A complaint letter written to Mi Cocina was passed to me earlier in the week. In it, the diner complains about being hurried through a meal. Not a big deal, eh? I mean, your hurry is my perfect pace. Except for this: the diner claimed that the minute the bill was paid, a server delivered a framed statement from management. It read: “Here at Mi Cocina, we are in the restaurant business. If you do not intend to continue eating and drinking, please vacate this table.” You can read the entire letter after the jump.
I called the Mi Cocina in question, the one in the West Village. The manager, a man by the name of Walter, assured me that they didn’t have such a printed notice. But Nancy has confirmed that one did exist. When corporate caught wind of the incident, they were aghast. The policy has been changed, and the diner has received an apology and an invitation to dine on the house.
I am writing to tell you of my recent experience at your restaurant. My husband, my parents, and I recently dined at Mi Cocina in West Village.
We stopped in at your establishment for a quick bite following the Tut exhibit at the DMA. The patio was crowded, so we asked for an indoor table. It was early; the restaurant was not busy inside.
Within ten minutes of placing our dinner order, we received our entrees. We chose to view this as efficient, not pushy. Halfway through dinner, your waiter left the check at our table. He did not wait until we finished our entrees; he did not offer drinks or dessert. My husband graciously paid the bill. He even over-tipped your marginal waitstaff because we didn’t order alcohol. Before my husband even pocketed the receipt, your waiter was back. He left a notice on our table. It read as follows (paraphrased):
“Here at Mi Cocina, we are in the restaurant business. If you do not intend to continue eating and drinking, please vacate this table.”
You cannot imagine how embarrassed and offended we were! My husband discreetly took the manager aside for a few words. The manager neither apologized nor cared. My husband gently suggested that the manager might stop by the table and apologize to our dinner guests. He did not do so. This is not surprising, as the creation of the printed and framed sign is clearly an act of the management.
Since we had already paid the bill, we all left the restaurant. Our evening (and our opinion of your restaurant) was ruined.
I would like to make a few points:
1. The restaurant was not crowded. There was no wait for a table.
2. Our waitstaff was not responsible for this sign. It was printed and framed – clearly an act of your management.
3. Dallas is not short on TexMex restaurants. We have MANY other establishments to choose from.
4. In behaving rudely, MCrowd invited us to spend our money at other restaurants. We will gladly do so.
Until that night, MCrowd restaurants were a favorite. I love the Nachos Mas Elegantes at Taco Diner; in fact, I had them for lunch that very day. My husband is a big fan of Mi Cocina fajitas and margaritas in Southlake, Irving, and Highland Park. I am sorry your staff behaved so badly. They’ve ruined one of our favorite hangouts.
I would definitely suggest that my friends and family patronize other eating establishments. I would hate for them to receive the same ill-treatment we received — after paying for it!