Comments by qpodad

Bad service in San Diego

I feel that most of the time service I have received in SD is acceptably efficient and servers are polite and professional. We all remember the bad moments of service and forget the normal experiences where nothing of note sticks in our memories. In fact, often the best service goes somewhat unnoticed because the server is already filling your water before you asked, or is ready with a desert menu as soon as the table's entrees are cleared. I would much rather have a good-hearted server who lacks experience and polish over robotic, rude, yet efficient server. Seamless efficiency as a server comes with experience, but personality and good spirits are something you have or don't have. I note that Mr. Pike compares unfavorably to the service level in SF, DC, and NYC. I concur. But I know SF and DC having living wage laws. (I am not sure about NYC, but I think the density of restaurants w/in walking distance from ANYWHERE is such that if you have poor service you have no chance to compete.) Living wage laws result in service workers receiving a higher income than the national average for that job, and ideally they can support themselves with that living wage. If one is paid more for a job, one inherently (1) sees their work as more valuable, (2) appreciates their position more, and (3) islikely to be less transient in their jobs and thus, by staying at the same place, may develop a professional server skill set. In contrast, if you are being paid at the very lowest end, you probably are always looking to move jobs, if even only for $0.50 more per hour. Thus, servers in cities with no libving wage law likely have a shorter average time at each job, i.e., there is not stability in the service staff. Just my two cents. I will continue to look for the silver linings, and I vote with my feet. There are only a few places with service so poor that I will not return, and by "poor" I mean rude or condescending, not just disorganized. I also give 1 yr grace period for places after opening. Last note, I know the now-closed Sky Room at the Valencia was a equally praised for chef Luke Johnson's fixed-course menu as it was for the level of service. Reviews compared the food and the service to the best in any city, yet the hotel closed the restaurant because they felt the "high-end" nature of the service and food did not fit the "SD food scene" so there's that. Perhaps we are getting exactly what we DON'T pay for, so to speak, in terms of level of server skill in SD when a place with impeccable service and fantastic food does not make it...
— June 19, 2013 11:02 a.m.

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