Sunday, November 6, 2011

Update on Lulu

When I posted last week about Palm Springs, I didn't tell you about a problem at Lulu's.  I wanted to give them a chance to respond to my email. 

Below is my note. 

This is a well done “but” letter.  I called for reservations for October 24 on the 24th. We are here on business and didn’t know where to eat.  Friends told us that day about Lulu. So I called after the lunch rush. The person who answered the  phone had trouble with the computer and with understanding English.  I had to repeat several times.  Before I hung up he asked if this was a special occasion.  I said yes, it’s my husband’s 70Th birthday.  Every restaurant who has asked that question has greeted us with who has the birthday, so nice you picked us to celebrate, something was said. 
When we arrived, on time, they couldn’t find our reservation.  Then they said they had a table and to please stand over there until someone could seat us.  I reminded them about the birthday, and said it would be nice if the wait staff said Happy Birthday. The hosts and hostess just looked at me.  We stood and others were taken ahead of us.  One party was addressed by name and didn’t have to even check in.  We were seated and then things were just lovely.     
Your restaurant is beautiful, table service is perfect (Ramon is outstanding as are the other wait staff helping him), the food was tasty.  We were not rushed, we were allowed to enjoy the fun of a birthday together. When our dessert came Ramon asked if everything was OK, I had a big frown on my face.  No candle, no Happy Birthday?  Ramon was embarrassed, no one told him it was a birthday.  We found out later that friends in the restaurant had told the servers it was my husband’s birthday.  But no one bothered to tell Ramon.  I wanted nothing more than a Happy Birthday for my husband.  I saw candles on desserts going by and thought that would be a nice touch, but didn’t expect it. 
When we left, the two at the desk did not acknowledge us.  No thank you for coming, no have a good evening, or as we say in the South You all hurry back.   I am only asking you to train your staff who answer the phone and greet the guests. No Happy Birthday is not a huge deal, but it left a bad taste.  Not having my reservation and taking others ahead of me, could cost you my business when we return to Palm Springs.  

Below is their reply.

I want to sincerely apologize for your  experience at our restaurant the other evening.
 For the most part Lulu, has a reputation of offering great food and great service from the moment our guests make a reservation to the time they leave the building,  I am very sorry that you did not experience that here at Lulu.  I understand that communication and acknowledging a celebration is extremely important. We have had some opening glitches and have had to make changes to our staff.  I have shared your email with our front desk manager and he also shares my concern. I trust that your experience was an isolated incident, we promise we will take steps to ensure that lapses such as this do not happen again.
 While I cannot change the past, I would like to invite you back as my personal guest so we can show you that we really can do a much better job than what you experienced. Please provide a mailing address and I will gladly send a gift certificate.
 Once again, please accept our sincere apology and thank you for letting me know about this incident.

I received a gift certificate Saturday.  It is a sizable one, and I plan to use it when we return on business after Christmas.  Lulu handled a problem quickly, worked with their staff and went beyond what the upset customer asked for. 
If you are in Palm Springs do go to Lulu for a wonderful meal.  Ask for a table in Ramon's section.  This restaurant truly understands customer service. 

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