For a Tuesday night in Tequesta at 8:30, it's not uncommon to see restaurants rather empty and struggling for business. However, at Saggio, I now understand why there was no one else in the restaurant last night when we went in for dinner. After looking at the menu and deciding the place looked nice, we decided to stay and give it a shot and we figured we were in for a good italian meal.
The woman who gave us a table took care of our drink orders and it appeared she was going to be our waitress and she seemed friendly and like she knew what she was doing. Sadly, when we saw her walk out the door with her bags because her shift was ending, our chances of having a good dinner were going out the door with her. A new waitress came over to our table and asked for our food orders and had an attitude from the beginning. I don't know if she was upset about not being able to watch her recording of the Real Housewives of New Jersey or bummed about not being able to listen to the Yankees game but she appeared mad at the world. When I ordered a pizza, she couldn't understand what I was ordering and had to borrow a menu to figure out what pizza I was talking about. When my mom ordered, the waitress couldn't hear what my mom said and then complained that my mom needed to talk louder because she was deaf. It was the beginning of an hour of excuses from a woman who has no business being anywhere other than mopping floors and staying out of the way.
As we were waiting on our food, it seemed like our water glasses were always empty. The glasses weren't big to begin with and we were all probably drinking pretty fast, but for a restaurant that was completely empty, I'm not sure what else the waitress was working on. She never brought us water on her own initiative or because she was actually taking care of our table. Once our food came out, I was hoping that we could just eat and enjoy the food without having to deal with her anymore. Unfortunately, WonderWoman Waitress failed to check the menu items before bringing them from the kitchen and my mom's sandwich wasn't prepared right. After my mom realized the sandwich she ordered was missing the dressing that was supposed to come with it, we were forced to flag down our waitress again for some help.
When we asked her about the menu and how the sandwich was supposed to come with dressing, our waitress came up with the wonderful response of "Oh, I don't know." I wish there was a picture taken of my face when that phrase came out of her mouth because I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped. I wouldn't consider myself an expert on waiting tables and dealing with complaints, but I do have a good deal of experience in customer service and answering questions, and it has never crossed my mind to simply say "I don't know". I've learned from the best and you almost always go out of our way to provide the customer with what they want, and you do it with a smile on your face. In this case, it was her own fault for not knowing the items on the menu, but a problem that still could have been easily remedied if she would have simply apologized and showed an effort at fixing the problem. Instead, she reluctantly went back to the kitchen and came back with some dressing as if we were rude for making such a request. Once she brought it out, my mom said something about how that was what the sandwich was missing and the waitress seemed to become even more irritated and responded that she'd fixed it because she went back to the kitchen and brought it out. She gave a condescending apology as she turned her back to our table and I'd decided a breaking point had been reached.
When the waitress returned later, I asked to speak to a manager/supervisor and she informed me that I was in luck because the owner was there. I was hoping a chef or someone in the back would come out, but instead she went and pulled the owner away from the bar, where he was sitting with a group of his buddies. I told him about the quality of my pizza, which happened to be excellent, and I also complimented the first waitress we'd had when we arrived. Next, I proceeded to tell him about the rude, ignorant, and unprofessional woman we'd dealt with for the past half hour. I figured I'd tell him about the poor service and he would apologize and that would be the end of it, but I guess I thought too highly of our waitress. As I was speaking with the owner, the waitress came to our table and began to argue about what I was saying. I found it quite ironic as she was interrupting me and telling me I was wrong that I was able to look at the owner and say, "This is exactly what I mean. The fact that she's here saying this right now is extremely unprofessional to me."
The owner thanked me and shook my hand, as if this was to make everything all better, and then said that he'd take care of everything. We thought he meant he'd take care of our bill, or remove part of our bill, but our waitress brought our check and nothing had changed. We paid the bill and headed for the door and the owner stopped us again saying he was sorry. I'm not sure what good an apology does in business when you don't do anything to fix the problem. I told him it was bad for his business that his employees treat guests in such a way and walked out the door to Saggio, and I'm quite certain I won't be heading back.