If anyone knows me they know I am all about the local mom and pop businesses. Yes, I do shopping at Publix and Winn Dixie and even the dreaded Walmart when no one is looking, but when it comes to eating out, which I do a lot, I prefer to support local businesses. And while that sounds really good, sometimes they make it so difficult.
Take New Years Eve. I visited a local BBQ place, its nice, not cheap and I’ve eaten there twice before and had decent food. I called ahead and made reservations for 6:30 hoping to beat the rush, and I did. However, upon arriving at Papas Ranch in Odessa, Fl my experience was less than pleasant. We were seated promptly and from there, went down hill. I won’t bore you with all the details except to say we had to practically wrestle down a waiter after 20 minutes, they didn’t have the first 3 items I ordered, including RIBS and when we finally got to order food they did have, the sides all came out wrong. Did we see a manager? No. Did anyone offer to make it right for us. No. Will we go back NO
Then a few days later, I decide to make an online order for the Slice of Life Pizzeria in New Port Richey which I had ordered from a long time ago obviously when they were under different ownership. I placed my order to be delivered at 6;30, it came at 2;3o that afternoon. They did take it back. So, when 6L30 arrived I figured they would be bringing back some fresh food. That didn’t happen. After a half hour I called the restaurant. The girl told me they wre extremely busy and she would call the delivery guy and lo and behold about 5 minutes later the food arrive, albeit it was missing some of the order. So, one again I called the restaurant and the girl said she would have the manager call me back, that they were having several complaints like this because of the new delivery guys and that they were slammed and I could come get the food. Wait…this was delivery, if I wanted to pick it up, I wouldn’t have paid the delivery fee. And needless to say, the manager never called me back.
This is just a few of the unpleasant experiences I have had with the mom and pop places. So, my advice to those of you that complain that your community is not supporting you. How about looking at your service, your value, your products or quality of food. Just because you are a mom and pop shop does not mean you can lack in any of that, in fact, I would expect you to be better than the chains, but I can tell you that when I had a complaint with Applebees or Ruby Tuesdays, their District Managers were calling me within a week and making good on the poor service I got.
Am I a complainer, no, but I will speak up when I don’t get what I pay for or poor customer service. As a former business owner I would have wanted to know from my customers if something was lacking to make it better in order to be the best business as possible.
That seems to be the problem today. No one really cares.