Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 772 : Eataly Round Two

I had not been to Eataly since it's opening weekend in 2010 when I reviewed it and wrote how I found it to be a tourist trap but Friday afternoon I returned to hopefully enjoy a drink with a few good friends after a long week at Birreria, the roof top beer garden. Walking in and over to the area where one accessed Birreria, I was told by the hostess that there was an 80 person wait at the bar and no I wasn't allowed to go upstairs to find my friends. I couldn't even call and reach them because there is pretty much no cell phone service in Eataly -- or well it fades in and out. Keep in mind this was before 6pm, not even prime going out time. I meandered around thinking there is no way they had already made it upstairs and sure enough there wasn't, they were standing have a drink in the meats and cheeses section. After ordering a glass of rose, a friend and I ventured over to the area where they were giving out samples of cheese, both American cheeses in an Italian establishment. We were standing talking briefly about the flavors of one of the cheeses when the woman who was serving the cheese asked us "to please move along and allow for the paying customers to try." First off - how would she possibly have known we weren't paying customers? Which we would have probably turned out to be! Second off - the complete and utter lack of customer service was astounding. This is a people business and when you don't treat potential customers with respect, they are very unlikely to return. And the shocking thing is it didn't stop there, not only did our waiter shove our group into a tiny corner of one of these tall tables when there was other space at nearby tables, the original forty-five minute wait for Birreria kept getting longer and after an hour and a half we gave up and left to find a place with good customer service and tables to sit down at.

What a disappointment.

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