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View Full Version : Service issues, or is it just me?


ObieTrice
05-08-2006, 11:13 AM
Hi All,

Just back from 8 days at WDW, and used the DDP for the first time.

We had some wonderful meals, which I will report on later, but the thing that I found most remarkable was the nearly total disinterest in providing basic service.

Exceptions: Sandy at LTT....the best!
Brad at Le Cellier....charming!

At Kona and Artist Point, the server did not return for a dinner check after we had recieved our meals. It was not so much of a deal at AP, DH's filet was perfectly prepared, but at Kona I recieved two charcoal briquettes instead of a filet cooked to medium. Thankfully DH's was cooked correctly and he shared. At AP, our wine flight did not begin to arrive until after the appetizer was nearly finished.


I suspect this is happening because of the auto-gratuity, what do you all think?

Jackie

WillCAD
05-08-2006, 11:18 AM
I hate to admit it, but I have noticed a decline in general restaurant service at WDW over the last few years.

My last two sit-down restaurant experiences both had crummy service (but both had excellent food), and I was not on the dining plan.

Peter Pirate
05-08-2006, 11:19 AM
Oh, I'm disturbed to hear about the AP service and in particular the wine flight service...I just reported the same issue from last weekend in an earlier 'dress code' thread.

Many around here do feel that dining plans in general are taking their toll on both service and creatively in the kitchen.

We'll all have to keep an eye on this.
pirate:

estnh
05-08-2006, 12:39 PM
We used the Dining Plan in April of 2005, and again in April of 2006 (just back last week), and (sadly), in just one year, we noticed a significant difference in the level of service at WDW restaurants. I don't believe that this is the fault of the cast members, but rather the result of the huge increase in volume that all of the restaurants are experiencing with the dining plan.

Six of the eight table service restaurants we visited last week were struggling to handle the volume of people, and our servers seemed to be on a dead run most of the time! (Two exceptions I should mention, though. We got great service and did not feel we were being rushed at all at either LeCellier or Biergarten.)

The biggest decline we noticed was dinner at Kona Cafe. This is one of our favorite restaurants, and we have frequented this restaurant every year for quite some time. The drop in service here since last year was drastic!

I believe the change in Disney's marketing plan to subsidize the restaurants by utilizing the reletively inexpensive dining plan at the expense of discounting resort rooms is bound to have an effect on the way that these restaurants operate. Overall, perhaps this is not a bad thing, because (arguably) more people will have an opportunity to participate in Disney dining. However, for better or worse, because of the sheer volume of patrons, these restaurants are not going to operate like they were prior to the dining plan.

I was somewhat disappointed when we first got home, but after having some time to reflect on it, I realize that my primary goal at a WDW restaurant is not to receive the best food or service in the world--it is to have fun. And thankfully the Disney restaurants still have plenty of that!

WillCAD
05-08-2006, 05:24 PM
So far there have been 2 theories put forth in this thread:

1) Servers are getty sloppy and apathetic with Guests on the dining plan because they know they are guaranteed a good tip, so why work for it?

2) Servers are getting sloppy and apathetic with Guests on the dining plan because the dining plan is maxing out restaurant capacuty, thus overworking the servers to the point where their interpersonal and job skills erode.

Both of these theories seem perfectly plausible - but neither is excusable.

I don't care what is making service go bad at WDW, all I know is that we are paying a premium for our meals there, ostensibly because of higher quality and better service, and when the service goes bad, we're not getting what we're paying for.

I just hope this trend is reversed soon.

Chuck S
05-08-2006, 05:55 PM
The last time we ate at Kona we had really lousy service, and it was before the current (and popular) version of the dining plan was introduced.

DisneyBaby2004
05-08-2006, 06:21 PM
just a thought

melomouse
05-08-2006, 06:38 PM
There was an interesting thread on this on the DDP sub board just over the past few days...

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1103982

Inquiring minds are theorizing...but I would think it's a no brainer that restaurants ARE busier and servers more harried -- not necessarily an excuse for poor service! - but service may have diminished prior to DP....

ObieTrice
05-08-2006, 08:01 PM
So far there have been 2 theories put forth in this thread:

1) Servers are getty sloppy and apathetic with Guests on the dining plan because they know they are guaranteed a good tip, so why work for it?

2) Servers are getting sloppy and apathetic with Guests on the dining plan because the dining plan is maxing out restaurant capacuty, thus overworking the servers to the point where their interpersonal and job skills erode.

Both of these theories seem perfectly plausible - but neither is excusable.

Agreed. Most of the restaurants were busier than I have noticed in past visits. Le Cellier is probably used to high volume patronage, and the other restaurants, maybe not.

What bothered me the most was the service at AP. It was a special occasion (25th Anniversary) and our server was not busy. I would hazard a guess that he was doing his sidework while he was waiting on us. I had heavily researched where we would spend our special evening, and had hoped for an exceptional experience. Although the food was fabulous, the service was sub-par. I left feeling a bit disappointed.

Granted, I am looking at service from the angle of a person who has worked in restaurants most of my life, and I have moderately high expectations. I am aware of when steps are being missed or ignored, and this was the rule rather than the exception this visit.

Jackie