Restaurant Owner Tells Yelp Reviewer How He Really Feels

jodiIf you live in Seattle, Washington, please go to Sam’s Tavern and ask for the owner James. When you find him, give him a big bear hug from me because he has all my respect after calling out a woman named Jodie H. who gave his restaurant a 1-star review on Yelp.

Long story short: Jodie H. was pissed that the waitress wouldn’t let them place their various coats and bags on an adjacent table and they were forced to remove them. Also, the waitress didn’t smile enough.

James, realizing that he really didn’t care if someone like Jodie H. came back or not, responded to her complaint and left her ass out to dry. No word on how Jodie H. responded to the complaint, but as of now, it is still posted online. This means that either she hasn’t seen it yet or she has and she does not care. My guess is that she hasn’t seen it, so I will take it upon myself to share this story so that eventually, Jodie H. will know just how James feels about her.

Thank you, James. And thank you to all of the other restaurant owners and managers who are standing up to the insignificant complaints that people like Jodie H. leave on Yelp. It’s awesome.

Jodie H.’s review:

So, I’ve been here a handful of times for work events and am finally coming here to leave a review because I doubt I will come here for any future meetups.

If you don’t mind less-than-stellar customer service, having your group ignored, being served by waitresses who refuse to smile and act like they’re doing you a favor, and waiting 45 minutes for your food when you only have an hour, then you’ve come to the right place.

The last straw was today, when our server asked us to move our coats and bags from an empty booth adjacent to our tables we had reserved. We were told that because we only reserved the one table, that we’ll have to move everything to sit under the table where our buffet for 20-25 people is. On the floor. No hooks under the tables. Mind you, there are at least 10 other empty tables and it wasn’t rush AND they stayed empty throughout our stay.

How about waiting until the tipping point where you have to make room for another group in that booth? Instead, our waitress rudely wandered through our gathered group, announcing that we need to move our items, that we only have the one table and cannot have our items in that empty booth. We proposed that we could sit at the table, but she said no, that would be unacceptable. What the what? So onto the floor our bags and coats went. Gross.

I won’t be back and will take my business elsewhere, and I will let my vendor partners know of the other restaurants that welcome our team events and treat us with respect. You know? With customer service.

A suggestion would be to send your servers to a workshop to learn what customer service looks like. So that your increasingly bad reputation doesn’t sink you. Or, go visit Butcher’s Plate, Cactus, Cuoco, republic, or Serious Pie and witness the customer service that delights customers and has them coming back, and spreading the good word.

James’ response:

Hi Jodie.  My name is James & my wife and I own Sams Tavern.  Thanks for coming in, we do appreciate your business.

I generally do not respond to these reviews because I believe that Yelp is used primarily for venting.  Which is great for people who want to complain about stuff like you mention… I mean, really?  You can’t put your purse or your coat on the floor?  Wait, what?   I’m appalled that someone in their 40’s (Jodi H. woman in her 40’s) would complain about putting a purse or a coat on the floor. Why didn’t you put your coat back & purse back on if you were so worried about putting them on our 7 month brand new concrete floor?  Gross?

In terms of the food 40 taking 40 minutes, I spoke with my kitchen manager about that.  We had 2 new cooks training that night and they got slammed.. sometimes that happens in the food service industry.  Have you tried hiring kitchen help lately in Seattle?  Its tough.  We are still getting used to the volume changes in South Lake Union.  We are working on that and our times have been improving greatly, due to our awesome kitchen team and bar/serving team.  Our team is great!

Your comments about your server not smiling really bothered me.  I spoke with our employee who was working with your group and guess what she had to say?  Maybe you were a little rude to our employee because you were upset that you had to move your coats and precious purses? This is the problem with yelp, a one sided argument from a woman in her 40’s bitching about a server not smiling?  Wait, what?  Is she required to smile at you if you have an attitude with her?  I’m guessing that most people that you interact with don’t smile back at you… Maybe its time to look how you are treating the people around you?  Why do you get to judge our server for not smiling?

My third point.  I will also let my vendor partners know to be on the look out for a woman in her 40’s named Jodi H.  I will let them know that they better make sure everyone smiles at her and make sure she has a direct route to a coat hanger, because if you don’t, she will give you a 1 star review and threaten to take her business else where.  Grow up Jodi H in her 40’s.

My wife and I recently had twin girls.  If my girls were ever to complain about having to put their coats/purses on the floor of a restaurant at any point in their life i would feel like a failure as a parent.  You are way out of line and I hope that next time you have some feedback, you could email us at info@samstavernseattle.c… and we may take your comments more seriously.  A suggestion for you, buy a fanny pack.  You could take your coat off, roll it up into your fanny pack, then you would never have this problem again.  Problem solved.

On a side note, I installed a bunch of coat/purse hangers today.  We are dedicating them all to you.

Have a great day!



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