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A Quick Word On When To Be An Asshole: Lunch At The Eiffel Tower Restaurant

You might think I don’t know food for shit, and you may break my balls over my lack of grasp of the English language, but one undeniable fact is that I’m an expert when it comes to being an asshole.  This is why I’d like to take this time to chastise the dick of a beverage server / bus boy today at The Eiffel Tower Restaurant in the Paris Hotel.

Here’s the story:

So I meet up with the lovely @misstdoe for the Eiffel Tower Restaurant’s Restaurant Week lunch.  We are seated at the table, our beverage order is taken to which I ask for a lemonade and Mysty asks for an iced tea.  Beverage Server / Water Boy / Bus Boy comes to the table with a bottle of The Republic of Tea something or another, to which Mysty (very politely, I might add) told the soon-to-be-dick, “Oh, I’m sorry, I only want fresh-brewed iced tea, nothing in a bottle.  Can I just get a Diet Coke?”  It was at this time that Beverage Boy came at a very important crossroads. He could have said:

A.) “Of course, that’s not a problem, I’ll get you one right away.”

or

B.) Make a face like we just raped his dog before his very eyes, pout like a douche, become unnecessarily flustered, and continue to make every bit of body language possible that this was the biggest pain in the ass he has ever come across in his time on Earth. If that’s not enough, then add on to the idiocy by proceeding to go to another server in front of my own eyes and make some obvious snide remark on his way back to the beverage station.

I couldn’t believe it.  One of the rudest service experiences I’ve had in recent memory.  It completely shit on the rest of the meal, which really wasn’t all that great to begin with (gritty mushrooms & poorly baked gougères), save the extraordinary Creme Brulee at the end.  All this guy had to do was smile, nod, take the fucking bottle back to the beverage station and then call her a pain in the ass in whatever language feels most comfortable to him back there.

That’s why the back of the house is in the back of the house.

Douche.

A pretty view though. At least they can’t fuck that up.

A view of better food across the lake.

A view of better food across the lake.

—–

Eiffel Tower Restaurant

Paris Las Vegas
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

(702) 948-6937

http://www.eiffeltowerrestaurant.com/

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Don't Be An Asshole! Vote! (please) You can vote once per day from now through 09/30/10! Thanks!

Don't Be An Asshole! Vote! (please) You can vote once per day from now through 09/30/10! Thanks!

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9 comments to A Quick Word On When To Be An Asshole: Lunch At The Eiffel Tower Restaurant

  • First of all, you’re completely in the right.

    EXCEPT that, having worked my share of menial food-service jobs (& having worked in customer service my entire life), I know the myriad circumstances that can lead any server to have a bad moment. It can be anything from it being this guy’s first day to the fact that he’s covering for someone who didn’t show up and is fatigued beyond belief. Or it could be that he is just a douche.

    Point is, I share with Anthony Bourdain the ironclad personal rule that I am NEVER short or rude with the wait-staff. If there’s a big enough problem, I take it up with the management. I’ve even been known to politely correct a server by pointing how I would have liked a situation to have been resolved. The few times I’ve done this, I’ve gotten great service for the rest of the meal (and once had the entire dinner comped by the manager).

    The upshot: I usually give a restaurant a couple of tries before I say that the service is an issue.

    Then again, I’m a pushover who lets people walk all over me.

  • No one was rude with the wait staff. It was a pretty simple request. Nothing anywhere said that it was bottled iced tea. When the bottle arrived she was quite nice in her asking for something else. No wrongs were done on anyone’s behalf up to this point.

    The whole “everybody has a bad day” excuse carries little weight with me. Sure, everyone has a bad day, but when you are working at a place that projects itself to have the stature that the Eiffel Tower Restaurant has, then you suck it up on deal with your shit behind closed doors. Put on a happy face and don’t be such a pissy idiot on the floor.

    Also I think I made it pretty clear that this focused on one incident on one visit. I would hope that this isn’t indicative of the service as a whole, although what every restaurant needs to keep at the forefront of their mind is that they often only get one chance to make an impression. No one is going to have three $100 lunches before they pass judgement on a place.

  • Kelly

    I can understand the fact that we all have a bad day. Really, I do…I think I’m having one now. But bad day aside, the type of behavior exhibited by your server is never acceptable. To make the situation worse, we aren’t talking IHOP here. This is THE Eiffel Tower Restaurant. Exceptional service is considered part of the dining experience. And this took place during Restaurant Week…a high profile week for Las Vegas establishments to showcase their goods. Not the best week to act like a douche at work.

  • Geri J.

    These days, it is more common than not that service and food quality on the Strip has declined. The properties are making many small budget cuts — lesser quality meat, not enough prep people, fewer people on the floor (leading to cranky workers). Of course, this flows over to the customers. And the fewer customers, the more the cuts, etc. We stopped eating on the Strip about a year ago for this very reason.

    Also, I have noticed that there are fewer well-trained restaurant professionals in the local talent pool. Probably training, along with the food quality, has fallen by the wayside due to cuts. And the professionals have either retired or moved where the customer base is larger and more appreciative.

    Under this particular circumstance, how did you respond to the beverage server? I’m only asking because, in a prior post, you stated that you had a difficult time with anonymity (a real must for a restaurant reviewer).

  • Kelly – Exactly! You know what you’re talking about!

    Geri – I don’t think it’s fair to say The Strip en total has declined. Yes there are specific places that have gone down the tubes along with the economy, but there are still many great restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip. Many restaurants also don’t short change customers by using cheaper products but pulling the wool over their eyes, but it’s up front on the menu that some of the more expensive products are no longer offered. Again, not everyone is innocent, but certainly not everyone is guilty either.

    We were more in shock than anything. Most of the time we were dealing with the primary server who was fine. It didn’t happen directly to me, so I felt that it wasn’t my place to say anything, Mysty’s an adult and she could have dealt with it in anyway she wanted to. She chose to let it blow over.

    Anonymity in restaurant reviewing is the biggest fallacy in the business. There’s no such thing as a credible anonymous restaurant reviewer, and to anyone who thinks the NY Times reviewers are not known in the top restaurants in NYC the minute they walk in the door, then I’ve got some land in Florida to sell you.

    There is a difference between being anonymous and arriving unannounced. I won’t ever call a restaurant up ahead of time and schedule the ticker tape parade, but you also do readers a greater disservice by being so far off the map to try to keep any kind of anonymity. It’s a balance, not a perfect science, but anyone who has spent time and thought to the dedication of the integrity of the work will learn a few tricks to compensate for being recognized. Also, being recognized ain’t really all it’s cracked up to be. I’ve been recognized plenty of times and have received horrific service and/or food. Hell….I’ve been INVITED and food has still sucked.

  • Mike,

    I just came across your posting about your experience at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant(Google alerts). Frankly I am mortified that one of our employees would conduct himself in such a manner.

    Please give me a call when you have a moment. I would like to refund you for your lunch as well as invite you back.

    Lyle Tolhurst
    Supervisor
    Eiffel Tower Restaurant
    702 845 2664 Cell
    http://twitter.com/eiffellyle

  • Lyle – Thanks for the response. I appreciate the offer, but it is certainly not necessary. If the offense was so egregious, we would have picked ourselves up and left, it was in the very beginning of the meal. The most I’d like to see come out of this is for at the next staff meeting for there to be a reminder to watch their ass when they’re on the floor. Hopefully some other restaurant folk will read this too and it will serve as a reminder across the board.

  • A) It boggles my mind how some people manage to get a job in a customer service profession to begin with when they clear lack in the customer service skills department.

    and

    B) It boggles my mind that a high end restaurant would think it’s even remotely okay to serve iced tea in a bottle!!! What the hell is happening to the Strip???

  • Gray – Yeah, I think the bigger part of this story is the use of a bottled iced tea. A bus boy can be corrected by a stern talking to behind the scenes, but using a bottled iced tea brings up questions of ingredients used and dedication to cooking things from scratch. It’s a bad corner to cut in the front of the house.

    I was going to save this for my Restaurant Week Round Up that I’ll write next week, but another shockingly bad thing at this lunch was the coffee. It tasted like it was on the burner for about 6 days. Then the bill comes and I saw that it was $6.50 for a cup, I almost lost my mind!

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