Well, here’s the oldest service problem in the book.
I was eating dinner recently on the patio of a restaurant when a palmetto tree — oops, I mean a palmetto bug — skittered across the table just as the server was delivering an appetizer.
There was a brief moment of stunned inaction, as we leapt back from our seats and the server called a manager over and asked how to handle the situation.
The manager was deeply apologetic, but she really didn’t do anything beyond saying, “Well, this is Atlanta in the summer. It can be so hard to keep them away.”
My friend, who had earlier said she only wanted to drink water that night, opted for a strong cocktail. And we went on to have a pretty good meal.
I think the manager should have at least offered to move us to another table, if not buy a round of drinks. But she did neither.
It can be such a difficult split-second decision on how to handle incidents like this. But when restaurants make an immediate move to rectify the situation, they tend to earn your patronage.
Waterbugs don’t totally freak me out — they are a fact of life here — but you really don’t want to see them on your dinner table. The ones who occasionally make it to my back patio at home have the good manners to stay on the floor…