Last night I enjoyed a very nice dinner with my girlfriend and a good friend of mine. I live in the desert, so the only way to get good seafood is to go to a high-end restaurant that flies in fresh seafood daily. We chose a restaurant called Ocean Prime.
High-end restaurants command a premium, but they offer a high-quality dining experience. The food is expertly prepared, and the customer service is top notch. I save these types of restaurants for special occasions.
We all ordered seafood: Alaskan halibut, blackened red snapper, and Chilean sea bass. The food was incredibly delicious.
The $54 mistake
We were nearing the end of the main course, and my girlfriend did not finish her Chilean sea bass. She asked the waiter to box it up.
An important detail to this story is that in these restaurants you do not have just one waiter. There is the primary waiter who takes your order, checks in periodically, and handles the cheque. Then there are other ancillary staff who keep your water glass full, remove empty plates, and handle the menial tasks. One of these ancillary waiters picked up the Chilean sea bass dish presumably to box up the remains.
We ordered dessert and noticed it was taking an unusually long time for them to return with the take-home box. Eventually the primary waiter appeared and said, "I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that we mistakingly discarded your leftover dinner. The good news is that we prepared another one for you to take home."
This was a $54 mistake by the staff, but it was handled perfectly. They realized the mistake, promptly provided a solution, and notified us of the resolution in short order. Of course, this type of service is expected at such an establishment. But good customer service can be offered at any price point and customers notice the difference.