Monday, May 19, 2008

a letter to Tucano's

Just so you are aware, I was at the Provo Tucano’s earlier today (lunch) and, while the food was great, I wasn’t too pleased with a number of employees. The reasons are below.

  1. Early in the meal, a server pushed meat off the skewer which rolled off my plate, onto the table, and then into my grasping hands. At that point I asked for a new napkin. The server politely said OK, left our table, and then never brought me a napkin. I eventually did ask another employee for a napkin, and about 10 minutes after that I finally got one. Is the system designed so that napkins are hard to find? I didn’t eat until they brought me a napkin to clean my hands, so obviously I wasn't happy about that failure. Also, after spilling the food on me, I wasn’t offered a replacement for the food that had missed my plate. Looking back, that was a surprise. I think some new employees weren’t adequately prepared to serve or compensate otherwise for their lack of skill.
  2. Then toward the end of the meal, my party decided that we had some favorite things in the rotation (grilled pineapple and top sirloin). Servers seemed annoyed that I wasn’t accepting their offers, so I told the servers directly that I only wanted top sirloin and pineapple. Some employees asked us with a stern looks if there was anything at all that they could do for us. That might sound nice, but we didn't feel at all warmed by their attitudes.
  3. After I finally got tired of eating and feeling like a major inconvenience to Tucano’s employees, I flipped the signal to red hoping to get relief. Then a friendly female offered us dessert and gave us our check. I was enjoying a conversation with my party. Then the employees began to interrupt us again and again to ask us if there was anything else we wanted. I'm pretty sure the red signal means “I don’t need more,” but still it seemed I was an annoyance to the employees. I was having a great, interesting conversation with my party, and there was no idea why the employees should have been pushing us out when 80% of the tables around us were free to any other customers.
  4. Finally when I decided to pay for the meal and fill out the credit card receipt with a tip, and an employee was watching me fill it out. Talk about horrible etiquette. I almost didn’t tip for that misbehavior. I regret now that I did.

Please, let me know what you think about this feedback. I appreciate your time, and hope for better service from other restaurants.


The day after I sent the emails to Tucanos the manager called me twice. The first time I screened his call, and then the second time he tried to call me I picked up. He was very kind. He told me he would take two basic actions because I gave him feedback:
1) He wanted the last 4-digits of my credit card so he could figure out accurately which servers were the problem. He indicated that he would fix the problem employees.
2) He asked for my address so he could mail me coupons to entice me to visit in the future.

I think those are pretty good initial steps, so I am now giving some of my respect back to the management of Tucanos. Hopefully they can use my feedback to create an untainted, positive experience for other customers.


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