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Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?
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Author:  bekki [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

I have pretty limited experience, but one vegetarian restaurant in Asheville managed to give consistently bad service, to the point we stopped going. Then we went twice for brunch and both times rocked, so I don't know if the service changed overall or if they're just better on Sunday mornings.

However, the vegan restaurant has always given good service...which is nice since it costs a small fortune to eat there.

Author:  allularpunk [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

Limone wrote:
I think it just varies from restaurant to restaurant and probably from server to serve. The service at the vegetarian places I've been to here in NYC has ranged from snotty to attentive to apathetic.


I feel like this pretty much sums up this entire thread.

Author:  madeleine.teacup [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

vijita wrote:
almiratanner wrote:
Herbivore in SF has the WORST service ever. It's all-vegan.



I've had even WORSE service at the Herbivore in Berkeley than in SF.

Like, they forgot one item on a takeout order which I didn't realize until I got home, so I called and asked them to refund me and the dude said O, yeah, we were out of X but it was IMPOSSIBLE to refund me. I was like, maybe your manager can if it's like a code you have to input or something? And he insisted it was IMPOSSIBLE, so I said I would call back the next day and try to catch someone who could help me, and when I did I got the same guy and he said - in a really sarcastic sounding tone - Yeah, I talked to my manager and she said it was IMPOSSIBLE as well but they had my name on a list now so I would get free X for life if I just mentioned it whenever I ordered anything there from now on.

It sounded more like a threat than anything else, really.

Author:  madeleine.teacup [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

Also also! At Potala Organic Cafe, in Albany, the waitress basically said my omnivorous (but mostly vegetarian) sweetheart and I were too fat to be vegetarian or vegan. I pretty much own being a fat vegan so it didn't make me curl up and die but I thought it was pretty unprofessional.

Now I will go make myself a huge tofu scramble. :D

Author:  Mr. Shankly [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

Albany, what state?

Author:  madeleine.teacup [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

Mr. Shankly wrote:
Albany, what state?


Sorry, California!

Author:  vijita [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

madeleine.teacup wrote:
vijita wrote:
almiratanner wrote:
Herbivore in SF has the WORST service ever. It's all-vegan.



I've had even WORSE service at the Herbivore in Berkeley than in SF.

Like, they forgot one item on a takeout order which I didn't realize until I got home, so I called and asked them to refund me and the dude said O, yeah, we were out of X but it was IMPOSSIBLE to refund me. I was like, maybe your manager can if it's like a code you have to input or something? And he insisted it was IMPOSSIBLE, so I said I would call back the next day and try to catch someone who could help me, and when I did I got the same guy and he said - in a really sarcastic sounding tone - Yeah, I talked to my manager and she said it was IMPOSSIBLE as well but they had my name on a list now so I would get free X for life if I just mentioned it whenever I ordered anything there from now on.

It sounded more like a threat than anything else, really.

Ha, that is "customer service" that only Herbivore could offer.

Author:  biorobotics [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

Shy Mox wrote:
The Sprout and Happy Hummus Hut here are pretty good. I think the owner/cook of HHH is really loving the job and it shows! The only time service was meh at the Sprout that I can think of, it seemed like the waitress was upset about something and really trying to not let it show, if that makes sense. The friends I went with were making fun of the restaurant and made fun of her and said they could totally do her job, so if it was because of that I don't blame her one bit. I was so embarrassed and vowed never to eat out with those friends ever again.

And maybe the bookstore part of it woos me but I still think Mondragon in Winnipeg is the greatest thing in the whole world.


hey, you live where i'm from!
the sprout has a special place in my heart.

Author:  Shy Mox [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

biorobotics wrote:
Shy Mox wrote:
The Sprout and Happy Hummus Hut here are pretty good. I think the owner/cook of HHH is really loving the job and it shows! The only time service was meh at the Sprout that I can think of, it seemed like the waitress was upset about something and really trying to not let it show, if that makes sense. The friends I went with were making fun of the restaurant and made fun of her and said they could totally do her job, so if it was because of that I don't blame her one bit. I was so embarrassed and vowed never to eat out with those friends ever again.

And maybe the bookstore part of it woos me but I still think Mondragon in Winnipeg is the greatest thing in the whole world.


hey, you live where i'm from!
the sprout has a special place in my heart.


They just got renovated too! I'm really excited to go see it. And they got an AMAZING barbeque tempeh burger now. I'm determined to eat everything that's vegan on the menu, but I keep having to order that.

Author:  Butternut [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

allularpunk wrote:
Limone wrote:
I think it just varies from restaurant to restaurant and probably from server to serve. The service at the vegetarian places I've been to here in NYC has ranged from snotty to attentive to apathetic.


I feel like this pretty much sums up this entire thread.

Yes but when a vegan place has really shitty service, it annoys me more than a normal omni shitty restaurant. People go there and have terrible service and associate it with vegans. I have this problem with a vegan place a few blocks from my apartment. Their food is amazing if you can manage to wait through all the bullshiitake to get it. My worst experience was once i ordered a seitan panini for delivery and when i unpacked my food, i had a panini with bread and no innards. They forgot to put the seitan between the bread to make a sandwich. Ugh. My omni friends ask me about it like I'm a representative from the planet vegan and I know why they are so disorganized.

But I've also been to many vegan and veg restaurants with great service.

Author:  lycophyte [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

bekki wrote:
I have pretty limited experience, but one vegetarian restaurant in Asheville managed to give consistently bad service, to the point we stopped going. Then we went twice for brunch and both times rocked, so I don't know if the service changed overall or if they're just better on Sunday mornings.

However, the vegan restaurant has always given good service...which is nice since it costs a small fortune to eat there.


Laughing Seed? Its seemed better lately, but I still don't go there as often. It has been bad at times though! That, or Green Light, in which case, they have gone out of business. It was really slow there though, even though noone was EVER there when I was. Shame as it was pretty good.

Author:  jdfunks [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

I'll echo having varied service qualities, from crepe to distant to friendly hippie to super-smiley (Veggie Grill!). I can't think of anywhere I go, and I live in a city with A LOT of veg-establishments that I can't handle the service at. There is a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant that the hostess/waitress just doesn't seem to care to serve you, but I think that's more of a cultural thing/personality trait. Haha. I think I've had the most 'holier than thou' type of service in LA. I love that most veg restaurants are usually independent, which endears me a lot more to them. When I visited veg restaurants in SE Asia, the staff usually seemed super welcoming and glad I chose their restaurant to have a meal, you know?

That said, I think being a waiter/waitress is a really straining job and no one is perfect. I don't expect super-human friendliness.

Author:  missdelaney [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

jdfunks wrote:
That said, I think being a waiter/waitress is a really straining job and no one is perfect. I don't expect super-human friendliness.

I do. If I get endlessly harangued about being chipper all the damn time in my sales job, then you bet I'm going to expect it of others I meet in the service industry. It isn't fair, but no one deserves to deal with someone unpleasant, so smile for eight hours a day- it's a condition of employment in service industries.

Author:  interrobang?! [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

missdelaney wrote:
jdfunks wrote:
That said, I think being a waiter/waitress is a really straining job and no one is perfect. I don't expect super-human friendliness.

I do. If I get endlessly harangued about being chipper all the damn time in my sales job, then you bet I'm going to expect it of others I meet in the service industry. It isn't fair, but no one deserves to deal with someone unpleasant, so smile for eight hours a day- it's a condition of employment in service industries.

I don't particularly agree, missdelaney. Being wait staff in some places is kindoff a different ballgame to being in customer service elsewhere. I've never been a waitress, but I was bar staff/glass busser for 5 years and the difference between that and customer-facing roles in other industries is manifold.

I really do feel for wait staff in a lot of places (less so here in the veg*n joints as I know these people, I worked with them in bars for years, and few could care less, overall. They're primarily in it for the hipster bingo points), in the US particularly. It must suck hard to be reliant on tips to make up your wage and have to be super-nice to crassholes because of it.

Author:  Limone [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

Butternut wrote:
I have this problem with a vegan place a few blocks from my apartment. Their food is amazing if you can manage to wait through all the bullshiitake to get it. My worst experience was once i ordered a seitan panini for delivery and when i unpacked my food, i had a panini with bread and no innards.

Haha, that's terrible. Air sandwich!

Author:  Vantine [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

Given the insane requests and level of entitlement I have to deal with sometimes at my job, I can only imagine what it is like for servers, especially at a veg*n place.

Author:  Moon [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

I've worked at a lot of different jobs, and the one thing I know I can never do is wait staff. I too do not expect unwavering happiness from my servers, but at least a couple obligatory smiles are expected.

I did have a young waitress at an omni restaurant who was so unhappy that her only tip was "try smiling sometime" written on the back of the check. I'm usually a pretty generous tippers, even when service is subpar, so that says something about her conduct.

Author:  Fee [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

We don't have any veg restaurants here so my only experience has been in travel and I honestly can't think of any bad service. Some of the food could have been better, but the service never stood out as bad.

Author:  molasses jane [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

I was a server for the better part of ten years. What I learned is that people are truly awful. I have never been treated so terribly. That said, I agree with Missdelaney. I think that being pleasant is part of the job in restaurants in North America. But I also think that's a cultural difference--in North America there are very different standards for customer service ("service with a smile!") than a lot of other places, especially in Europe. Of course, in Europe the whole gratuity situation is so different and doesn't incentivize the performance of being nice.

I'm not sure I've ever had better or worse service at veg restaurants in comparison with non-veg ones. I've experienced terrible and exceptional service in both. The only exception to that is that I feel like the extreme religious-affiliated ones, like the Loving Hut and Soul Veg chains, tend to be a bit odd in terms of the service.

And Café Gratitude. Loved their tiramisu. Hated being asked to perform to get their "I am grace smoothie", "I am adoring tiramisu".

Author:  Shy Mox [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

interrobang?! wrote:
missdelaney wrote:
jdfunks wrote:
That said, I think being a waiter/waitress is a really straining job and no one is perfect. I don't expect super-human friendliness.

I do. If I get endlessly harangued about being chipper all the damn time in my sales job, then you bet I'm going to expect it of others I meet in the service industry. It isn't fair, but no one deserves to deal with someone unpleasant, so smile for eight hours a day- it's a condition of employment in service industries.

I don't particularly agree, missdelaney. Being wait staff in some places is kindoff a different ballgame to being in customer service elsewhere. I've never been a waitress, but I was bar staff/glass busser for 5 years and the difference between that and customer-facing roles in other industries is manifold.

I really do feel for wait staff in a lot of places (less so here in the veg*n joints as I know these people, I worked with them in bars for years, and few could care less, overall. They're primarily in it for the hipster bingo points), in the US particularly. It must suck hard to be reliant on tips to make up your wage and have to be super-nice to crassholes because of it.


Yeah, I work in retail, used to work at a bar and call centers, my mom used to be a waitress, and I think emotional labour is pretty shitty for the most part. You deal with people who think you're less than dirt and yelling at you will make things better, not to mention the sexual harassment that drunk people think they can get away with at bars.

I really don't expect waiters to be happy because I know how exploitative the service industry is, and honestly I find it annoying when they're trying too hard XD you know what I mean? Like they're coming on too strong. I always tip anyway. Most of the time I have a problem at the restaurant its the kitchen's fault. But if they're kinda frowny, well I've been there like the time I had to work the day my dog was put down. I dunno what's going on in their lives and as long as they do the job it doesn't affect me.

Author:  pandacookie [ Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

There's nothing more annoying than someone telling you that you ought to be smiling for them. Hell damn no.

Author:  joshua [ Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

I don't necessarily expect friendliness, but being prompt and courteous are part of the job (and likewise, I might not smile back, but I'll be nice and courteous back)

what I hate is the super put-on over the top 'friendliness' when people are chasing tips. drives me mental.

Author:  molasses jane [ Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

pandacookie wrote:
There's nothing more annoying than someone telling you that you ought to be smiling for them. Hell damn no.


Agreed. Though an unfortunate reality in the American customer service sector.

Author:  Mr. Shankly [ Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

molasses jane wrote:
pandacookie wrote:
There's nothing more annoying than someone telling you that you ought to be smiling for them. Hell damn no.


Agreed. Though an unfortunate reality in the American customer service sector.

Seconded. Especially when they bring in with them a ridiculous sense of entitlement. I know how I've had to work before and I know that I've had bad days and haven't always been at my best and I can't imagine how much worse it would have been if I had been reprimanded in some way for it. The fact that I'm forced to paint on a smile every day and act like all of our customers or patrons are the greatest people in the world while they essentially spit on me is the reason why I have compassion towards someone else in that situation.

Author:  Vantine [ Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Poor Service in Vegetarian Restaurants?

I wonder if the difference is that most of these places are independently owned and lack the corporate training push to be over the top cheery.

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