    I have spoken to management and even taken up the pen. I think a separate review of Nexxt may be appropos?
    Otherwise j'ne sais pas.

  3. #3
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    Well, I won't be returning to Nexxt that's for sure. Who wants to eat food at all different times?

    However the company was great of course! So it was still a successful evening

  4. #4
    Editor Christy's Avatar
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    That's annoying. At least she was honest about it. They give such huge portions she was probably busy giving everyone to go bags! If you have a bad experience you can tell the manager you want the auto gratuity removed, and then you can leave whatever you feel is appropriate.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bad Customer Service in Restaurants in Miami

    Hi. Nexxt cafe has horrendous service. I never eat there. In fact I don't eat in many restaurants because of the poor service. As for decreasing the tip, OF COURSE! TIPS= to ensure proper service; so if you don't get good service, remove it!
    The last incident where I decreased the tip was at Piola. We were about 10 people, and because of the auto gratuity addition, I suppose our waiter didn't care about our table. When the check came I paid for it, but I decreased the tip to 10%. Days later when I checked my account I noticed that the full amount: bill +18% had been charged. I called Piola and spoke with the manager and informed him that I had adjusted the tip to 10% but I had been charged the full amount, and that because of this I now wanted to remove the ENTIRE tip amount. So I went over there, showed him the bill, plus the adjustment (reason why I keep copies), and he handed me the difference in cash.
    It's your hard earned money so make sure it's going where it's deserved. I generally increase tips to 20-25% if the service is excellent, but I certainly know to adjust it down if it isn't. Too many waiters/waitresses don't properly care for their tables because they know tip is included. Sorry but if all you did was write my order down on a piece of paper, not filled our waters, or checked on the table (not to mention most don't even bring you the food or take away empty plates) I don't see why you deserve 18%.

  6. #6
    Senior Member GandJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bad Customer Service in Restaurants in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    What is it with Miami that makes customer service so bad? And has anyone ever actually changed the auto gratuity amount on a check?

    The automatic tip probably leads to some of this poor service. There is no incentive to do a good job. They know that most people don't bother to reduce the tip. I know I never bother to reduce the tip. I look at it as too much bother and I just rather not create a stir. I figure I'll just move on, and not be inclined to return to that restaurant any time soon. I guess the servers know that many of their customers are tourists, who aren't likely to return any time soon anyway.

    Glenn

  7. #7
    Editor Christy's Avatar
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    I think the only reason Miami does auto gratuity is because there are lots of International people who don't tip..or is that not the case these days? I think in England and France it's automatic gratuity.

    I've never disputed a tip, but I've never had really bad service either. I do think it's important for diners to leave say a 10% or lower tip to let the server know how unhappy they were. It's easier than complaining and they get the message.

    I think at Nexxt when she came to the table and said she forgot to put in the orders she should have offered to bring out some cold appetizers that come out of the kitchen really quick, like tuna sashimi or something.

  8. #8
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    The auto grat probably makes the service worse, but then again as one who has waited tables on the Beach, the Eurotrash and SAs typically don't tip unless you do. And the British too (sorry Jess). So, though it makes the service less good, in the long run I guess it works.

    But, yeah, all in all service here is abysmal. You know why? Because we have so many people here from places where waiting for stuff is a common part of life. Lines aren't considered bad. Look at Cuba, people wait a week for a loaf of bread, for chrissakes. So they come over here and think that applies in America, the land of McDonalds. So slow service is acceptable. Also, a lot come from places where dining out is a leisurely experience, where a two hour meal is the norm. Again, not the case here where frequently people need to be out in an hour. It's cultural.

    Perfect example: I went to a new Panera Bread in Doral a few years ago, and the line of about 5-8 people was served in under 5 minutes. Not only that, they got my order right and were friendly and accommodating when I asked for another bag of chips. I asked the manager where he was from, and apparently he'd been brought in from Cincinnati to open the store. I asked him to please stay on.

    Went back 3 years later, and a line of 3 people took ten minutes to get through and they F-ed up my order. Shockingly, the new manager was local. Again, it boils down to a culture that does not do anything with any sense of urgency on intensity.

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    Editor Christy's Avatar
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    I know you've mentioned that cashiers will chat with a customer at the register while there's a long line, and it's happened to me (sometimes they chat with me and other times I'm the one waiting)..it's almost comical.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    South Beach is worse than service in other parts of Miami, I've found. There is a kind of elitist pretension that some people have -- kind of like that shirt, I'm in Miami, Bitch! I've noticed it also at copy stores and in office lobbies. I think there will be some of it anywhere there is a tourist crowd. People are less inclined to be nice, because they assume they'll never see you again, I suppose.
    Last edited by Doug; 11-14-2010 at 05:12 PM.

  11. #11
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    You mean,
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  12. #12
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Yes, that.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    My first time in Miami was a layover before I flew to Ireland. Revising my luggage in Miami. I noticed I didn't pack any shoes other than what I hoofing.

    While a Juvenile was looking for for my size of Reeboks, he dished out a nice roumd of expletives in spanish to a co-worker about a woman that just left the establishment.

    That was my introduction to Miam's Customer Service. Unfortunateky, nothing has changed.

    Miami's customer service wouldn't survive a day in Perioia.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why Such Bad Customer Service in Miami Restaurants?

    Quote Originally Posted by Under the Sun View Post
    While a Juvenile was looking for for my size of Reeboks, he dished out a nice roumd of expletives in spanish to a co-worker about a woman that just left the establishment.

    That was my introduction to Miam's Customer Service. Unfortunateky, nothing has changed.
    I have had that experience too, when they speak about you in Spanish thinking you have no idea what you are talking about. And, while I don't speak it, my American friends do. I've had a few satisfying moments where they have launched back in Spanish. That should teach people to not assume all Americans here don't speak the language.

  15. #15
    Preferred Member laurab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Such Bad Customer Service in Miami Restaurants?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    I have had that experience too, when they speak about you in Spanish thinking you have no idea what you are talking about. And, while I don't speak it, my American friends do. I've had a few satisfying moments where they have launched back in Spanish. That should teach people to not assume all Americans here don't speak the language.
    I have had that experience too. I am a blonde american and it always takes people by surprise when I speak to them in Spanish. My husband is mexican american- and I have travelled Mexico quite extensively- so I know when I am being called a pinche gringo. It doesn't really happen that much though...

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    Default Re: Why Such Bad Customer Service in Miami Restaurants?

    Quote Originally Posted by laurab View Post
    so I know when I am being called a pinche gringo. It doesn't really happen that much though...
    Shouldn't happen at all.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Why Such Bad Customer Service in Miami Restaurants?

    Quote Originally Posted by Under the Sun View Post
    Miami's customer service wouldn't survive a day in Perioia.
    I'd rather live my life with bad waitstaff than a day in Peoria.

    The causes are myriad, but I think a lot of them stem from the laid-back tropical attitude that a lot of people have. Personally, I like it. Sure, you can get good service in other places, but everyone is so uptight. I don't think that a few extra minutes at the table is a bad trade-off to be living in an un-uptight society.

    You guys think you can have it both ways, but I disagree. Your people are either laid-back (some people call that irresponsible and lazy) or they are uptight (also called anal-retentive and jackasses). The first kind are more fun to be around in social situations, the second kind give better customer service. Take your pick.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Laidback is usually friendly, though. Not pretentious and nasty.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    I was using Periora because of the popular saying. You wouldn't catch me living there even if I was Catepillers biggest wig.

    Why wouldn't any enrtepreneur regardless of location want to provide his consumers great customer service. It's a basic principle that shouldn't involve trade offs were ever you live.

    When I was working, my agency had a Miami subsidiary that was notorious with fuck ups and losing clients. Back West, we had to clean up the messes. These became known as Miami CSI's for Client Service Issues.

    I can see to an extent Coache's point. My recent example of poor customer service, was checking out the three thugs at the liquor store at Portofino. I viewed their lack of finess as they treated other customers. When it came my turn at the till, I noticed written on a chalk board: " don't even think of asking for quarters.' That didn't deter me, I asked for a " fuckin roll of quarters and a pack of Dunhills" They loosened up a bit and at least we had a conversation, but why stoop to their level to get any interaction ?
    Last edited by Blackford Oakes; 11-15-2010 at 08:51 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    I think there's more to it than just being laidback. Key West, for example, feels very laidback (moreso than South Beach) and while the customer service can be a little slow, workers seem pretty pleasant and friendly for the most part.

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