Let down by Selma’s service

Published 8:22 pm Thursday, July 4, 2013

Since they opened in Valley Grande, I have been continually impressed by Valle Grande Mexican Grill’s high quality of service. Not only is their food delicious, but they are also cheerful and ready to serve.

Customer service, I have found, is paramount to them. Looking around the restaurant, it’s hard to find someone who is unsatisfied with their meal. This is the kind of service that should be expected at restaurants throughout Selma and Dallas County. However, this is sadly not the norm across all the restaurants, all the time.

I usually don’t point a finger at Selma’s flaws, as I believe looking at the positive rather than the negative is more constructive, but this is something I feel must be addressed. The low standard of customer service in some area restaurants is unacceptable.

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Unfortunately, I was hit with an unusually bad example of customer service Wednesday, while eating with a co-worker at Lannie’s Bar-B-Q off of Medical Center Parkway. Only having an hour to get lunch, we decided on Lannie’s because their food is good, the atmosphere is nice and the restaurant is clean — it seemed like the perfect match. However, this proved to be the worst decision of the day.

After being seated around 12:15 p.m. and giving our drink orders, nearly 20 minutes passed before we ordered our meals — a time lapse that is far too long. Fast forward an hour, and we are still seated with no food and our first drinks are long gone, as our server never came back to check on us or ask for a refill. When our meals finally came out, at about 1:40 p.m., we of course had no time to eat as I had to return to the office for a 2 p.m. interview.

Long story short, we asked to return our food, as we didn’t have time — in the nearly two hours we sat there waiting — to eat, and felt we didn’t deserve to pay as no services were rendered. Also, not one employee acknowledged our disappointment or even moved to apologize. These kinds of low standards have to end. If we wants to become attractive to business, then we must take more pride in what we already have. If we can barely offer quality service, what does that say about us?

Thankfully, we have many who want to see Selma succeed, and it is my hope that they will act as a model for the restaurants that are lacking in customer service. Valle Grande is just one example of those places in town that hit high marks in customer service. And, Lannie’s is at times among that list. I’ve dined at Lannie’s before and had OK service, but what I experienced Wednesday left a bad taste in my mouth — a taste I won’t forget for a long time.

I challenge all of our area restaurants to step up their game. Let’s raise our standards, Selma.