Restaurant customer: "Hey, can I get a little service over here?"The joke could be about Robin's Donuts on Provencher - a place where, from time to time, my Dad and I have met for Sunday morning coffee and donuts - and that has among the most consistently clueless customer service I've ever seen; that is, when a rare customer does dare enter the mostly empty establishment:
Server: "I'm already giving you as little as possible."
The reason I use "clueless" instead of "terrible" to describe the service is that the staff is almost charming in its consistent lack of concern for the poor schmo on the other side of the counter; with alarming regularity, the employee's fingers pierce the (stale) donuts before he or she plunks them onto the (clean?) tray, sans tray liner.
The added pleasure of having your server "go to the back to get change" - disappearing for 10 minutes at a time - is the icing on the donut.
On a recent visit, I also noted a higher-than-usual number of unencumbered "sneezing incidents" that made me wonder whether Winnipeg's swine flu outbreak would come to us in the form of a chocolate eclair.
It would almost be funny if it didn't have the feel of watching someone's livelihood go down the toilet in slow motion. To get customers and maintain a business, you have to do certain things: like offer a quality product and treat customers like they matter.
Otherwise, all you've got is grumpy people serving stale food; and where's the competitive advantage in that?