1 STF: Non-Food Review of Brooklyn Warehouse

Friday, November 2, 2012

Non-Food Review of Brooklyn Warehouse

Non-Food Review of Brooklyn Warehouse

Scroll to the bottom to see Mark Gray, Executive Chef of Brooklyn Warehouse's response to my post! 

Last week we had the worst few days. Imagine having to go to a seminar that talks all about how everything you have worked for for the last seven years is going to be over forever and you are going to have a seriously hard time coping with that reality. Oh and here is everything you are going to lose...

On the first day, I just wanted to go to a nice restaurant and enjoy the hour lunch off before I had to go back to the droning and unhappy reality waiting for us. Our friends had told us about Brooklyn Warehouse and it was so close to the seminar from hell. Reg and I almost ran there to be ahead of the crowd so we would be the first to enter and get service.

Non-Food Review of Brooklyn Warehouse

Seeing Boba Fett's helmet on top of the coat rack was a good sign. It also reminded me that somehow I was going to have to physically survive these three torturous days and get through Hal-Con. Yes, I needed real food. We could have ran out to Tim's or Subway but I wanted the first day of my longest week to start off right.

Non-Food Review of Brooklyn Warehouse

We were the first people in the restaurant and I started to notice that everyone else was getting service before us.

Non-Food Review of Brooklyn Warehouse

Service, water, menus and food... all before us.

Non-Food Review of Brooklyn Warehouse

By the time we got the menu, most people had eaten and already left. We were nervous about ordering since we only had about 20 minutes to get back but we thought sandwiches were the fastest and easiest to make so I ordered the brisket and Reg got the BLT.

We found out that there had been a fire in the back which had thrown things off in the kitchen and the server did apologize to us. But everyone else had food. Everyone else was gone.

She told us ours was next. We waited. I started to panic. Could we go back without having lunch? I was starting to feel like a hostage to the place because we were now going to be late for the seminar from hell and we had nothing to eat. No complimentary bread. No drinks on the house. Nothing!

I went to the washroom and said to myself, if the food isn't there by the time I get back, we are leaving.

Which is exactly what happened. We put some money on the table to pay for Reg's Coke which was the sustenance for our entire afternoon and left. With my card on top of the $5.

Non-Food Review of Brooklyn Warehouse

Thankfully we had a big breakfast from Tim's that morning which, with Reg's Coke, got us through the seminar. Afterwards we were starving and got some A&W on the way home. One thing about fast food? It is consistent.

Yes, our server was polite and apologetic but that does not mean she provided us with good customer service. The fire did not explain why everyone else was treated better than we were and that we were left for an hour and 20 minutes without any food at all. It was probably one of the worst eating-out experiences I have had in a long time and happened during the most uncomfortable weeks of my life.

Although treated courteously, it only happened when our existence was acknowledged which for the most part rarely happened. It was painful to see the rest of the entire restaurant be treated so much better than us and actually get to eat when we left starving.

I do not forgive them. I will never go back. Brooklyn Warehouse, you get zero out of five wooden spoons. 


Hi Suzie,

My apologies about the service you felt you received here at The Brooklyn Warehouse.

When talking to the front of house staff, they had a different story about when you arrived, when you ordered and the "unforgivable service" you received. Your server was actually the floor manager, and was also ultimately responsible for the safety of her staff during the small kitchen fire that took place.

Unfortunately, your order was placed just as the fire started. All the other previous orders on the board were already started and could be finished without the fire causing any harm to the food. Your food didn't get the same result. In my experience, when you have a fire, it is in your best interest to drop what you are doing and contain it before it gets out of hand. It is the safety of our customers and our staff that comes before the wait time of your food. We have a rule here; if a table has a time limit, it gets a RUSH modification attached to it when printed. You did not tell your server you were on a timeline and after she told you about the fire, you did not mention anything about having to be anywhere for a certain time, which would have been a perfect opportunity to do so. After the fire was contained and service was good to continue, the kitchen did its best to put every order out as quick as possible.

Your server, who saw that you were distraught, informed you that your food was one of the next in line and that it would be up soon. When it came up, she began to take it over to your table, then noticing you were not there. Not even having the courtesy to say "You took too long we have to leave". For someone with so much "Foodie" experience, wouldn't you say that was rude? Not to mention a waste of our time and product? We did the best we could with the situation we were given. These things happen and as it goes, "Good things come to those who wait".

Mark Gray
Executive Chef
The Brooklyn Warehouse

15 comments:

Heather N said...

Sorry you had such a bad experience Suzie! I've never been,but probably won't bother now.

Mark Gray said...

Hi Suzie,

My apologies about the service you felt you received here at The Brooklyn Warehouse.

When talking to the front of house staff, they had a different story about when you arrived, when you ordered and the "unforgivable service" you received. Your server was actually the floor manager, and was also ultimately responsible for the safety of her staff during the small kitchen fire that took place.

Unfortunately, your order was placed just as the fire started. All the other previous orders on the board were already started and could be finished without the fire causing any harm to the food. Your food didn't get the same result. In my experience, when you have a fire, it is in your best interest to drop what you are doing and contain it before it gets out of hand. It is the safety of our customers and our staff that comes before the wait time of your food. We have a rule here; if a table has a time limit, it gets a RUSH modification attached to it when printed. You did not tell your server you were on a timeline and after she told you about the fire, you did not mention anything about having to be anywhere for a certain time, which would have been a perfect opportunity to do so. After the fire was contained and service was good to continue, the kitchen did its best to put every order out as quick as possible.

Your server, who saw that you were distraught, informed you that your food was one of the next in line and that it would be up soon. When it came up, she began to take it over to your table, then noticing you were not there. Not even having the courtesy to say "You took too long we have to leave". For someone with so much "Foodie" experience, wouldn't you say that was rude? Not to mention a waste of our time and product? We did the best we could with the situation we were given. These things happen and as it goes, "Good things come to those who wait".

Mark Gray
Executive Chef
The Brooklyn Warehouse

Gareth said...

Mark,

While you started well, your "apology" quickly dissolved into condescension and blame shifting. If someone had a bad experience, your answer should not be, "it's not my fault and you were pretty rude, and why didn't you just wait longer?" It should be, "I'm sorry, what can we do to make it up to you?" I, for one, won't go to your restaurant simply because of your lack of accepting responsibility. Sometimes stuff happens that you can't control, but you have to bite the bullet and take the hit.

Gareth

Sarah said...

I'm confused is that supposed to be an apology? All you did was put the blame on the patron, did she set the fire?!? What is the point of writing a condescending and nasty post when representing a business? It certainty doesn't make me want to go there. I think this shows why the chef sticks to cooking and managers and owners to deal with customers. First rule of hospitality is that the customer is always right. I hope that Mark Gray's post was a joke and that he isn't really an employee of The Brooklyn warehouse. If not then I hope someone will have a word with him.

Violet Vixen said...

What an asshat reply .. Mark Gray is blaming YOU for the lousy service? Hell, he might as well have said that you set the place on fire.
A waste of HIS time and product?
A 90 minute time frame is a RUSH?

As a food/hospitality PROFESSIONAL Mr Gray needs to get off his high horse, suck it up, apologize and check his egotism at the door.

Mistakes happen ... Except to Mr Gray it seems. Suck it up and be a man/manager.

Strike that restaurant off my list of ones to visit !!!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Tell it like it is, Suzie! You always do. Sounds like the Brooklyn Warehouse needs to train its personnel in customer service and how to respond to criticism.

When I got downsized in Manitoba's big government cuts in 1997, we too had to go to one of those seminars run by human services about how to cope with unemployment and find a new job. They meant well but the seminar was one long pain in the ass.

I hope next week is MUCH better for you!

Alanna @ Blood, Sweat & Cupcakes said...

I'm really very surprised to hear about your bad experience. My fiance and I have been going to BW regularly for the past two years and have had nothing short of fantastic experiences every time we dined there. We went a couple weeks ago and found that one of our favorite apps was no longer on the menu (pepper terrine) and our waiter even offered to go into their storage area and get us a copy of the recipe.

I'm not doubting your experience I'm just really surprised it happened. It's really unfortunate that that was your first experience with what's in my opinion, a really great restaurant.

That said, the response you got wasn't good. That should have been taken in a completely opposite direction.

It's understandable that you don't want to return there but if you change your mind I think you could have a total different experience in the future.

Violet Vixen said...

When I got Rae-dayed out of my job (1/3rd of us were ejected from the college) they did nothing ... We were given a 1-800# to call

It doesn't make you feel better spending those days w/them but in the end it shld leave you better off ... And why the fuck don't they give you lunch???

Tammy said...

Wow. Mark - you should probably consider not berating your customers for reporting on their experience. Whether you think the experience was different or not does not negate the fact that you have a customer who has a bad impression of your place.

Just something to consider for the next time you hear complaints.

Rock on Miss Suzie. Your experience is valid no matter what Mark has to say.

Todd Ns said...

Wow! What a bizarre response from the restaurant. Someone suggested that maybe it was someone else posting and not really the restaurant. I wonder if that's true. It seems hard to believe they would respond like that. Until shown that it wasn't the BW, I won't be going there.

Rocky5766 said...

I'm sorry...but that willy guy from restaurant stakeout would be shitting his pants after reading that response from the executive chef. I would print that bad boy response out and mail it to the owner. it doesn't matter if it were the customers fault or not. and in this case- it was not. the customer is always right in a customer service driven position. the response from the chef was defensive, and in poor taste. now i dont live in canada...but i can tell you if i ever do visit i sure as hell wouldnt walk into this restaurant! god forbid someone complains...the chef in the corner would yell at me or cry because i hurt his feelings. suck it up brooklyn. for being named after a really hard ass city in nyc you sure came across as a pussy. and sorry for the language.

Janet said...

Hmmm my previous longwinded comment got lost in the ether! :-)

I will condense it - The Exceutive Chef of this restaurant should be ashamed of his response to you. I cannot believe he implied you lied about your arrival and ordering time, blamed you for leaving after not receiving food for over an hour (while others came and went around you).

Mark Gray - you should not be permitted to speak on behalf of this restaurant and I hope your boss gets a copy of your reply. It was boorish and rude. I have worked as a cook (Alberta Journeyman and red seal) and would never jump on a customer in that manner.

Brooklyn Warehouse - I don't live in the Maritimes but half my family and many friends do. Not only would I not eat in your establishment (as long as Mr Gray is your spokesperson) were I to visit, I would never recommend it to family or friends - quite the reverse.

I can usually forgive this kind of lapse in service and I think most people would have given your establishment a 2nd chance IF this complaint had been handled in a professional manner.

Tori said...

As someone who works as a server, and has the training to become a restaurant manager in the future, this is absolutely appalling. Kitchen fire or no, the guest needs to feel taken care of. I understand needing to secure the safety of the staff, but explaining to the guest why their food is late does not make it any better. That response is not professional in any way, and I can't blame you if you never give the restaurant a second chance.

Stephanie MacDonald said...

Yikes - I think everyone needs to chill out.

Yes, it is unfortunate that this situation happened with the fire and everything. However, the server was apologetic and I really don't think you should have left without saying anything as they were preparing your food, that's common courtesy.

I have never heard anything bad about the Brooklyn Warehouse...they are always winning number one in the coast, on the news, in the newspaper, and most recently I saw them in the Halifax magazine. So contrary to what you may say, they definitely have good customer service and a great reputation.

I seems like you were cranky from the very beginning, and now you and your followers are going to be missing out on some great meals from there. I can see how you are disappointed but I think it's worth a second shot, as someone else mentioned.

So sit back, relax, enjoy some food and have some wine! You obviously need it.

Janet Pole (PAZ) said...

Stephanie ... are you kidding me?

Your reply is as rude as Mark's was ... we need some wine?
No ... we need a restaurant that thinks it is number one to ACT LIKE IT IS NUMBER ONE and treat its guests like they are #1 ... which they are as they have the MONEY that pays the bills.

The best restaurant in the world can have the crappiest service on the planet and people put up with it because they are at "an amazing restaurant".

Maybe just maybe you have had a little bit TOO much wine to say such a facetious thing.