City Bistro delivery problems?

3/12/2010:

A customer service tale of two tapes: He said, she said

A Hoboken411 reader had a bit of a problem with the delivery from City Bistro (56 14th St.) that he wanted to share with others to see if they had similar issues. I understand that no one is perfect 100% of the time, and even some of the best places (including yours truly here on 411) are bound to have a slip-up or two. Here’s two sides of a recent delivery debacle:

“I ordered dinner for delivery from City Bistro two nights ago – I often order from them because they are pretty quick and the food is good (albeit expensive). Well the hostess told me about 30- 45 minutes as they usually do- and the driver arrived right on time. My wife ordered a salad with chicken (perfect) and I ordered a cheese burger with fries. The burger was stone cold and the fries were cold enough that the fat they were cooked in began to cake. I called City Bistro to find out what happened- the hostess informed me the delivery was on time and she cannot determine why the food is cold. She offered to replace the meal, but at 9:30PM I asked for a rain check. She obliged- the next order is on the house.

About 10 minutes later I received a call from Gina, the general manager. She asked what the issue is- I explained the food arrived cold. She informed me the hostess has no authority to offer what she did. Gina furthered that City Bistro pays 1/2 of the delivery cost to a 3rd party (apparently I paid the other half). She offered to connect me with the delivery company to try to resolve the issue. I explained that my relationship is with City Bistro, not their vendors. I suggested she contact her delivery service and determine what went wrong. She again told me I should do so. I asked that she pick up the meal and refund my money. Gina said, “Do take that tone with me, we provided the food hot to the delivery company and it is not our fault they did not get it there hot!” She asked me never to order from City Bistro again and promptly hung up the phone.

I called back and asked for Gina. The hostess told me Gina does not want to speak to me. We did not eat the meal and I will contest the credit card charge when it comes through. I cannot understand the arrogance of this general manager, especially at a time when the economy challenges most businesses, especially restaurants.

I hope you post this and see if others have a similar experiences. I believe, when properly informed, citizens of Hoboken can make a difference in our community.”

City Bistro Owner Gina Avoletta remembers this instance clearly – and sees the situation a bit differently:

“He apparently ordered a burger and it arrived cold He phoned and spoke to my host explaining that it was cold, she explained that we use a delivery service that delivers for many restaurants in Hoboken and Jersey City and he may have been busy.. but we never know how long it is going to take.. we tell every guest 45 minutes, but it could be 10 minutes. Anyway, she offered him a new burger, he said no..and that the next order should be on the house. She explained that she could not authorize that and would have to speak to a manager… he hung up on her.

I then phoned him introducing myself and he said the same thing to me (about the burger) I then explained about the delivery service and he kept cutting me off telling me he didn’t care. I offered him a new burger… he said no… I kept trying to make him happy, he got ruder and ruder… I finally lost my patience (my bad, but I am human and sick of being abused by ugly rude people) – and told him I wasn’t charging him for the order, and not to call and place delivery here if he wasn’t happy with our food.”

Question:
When you’re a business owner – are you expected to “play nice” even with customers that may be rude to you? Or would you send them packing, knowing full well that unhappy customers are the first in line to the internet soapbox? How would you handle this circumstance if YOU were the owner of City Bistro?

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53 Comments on "City Bistro delivery problems?"

Gnj
Member

I moved to Hoboken about two years ago with my bf and after the last box was finally unpacked we headed out to City Bistro. When we arrived, we walked through the door and magically appeared in through a black curtain. We were greated by a very bubbly brunette said our hello’s and off to the bar. There stood a smiley nice young gent polite as can be who was eager to serve us and make our stay very pleasant. We ordered their pizza and a salad and it was delicious. After a few mimosas later and full to the gills, we paid our bill and were given a nice fairwell. City Bistro has become my favorite spot in Hoboken. I love the ambiance, the kind staff, and whats more important, taking my guests so I don’t have to cook, and Date Nights with my honey. Never once have we had a bad experience and we’ve always been treated respectfully by Gina. The service business is a tough one, those who have been in it should know. Sorry you got a cold burger sir but we are going with City Bistro on this one.

xyzpdq
Member
xyzpdq

I only order from restaurants who employ their own delivery staff. I’ve had too many bad experiences with outsourced food deliveries. Never had a problem with City Bistro. If I want a burger from my favorite place I call ahead to order it and 10 minutes later I pick it up. I’m home eating it 20 minutes later.

Nobody’s perfect, but I side with City Bistro on this one.

homeworld
Member

I’ve always had good experiences with City Bistro.

BklynHobo
Member

Me too..

In response to homeworld who said:
I’ve always had good experiences with City Bistro.

hobposer
Member
hobposer

me three

In response to BklynHobo who said:
Me too..

hobposer
Member
hobposer

Too bad le maison de sade in the city is still not open, if it was and you got cold food and complained, you’d be well um not happy with the response 🙂

scottmasters
Member
scottmasters

I forgot to answer 411’s question. A restaurant manager should always try to make good with the customer and make nice nice even if a customer becomes difficult. There is a limit though if it becomes apparent the customer is trying to take advantage or becomes beligerant. At that point I think it’s ok to nicely tell a customer to take his business elsewhere.

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