Monday, July 27, 2015

This Week Nothing. We Got Kicked Out

This week our guest speaker will be no one. Because we have been kicked out by the Brambleton Deli and are struggling to secure another location again. And once we do (I have no idea when that will be) I will do several hours more of work changing where we meet all over the internet. If we were getting paid for all of this bouncing around this could be a real money maker for us. Too bad we’re all volunteers.

We were told last week that we had several members in our group that would not eat and would just get water or nothing. The waitresses told us they only made $282 in total sales the previous week and “Ben” was mad. Amanda asked them if that was our notice and they said no. They said they wouldn’t do that to us and just throw us out with no chance to secure another location. But when Carla talked to Ben he said we’re done effective immediately when she asked if we had a couple weeks to find a place. He wouldn’t have us in there for even one more day. Which was a very nasty, mean spirited thing to do.

That’s pretty bad business I would say. Actually it is pretty shocking. That level of unprofessionalism is something I would expect more from a company like the Water Authority than a private business that has a good reputation… I thought. I guess he didn’t realize that there are 550 members of this group and all of us know and understand how a good professional business who values their customers operates. I will never eat there again there are plenty of other choices in Roanoke.

They clearly weren’t counting all of the alcohol that we drink in the bar afterwards as well. Ohh and I guess Ben didn’t consider the fact that the waitresses wouldn’t give anyone a menu or ask them what they want to eat. I have never been to a place that didn’t ask you what you wanted to eat. That was a first for me.

This was the process I personally went through each time there. And I was told by several other members they experienced the same. Each meeting I tried to flag them down to bring me a menu. Sometimes that took a while. Then I had difficulty trying to get their attention to order from that menu since they wouldn’t come back even though they knew I wanted to order. I would then get my food which was good. But every single time they wouldn’t bring silverware so I had to try to get their attention again for that. There were also difficulties keeping drinks full.

The waitstaff were nice. They just seemed to be highly inexperienced and weren’t trained to know that when a group is in a room you go to every single person and give them a menu and ask them what they want to eat. And beyond that, trained waitstaff also up-sell people and ask them if they want dessert or if they would like a mixed drink or something.

My point in telling you this is I can understand both sides of the argument. Ben clearly hasn’t done his job training his waitstaff. However I do know that there are some people that come to the meeting and get nothing. There would have been significantly less if they asked everyone what they wanted.

We need to do our end of things which is to eat in the restaurant since they are providing free space for us to meet. We have a couple of options. We can charge significantly more dues to cover the costs to meet in a hotel conference room or something in rows of uncomfortable chairs with no tables, food or drink or we can meet in a restaurant.

We decided to keep the dues down and have our meetings in a restaurant. There is NO restaurant that wants to give us free space to have our meeting without making some money off that space on their food and drinks.

Those of you that just want to get a water or something and prevent the restaurant from earning some money for that space that they give us to pay their rent / mortgage and other expenses don’t need to come to the meetings. Sorry I’m telling you so bluntly but that’s just the way it is. I can tell you for a fact that all of us officers that are doing this free volunteer work every week to keep the group going will quickly lose interest in doing so if we have to continually find a new place to eat due to complaints from the restaurant that there is a large portion of the group that isn’t getting anything. 

So those of you who won’t buy anything, shame on you for making us have to do all of this work to find another place. And Ben the head honcho of the Brambleton Deli, you should consider training your waitstaff properly. It’s not their fault they don’t know what they are doing. It’s yours!


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