Is Consistency Too Much to Ask For?


: marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity :
Or my definition: consistent = happy customer who will be back and will write about it and bring friends! Inconsistent – unhappy customer who will write about it and not come back!
On the patio of Jack Dusty at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota just after sunset.
On the patio of Jack Dusty at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota just after sunset.
You go to your favorite restaurant or watering hole and you return because you like the place for one reason or another. You expect that you’re going to get that same drink with the pretty rosemary topping or the french fries with the basal sprinkled on top. Yet, most restaurants don’t understand that little extra that you do, goes a long way!
Take for instance my trip to Jack Dusty at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota last night. I am meeting a friend. I get to JD just after sunset and sit outside. Normally they have all their very cool heat lanterns going, but not tonight, the one I sit by is out. I give them the benefit of the doubt for not seeing me after 10-15 minutes of sitting there. I get up and go to the hostess and then switch my seat to a more lit area, yet again the heat lamp behind me is out, it’s not that it’s not cold, they are lit all around – but this one and the other one I sit by – out! I ask the hostess if she could light it…long story short, it never happens.
While waiting for my drink and before  going to the hostess I check in to Foursquare on my phone… bam! – I ousted some guy and just became Mayor……… yes! Us Foursquare people live for that! The hostess walks me over to my new seat, I say, “I just became Mayor of Foursquare, don’t you have something special you do for the Mayor?”  She looks at me and says, “um, I don’t think so, but I will check.”  Guess what, I never saw her again – hm. In the meantime I asked her if Patrick the GM is in – he unfortunately has the night off (he is the best).  Facebook and the soft opening for media (mind you) kept telling those of us who follow them, that the Mayor of Foursquare will get something special, whether it’s a complimentary dinner or drink. FAIL……. Inconsistent!!
Finally a server comes along, I order a Tidewreck Martini ( take note I have been here already for 20 minutes and just getting to put in an order). It’s such a beautiful setting – the open fire, the lounge furniture……. it’s a place I want to come back to over and over again. My drink comes, is it actually what I ordered? – I don’t see the normal rosemary nor the shell that comes with it. The server walks away, but when she returns with candles I asked for, I ask “Is this the Tidewreck Martini?” Her answer yes!
Tidewreck Martini undressed.
Tidewreck Martini undressed.
Now I don’t know about you, but if you are ‘only’ going to serve me a drink with a pretty rosemary sprig on  soft opening night for media, then leave it out! Inconsistency is one of the downfalls of so many restaurants and businesses’ in general. The server says, “yes it’s what you ordered, but we are out of the shells” ( that means you must be out of oysters too, because it’s the oyster shell you serve it in!), “I can still bring you the rosemary,” yes please I say.  Well, why would you ‘not’ bring the rosemary in the first place, honestly I would not have complained about a shell. It’s the rosemary sprig that makes the drink, not the three olives with pimento in it (do people still like those in their drinks?).
Tidewreck Martini at its best! Thank goodness for my Foodspotting account!
Tidewreck Martini at its best! Thank goodness for my Foodspotting account!
You think I am complaining over the inconsistency of ‘just my drink’……….uh, no! My friend orders a martini, “dirty with blue cheese olives, you do have blue cheese olives right,” the server say, “yes, we do.” – Low and behold he gets the drink and pimento! Doesn’t this drive you crazy! To me, the olives stuffed with blue cheese ‘make’ the drink! I absolutely don’t want to drink it otherwise. He drinks it, but he isn’t enjoying it as much as he would with the bursting flavor of blue cheese floating around in it (and they stuff their own.. if you’re a fan, you know what I am saying).
My friend, who is visiting JD for the FIRST time and I go inside and take a seat at the bar. He orders the same drink, get’s the same pimento. He again doesn’t say anything…. I on the other hand 🙂 ask the bartender if he has blue cheese stuffed olives and he smiles and says yes…. then brings them over. Politely, my friend takes the speared trio of pimento out of his glass and replaces it with the speared stuffed blue! -we smile at each other and he goes on to enjoy his drink!
Look, this topic of conversation may seem minimal to you, but it’s the little things people do /  businesses do that bring people back. Maybe you are one of those people who in your head complains, but not out loud…. well so be it!, I on the other hand like what I like and if I’m going to choose to dine with you, then I am going to ask for what I want. Is consistency too much to ask for? How about saying, “I know you ordered the Tidewreck Martini, but we are out of the dressing that comes with it, I’m sorry.”  Instead of hoping I have no clue about the setup   Whatever… some of you are rolling your eyes. I work hard and when I choose to play at your establishment, then make sure I have fun – part of my fun is not having to think about why I didn’t get what I asked for.
Yes, I am a critic when it comes to food……… Follow me on
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One thought on “Is Consistency Too Much to Ask For?

  1. I have never been a fan of the Ritz for many of these reasons. I think they are all smoke and mirrors…this girl isn’t into that. As a restaurant, you’re obligation to your patrons is the serve the highest quality of ingredients using creativity to blow my mind (especially when you are charging $199 for your Easter brunch) WTF are you getting your pancakes and eggs Ritz Carlton? As a hotel, I am your guest and like all guest should be treated equal, the Ritz, promises more! They never deliver! I wish more restaurants would stop wasting money on decor and start investing in their menu and staff to create a memorable experience that brings you back not discourages you from returning. Shame on your JD!

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