It never ceases to amaze me how poorly trained most restaurant staff seem to be these days. It got totally topped off by a recent visit to the Roadhouse Café (formerly Cash Store) in Davenport. An old friend was visiting, and she wanted to take me out for breakfast and had fond memories of the old Cash Store. I was a little reluctant as previous meals there, admittedly dinners, had not been good experiences. But I thought maybe we'd give it another try. After all, how badly could a breakfast be?
Wait staff: clueless, nice, but clueless. People standing about, waiting to be seated, even get their name on a list, and there are only 3 other people seated in the restaurant. Finally, shown to a table - had to return with menus (another wait of 5 - 10 minutes). We order....coffee comes...my friend Judy had asked for some sugar/substitute for her coffee - there was nothing on the tables: no salt/pepper, no usual hot-sauces, ketchup, etc. She kept waiting, until her coffee was almost cold, then went up to the front counter and asked for some - standing there until she got it.
The waitress did come over to fill up Judy's coffee cup, and didn't even notice that mine was almost empty - just splashed coffee into the cup and spun off.
When the food finally came after a loooong wait, (and I'm telling you there were only now 6 people in the restaurant), the only thing edible on the plate was the toast. One taste of the breakfast potatoes: they tasted fishy, and they were so soaked in oil as to be inedible. It was clear they hadn't changed the oil in a while - at 9 a.m. in the morning, the oil shouldn't have tasted like fish. And even clearer the cook didn't know what he was doing. To have the potatoes be as oil laden as they were, the oil probably wasn't enough.....and how someone could make scrambled eggs that were stringy and tasteless is beyond me. I won't be going back there until they sell the place (yet once again) because it had gone under.
But back to my original rant about lack of training for restaurant staff. There are really on a very small handful of restaurants I've gone to in Santa Cruz that have trained wait staff: Shadowbrook in Capitola, Ristorante Avanti in Santa Cruz are ones that spring to mind. Most of the rest just suck in terms of service....you see they have one person who is supposed to help the servers, i.e., make the rounds, clear dishes, top off drinks, water, coffee, and they come out with one item in their hands, don't make any eye contact, service 1 table, and then go back without looking around to see what else needs to be done. And waitresses with visible dirt under their nails, slovenly dressed - like they were late for work and thru on what was piled on the floor....argh! And then I can't tell you how many restaurants open up with a decent chef, who creates the menus, and then the restaurant hires the lowest wage person, who likely speaks very little English and has little actual chef experience, to take over the cooking. The results speak for themselves. Yarg!