Food, decent... Customer Relations, poor
So, I finally went to Pastis yesterday morning for the first time. Everything was fine until we got the bill. $13 for a mediocre mimosa.
I wrote the following note to the manager and the owner's reply follows:
Dear Mr. Pinto,
I wanted to write to express my disappointment upon receiving my bill. I had ordered a mimosa. It was a decent mimosa but nothing special.
I was disappointed that it cost $13. The price seemed out of line with the rest of the menu and other drinks ($9 vodka cocktail). It was not on the menu and I should have asked but didn't. Had I known its cost, I would have ordered something else.
Upon letting my server know how I felt, the hostess, not the manager, came over to say she was sorry, that she'd pass along my comments, but that's all she could do.
This was my first time dining at Pastis and the situation or the way it was handled have not left me a fan.
I await your response. I didn't expect the cost of the item to be removed... A simple gesture like a discount or complimentary coffee or dessert would have made the situation better. I will wait to post my review on yelp/Facebook/Twitter until I receive your response.
Reply from Keith McNally:
Dear Mr. M, Although I very much sympathize with whatever complaints I occasionally receive at my restaurants I'm less inclined to sympathize with yours simply because of the implied threat in the last paragraph: ""I will wait to post my review on yelp/Facebook/Twitter until I receive your response"". Do you really think you can expect an apology, much less compensation, when you write something as odious and as threatening as this in your complaint? I would move Heaven and Earth to make my customers happy. I reimburse each and every one of them when they are unhappy with absolutely anything they've eaten on the menu. However, when I receive a complaint with such a despicable last line as yours I begin to think that I'm truly in the wrong business. Despite this, I will lower the price of a Mimosa at both Pastis and Balthazar. And if I receive an apology from you for the implied threat I will even offer you a Mimosa on the house the next time you happen to visit Pastis. Sincerely, Keith McNally.
So... I wrote back to explain what I meant. I wanted to give them an opportunity to explain why things happened the way they did. Again, his reply: ""Since that day (1980 when he opened his first restaurant) I've received a number of complaints. Not one has ever carried such an obnoxious threat as yours has done. Without that idiotic and juvenile last line I would have reimbursed your entire cheque.
You have cut your nose to spite your face, as the saying goes. Let's hope you learn from this.""
Needless to say, I was appalled by his response and am hoping that anyone who thinks about going here considers his response before patronizing his business. If he is willing to lower the price, why didn't a manager do anything or even come by? If you decide not to go here because of this, I hope you let them know why.