Monday, February 11, 2008

Apparently, there IS such thing as a free dinner

Just when you think people REALLY suck, and that customer service doesn't exist.

So Saturday MM went to pick up Mustang Girl. We had plans, she and I. She was going to make him a cake, yellow, with home made chocolate frosting. And we were going to take it with us to dinner. She arrived, and made a great cake and frosting with very minimal supervision. (She'd not cooked in my kitchen before and had to know where to find things). I predict MG is going to be a great cook. Like her Grandma was.
The stars had aligned for the first time in quite a few years, and a number of MM's friends were able to come and break bread with us at his restaurant of choice. We went to a place called Claimjumpers. It's a nearly local chain steak house, that is, literally, a cut above all the others that are around this area. We had quite the laundry list of fun people. MM's friend/brother "Clancy" and his wife were there, the still married Highschool sweethearts that he's known since highschool were there, D, and his very pregnant wife J were there, and to round out our crew was T, whom I kind of view as the joker of the crowd. In total, we had 10 people ready to have a good time.
We sat at our table, and ordered some drinks and appetizers, and the time just seemed to kind of fly by. We were having fun, just relaxing, bs'ing, and not causing too much mayhem. A few rounds of drinks went by us. Clancy's wife and I did the international "women cannot go to the public restroom alone" escape (hey, two Guinness fill's my bladder!) and when we came back, the manager of the place was at our table. He proceeded to tell us that somewhere, somehow, the ticket with our order on it had gone missing. They hadn't even started our entree's. So, it was going to be awhile. AND, the restaurant was going to pay for our dinners. Well, I don't think most of us had really noticed how much time had gone by, the appetizer plates were HUGE so we'd been picking at them for quite a while, and we were all on board with a free dinner. This was a steak house, and most of us had ordered a good cut of meat, so we were talking a pretty hefty bill. I assumed, that we would just, then, be paying our bar bill. Which, for 9 adults, 8 of them drinking, would still have been a pretty chunk of change.
Another few 'rounds went 'round, and then dinner came. Sizzling hot, and LOTS of it. I had prime rib, with a baked potato and zucchini, and I finished MAYBE half. (awesome leftovers). We all dug in, and continued our good time. Every time our waitress came to the table she was apologizing to us. And we kept reassuring her we were fine. T, the joker, told her we wanted name badges like their staff was wearing (sherriff stars), and, the poor thing went and got them and made them all for us! So we are now all Claimjumpers staff. Or sherriffs. Maybe both. I don't know, I was on my 4th Guinness by then. Then our apologetic waitress came and cut the oh so good cake MG made, and on top of it all, the manager sent out MORE free dessert to us. We were actually ARGUING with each other over who was going to take and eat things. I was too full to put down another bite.
Well, it turns out, that not only did the place eat our dinner bill, they ate the bar bill, too. We never paid for a single thing since we'd sitten down at the table. Thats dinner for 10 people, drinks for 8, and all that dessert. Just because someone lost our dinner ticket. That, my friends, is customer service. Most places I've been too would have just offered a percentage off, or given MM a free dinner because it was his birthday. Not absorbed the WHOLE THING. We were sure to tip the waitress, and now, of course, we will spread the word about how much we like the place to all our other local friends and neighbors. But it was an excellent night, made all the more better because of where we ate. So yes, free dinner. It does exist. We just had to wait for it.
Best comment of the night? One of the friends telling MM "You should have birthday's more often!"


sybil law said...

That fricking ROCKS!
It's also damn near unheard of, anymore.
Yay, Claimjumpers (although I am dying to know what the eff that means!)!!

mielikki said...

Claim jumper is a gold rush term. When someone had an established claim, and someone else came and took it, that person is a "claim jumper". We live in gold country, so it is therefore an appropriate restaurant name. If you come here I will take you there

MM said...

Just remember, if you go to Claim Jumpers, don't eat lunch and prepare to have a good time with friends. I've never been disappointed when going there. They are all up and down the Left Coast.

holly said...

i love the fact that there was no running involved in getting the free meal. it means you can go back.

My Own Woman said...

Absolutely wonderful consumer relations! He's going to get back threefold what he gave, not only in great reviews....but new customers.

It's wonderful to hear that some businesses are still willing to go the extra mile to keep their customers happy.

mielikki said...

MOW- it was a very refreshing moment to see them so, well, eager to ensure we were all happy. As large as a party as we were, especially. We all left with a smile on our face, and will definately send as many people there as we can.

Holly- you know, I have never done a 'dine and dash'. I would just feel so incredibly guilty. I was really broke once, though, and couldn't afford to tip this waitress. And I felt horrible about it. I vowed I'd never do that, again.

MM- yeah, before going, we should have fasted a FULL 24 hours. I really thought at one point, I was going to explode. What a night.

Bubblewench said...

SO Much better then our dining experience this weekend! Funny, I have heard of Claimjumpers before, and have heard only good things. Glad to hear they stepped up and took care of you all!

Lori said...

That's good to know. They're already one of my favorite places, I always choose there for my birthday dinner! And we eat there for lunch a fair bit too!

Lia Hollander said...

When I don't get good service somewhere I often want to say, I'm gonna blog about this! Nice to see it works the other way too.

I went to Claim Jumpers in San Diego. Yummy.

mielikki said...

Lori- this was actually my first trip to Claimjumpers, and I was so well satisfied.

missburrows. They treated us so very well that I just HAD to blog it.