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Old 10-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #1
Lintasare
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Bad experience at Kona

Just let me say that the experience was not with the food but with the podium staff. I just got back from a week long trip to the World and had two reservations at Kona. One last Thursday for dinner, that was excellent. Had the duck breast and oh man it was good.

Sunday morning however we had a 9:15 for breakfast. We left in plenty of time for our reservation however due to some issues with the monorail checked in around 9:20. They didn't seem that busy, in fact I saw several empty tables. The gal at the podium said it would be 10-15 min. Ok fine with me.

So we hung back and waited and waited and waited. A couple times I tried to go talk with the greeter only to have her walk away without saying a word to me. Finally at 10 I asked if we had been forgotten. I got a stammered response and someone went to ask the table assigner about us. Was told it would be another 15 minutes.

UH WHAT?

I don't flippin think so. Yes I know we checked in late but that does not mean you can have us waiting around for an hour for a table with no explanation. We had a 1:15 at The Plaza and eating breakfast that late would guarantee we would not be hungry for lunch. I dropped the pager on the counter, told her that the wait with no explanation was absolutely ridiculous and walked with my sister back to the monorail so we could eat at the Main Street Bakery.

I know I should have asked for a manager but at the time I was so ticked off I wasn't sure if I could keep from blowing up and making a scene. I don't think I have ever encountered something like this at Disney before. It was very disappointing. I will probably send and email to Guest Services to let them know so that they can inform the restaurant manager.

I was really looking forward to Tonga Toast too.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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We had the same thing happen to us! We went there for breakfast on 9/25. We were there right at our 9:35 ADR time, and were handed a pager. It didn't look all that busy either, I thought. But after about 15-20 minutes I became concerned we somehow missed our pager going off, so DH went and checked and were told we were next on the list. Someone else was in front of him asking the same thing, so it wasn't just us. About 10 minutes later the pager finally went off. I don't know what the problem was, but it sounds like it must happen often! I don't think we will go there again. I can understand waiting 5-10 minutes maybe, but with an ADR 30 minutes is unacceptable! And after all that, our waiter wasn't that great either. Very dry personality and looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but there. I was excited to try the Tonga Toast as well, and even that was just so-so for me. I generally don't like to complain, but this was definitely the worst service/restaurant we've experienced by far. I probably should have said something to the manager, but we just wanted to get out and on with our day.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:07 AM   #3
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to OP,it happens sometimes....it's happened to us at Disney too! You should have walked downstairs at the Poly,and gotten the tonga toast from Capt. Cooks. it's a cs place.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:09 AM   #4
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Wow, interesting to hear this about Kona as I have only ever heard good things. And I was begging DH for us to try it on our last trip! He wasn't interested though. Sounds like it was just as well. Sorry you had bad customer service experiences. That can leave a sour taste in your mouth as you get on with your day.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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We had a dinner reservation last year at Kona and were forgotten about just as the OP was -- 40 minutes after the ressie and a plethora of families who had come after us having been seated, we gave up and I complained to the manager. I rarely, if ever, complain but this was our last night. The manager took care of us with room service and I did appreciate him trying to make things right (and told him so). It's just not the same when your plans go that far astray. Also, that dinner was trying to give Kona another chance after experiencing a similar gaffe the previous year, also with a dinner reservation. We had only one as-planned experience out of three times at Kona with a breakfast reservation. Although, we did enjoy the breakfast.

Anyway, last year's debacle has made the hubs swear off Kona altogether. They seem to either over-book or don't have competent people working the desk -- because the wait staff were nice.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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I've always felt like the CM's at the podium at Kona are spacey. Like no one knows what's going on or who is in charge.

Most importantly, for future reference, TONGA TOAST is also sold downstairs at Captain Cooks! And its cheaper!
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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PODIUM SEATING ISSUES:

1) Let's look at podium seating issues.
2) Sometimes, even with many empty tables, you wait to be seated.
3) It is usually a matter of server quantity.
4) Servers come in at staggered times.
5) You cannot seat everyone at one time
. . . many times the kitchen can't handle all tables at one time
. . . even at buffets, everyone can't stand in a line that stretches forever
. . . for servers, they can only handle so many tables at once
. . . if assigned 4-5 tables, everyone can't be served at once
. . . so, seating is done on a staggered schedule
. . . if not, all the tables would be scheduled at the same time
6) Another factor, is that there are not enough seaters for everyone.
. . . once the assigner puts the guest at a table, the seater escorts guests
. . . if there are 3-4 seater's, they can't escort 20-30 parties at once
7) So, although some people must wait, there are reasons.
8) Unless you are really nasty, they do not select people for waiting.
9) And, we have yet to even discuss frequent computer and printer problems.
. . . the computer determines the people with ADR's
. . . it also prioritizes them
. . . a hand-held computer is then issued by the assigner
. . . once assigned, the seater must print out the ticket for the server
. . . after printing, the seater then escorts the guest to the table

NOTE: Lately (October-2013) there have been lots of computer problems,
with guests waiting up to 3/4-hr after their ressie time. One would think
a multi-billion dollar company could keep computers working. In one case,
the problem was a faulty outlet that the printer and computer plugged
into.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
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I had truly terrible service at Kona ONCE and the manager was of ZERO help. But it has proven a fluke in repeat visits and the food has always been good. Tonga toast probably isn't my "thing" either so I have never ordered it. I go (only) for lunch and dinner which have always been very tasty.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:18 PM   #9
Lintasare
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Hello. My name is Inigo Peeptoya...you ate my father...prepare to die
Ok fess up...who killed the riddle?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRustyScupper View Post
PODIUM SEATING ISSUES:

1) Let's look at podium seating issues.
2) Sometimes, even with many empty tables, you wait to be seated.
3) It is usually a matter of server quantity.
4) Servers come in at staggered times.
5) You cannot seat everyone at one time
. . . many times the kitchen can't handle all tables at one time
. . . even at buffets, everyone can't stand in a line that stretches forever
. . . for servers, they can only handle so many tables at once
. . . if assigned 4-5 tables, everyone can't be served at once
. . . so, seating is done on a staggered schedule
. . . if not, all the tables would be scheduled at the same time
6) Another factor, is that there are not enough seaters for everyone.
. . . once the assigner puts the guest at a table, the seater escorts guests
. . . if there are 3-4 seater's, they can't escort 20-30 parties at once
7) So, although some people must wait, there are reasons.
8) Unless you are really nasty, they do not select people for waiting.
9) And, we have yet to even discuss frequent computer and printer problems.
. . . the computer determines the people with ADR's
. . . it also prioritizes them
. . . a hand-held computer is then issued by the assigner
. . . once assigned, the seater must print out the ticket for the server
. . . after printing, the seater then escorts the guest to the table

NOTE: Lately (October-2013) there have been lots of computer problems,
with guests waiting up to 3/4-hr after their ressie time. One would think
a multi-billion dollar company could keep computers working. In one case,
the problem was a faulty outlet that the printer and computer plugged
into.
Um wow...thanks for your "explanation" however please note my signature. I used to work in a WDW restaurant at the podium and I can tell you that we would have never let a party wait an hour past their reservation time without an explanation. Even if the explanation is that central reservations overbooked us by 300 people and we are waiting for a party to vacate their table so we can seat you.

Again we were given no explanation for the wait, not even computer problems. And if your computer was having issues why would you continue to rely on it? Why not instead fall back on the human element and say "Hey this party has been waiting 45 min, lets find them a table."
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:42 PM   #10
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience with Kona's we ate there 3 times last month and only waited a few minutes and had a great meal each time. It would've been nice if they told you why the wait was so long, we would have left also. Linda
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lintasare View Post
. . . Again we were given no explanation for the wait, not even computer problems. And if your computer was having issues why would you continue to rely on it? Why not instead fall back on the human element and say "Hey this party has been waiting 45 min, lets find them a table."
1) The new system requires the server to have a ticket for the table.
2) Absolutely mandatory for buffet/AYCE meals.
3) This also categorizes the guests.
. . . DDP or OOP or combination of each
. . . number of guests in the party
. . . number of adults, children, infants
. . . if there is an automatic tip
4) Without the ticket, the guests can't be seated. *
5) As we say, "Thems the orders from da suits.".

* I have done seating lately, and there was no choice. We had folks
backed up for more than 3/4-hr and could only tell the story and shrug
our shoulders. Most understood, but a few became vocal. We tossed them
out of the eatery after they uttered a few choice words.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:53 PM   #12
Lintasare
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Ok fess up...who killed the riddle?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRustyScupper View Post
1) The new system requires the server to have a ticket for the table.
2) Absolutely mandatory for buffet/AYCE meals.
3) This also categorizes the guests.
. . . DDP or OOP or combination of each
. . . number of guests in the party
. . . number of adults, children, infants
. . . if there is an automatic tip
4) Without the ticket, the guests can't be seated. *
5) As we say, "Thems the orders from da suits.".

* I have done seating lately, and there was no choice. We had folks
backed up for more than 3/4-hr and could only tell the story and shrug
our shoulders. Most understood, but a few became vocal. We tossed them
out of the eatery after they uttered a few choice words.
Again we were given no explanation, nothing. Had we been told earlier we could have made a decision earlier if we wanted to wait or not. We were not given that choice. Had I known I wouldn't have waited. To make a party wait an hour because your computer isn't working properly is bad. If your system can't properly prioritize guests then it's a bad system and the human element needs to be put back in.

I get that the system is supposed to make it easier but it seems to be causing more trouble than it's worth. Heck when I worked the podium we could write everything a server needed to know about a party on a reservation card.

And to shrug off a guest? That's rude, I don't care if the system is having problems. If you act so dismissive I would have a few choice words too.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lintasare View Post
Again we were given no explanation, nothing.
1) Sorry, I missed this.
2) You should been given a reason.

NOTE: When we "shrug" something off, it is not a nasty gesture. We simply
mention the problem, hear the complaint, then go to the next task. It is not
mean. But, some people would rather complain, so it is easier to leave and
let the situation defuse itself.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:57 AM   #14
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I enjoy the Kona and continue to eat there but their podium staff is always lacking. For the most part they're not very friendly and I've always had to wait. This is the only Disney restaurant that's consistently been like this for me.

Once I get seated the service and food hais always been very good.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRustyScupper View Post
1) Sorry, I missed this.
2) You should been given a reason.

NOTE: When we "shrug" something off, it is not a nasty gesture. We simply
mention the problem, hear the complaint, then go to the next task. It is not
mean. But, some people would rather complain, so it is easier to leave and
let the situation defuse itself.
1) Your reply format is pretentious.
2) For a company known for its customer service, the behavior you describe is (more than) a bit lacking.
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