Sunday, February 28, 2010

The customer is always right

Except at Celia's, apparently.

Recently I was upset with a couple of my favorite dining establishments. First I wrote this email:

I have enjoyed eating at Fresh Choice for a long time. Recently I
found out that I have a number of food sensitivities, so I have come
to appreicate the allergen info posted by almost all of the food
items. However, it's disappointing that every single soup has soy. I
am wondering if you could have one or two soups at a time for those of
us who are sensitive to soy?

To which I got this reply:

Thank you for your visit to our Fresh Choice Restaurants and for taking the time (yadda yadda yadda) ...

To address your concern regarding soy content. I've posed the question to the company that manufactures our soup bases and challenged them develop bases w/out soy. It's been amazing the response we have received in providing the nutritional and allergen information on our signs. This information has truly been well received from our guest and allows you to make an educated choice as to what to put in your body. It has also allowed us to make necessary changes such as what you are suggesting.

Thank you for dining with us!!!

Ingrid Walatka
Fresh Choice LLC.

Not too bad for a national chain! At least they're listening and thinking about trying to fulfill my request.

Then, I wrote this letter, which I had to actually mail with stamp and everything because there's no contact email on their web site:

Dear Celia's Manager:

Last night, Friday, Feb 5, my family and I had a very disappointing experience at your restaurant. We were seated in the back room, and after about 10 minutes, the mariachi band started playing to the table right next to us. They stayed there for the rest of our meal. It was very loud; we had to shout to speak to the other people at our table and our ears were ringing within about 20 minutes. I asked the hostess if the band could move or if we could move, and she told me that neither option was a possibility. We ate and left. As we were walking to our car, we saw that the band was moving to a different part of the restaurant.

It was very frustrating to have our experience ruined in this way. Two or three songs would have been nice, but at the decibel level they were playing at, it was unexpected and very unpleasant. I hope you and your staff and the band can be more considerate of diners in the future.

No response.

The moral? Eat at Fresh Choice, but not Celia's.

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