Cafe Society

Reader: A bowl of chili down my back, and not even an offer to help me clean up

During an otherwise pleasant review meal at The Kitchen Next Door Glendale, Gretchen Kurtz watched as a busser dropped a utensil into a bowl filled with broth -- which splashed all over her husband's shirt. Mistakes happen all the time at restaurants, she notes; what's important is what happens next. In this case, the busser apologized -- but no one else from the restaurant appeared with a little sweetener, maybe even an offer to pay for cleaning the shirt, as is common practice at some restaurants. And that includes the Kitchen Next Door, Kurtz found when she later followed up with the general manager of all three restaurants. The goal is to "make it right for guests," and in this case the busser dropped the ball as well as the utensil. See also: Mistakes happen at restaurants -- it's what happens next that matters

But mistakes happen, and our readers recall some doozies. Says Jan89:

Many years ago, there was a cafeteria-style restaurant downtown that served many variations of chili. The guy in line behind me wasn't paying attention and dumped his bowl of chili down my back and the restaurant staff did nothing. It obviously was not their fault, but there was not even an offer to help me clean off my winter coat, which was dripping with chili. I had to go back to work to clean up and did not get the lunch that I had already paid for. I never went back to the restaurant.
Nor did many other people, apparently, since the place is gone.

What's your worst restaurant mistake story? And what did the managers do to compensate? Spill the details below.

Read Gretchen Kurtz's review of The Kitchen Next Door here.

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Contact: Patricia Calhoun