Poor Dining Experience in Paris Turned Into Good Customer Service Opportunity

Know for its fresh seafood, Le Procope served Benjamin Franklin & famous Paris authors/actors and politicians throughout history

Known for its fresh seafood, Le Procope served Benjamin Franklin & Voltaire

A recent poor dining experience in Paris at one of the city’s most historic cafés led one of my readers (Paul) to write a scathing review of one of my favorite restaurants. After reading what he had to say about Le Procope I began to wonder if the place was too far gone for me to recommend to anyone else (its been one of my favs for 20 years). After contacting Paul directly to see what happened – he had cold, bad food and very poor service, I asked if he spoken up at the time about his unsatisfactory situation to which he replied in the affirmative. It appeared that the waiter and the maître d’ for the evening in question were both indifferent to his plight. Paul was understandably furious over the ruined evening which he had planned especially for guests himself and the bad taste lingered on for him long after the indigestion.

IMG_0023Paul did all the right things and still had a poor dining experience, but he did something very important for the rest of us diners – he took action and wrote to the restaurant to document his experience and quite frankly, I think, to get it off his chest. He was constructive and stuck to the facts. I wasn’t sure what the response, if any would be, so I am happy to report that not only did management care about Paul’s plight, but the Regional Operations Director Joaquim Braz of Le Procope wrote him a very apologetic letter and sent him a gift card for dinner for two to make amends. Now that’s good customer service!

Paul and I emailed back and forth and I am happy to report that he seems satisfied with the new results and I am delighted he received some satisfaction after such a nightmare. If you would like to read what Paul wrote in the comment section of my blog, go to the Le Procope page. I also posted the apologetic letter in response that Paul received from Joaquim. Paul is such a fabulous fan of The Weekend In Paris, he also offered for me to take the meal for two and check it out in January, when I am next in Paris. I will do so willingly, hoping that the restaurant is in good form once again and report back to you all.

The rear of the restaurant is on a cobblestone alley way an worth taking a peek at

The rear of the restaurant is on a cobblestone alley way an worth taking a peek at

The lesson here? You don’t have to take a bad experience lying down. You can voice your displeasure and be heard! If more people took the time, as Paul did, to write to the restaurant so the management can be alerted to the poor service and correct it, then more people would be spared having a similar negative dining experience. We should all be so helpful – it helps management to examine their staff and it helps fellow diners. We all hope to never have a poor dining experience in Paris, but like anywhere, it happens. It is what you do afterwards that makes a difference.

Thank you to Paul for sharing the story from beginning to end with me and thank you to Le Procope’s Joaquim Braz for making things right!

Bon appétit!

  • 24/7 in France
    Posted at 01:59h, 14 September Reply

    As the (paying) customer and for other diners, we should alert the restaurant to negative experiences and give our feedback – most reputable establishments would/should respond positively.

  • Alan
    Posted at 16:04h, 13 September Reply

    Recently someone had a bad meal at Le Cinq at lunch. He was very specific, feeling that the service was excellent and the room beautiful, but he had concerns over the quality, and quite frankly, the flavor of the food. He found it bland on one plate and over salted on another plate, in the same meal. He wrote Le Cinq and I was quite impressed with how seriously they took his critique! There wrote back a wonderful response indicating the comments had been taken directly to the chef. You are so right to say that if you have valid concerns it is a good idea to express them. And you are right to say that when comments are heard and addressed, every place deserves a second chance.

    • Weekend In Paris
      Posted at 16:32h, 13 September Reply

      Thanks Alan for sharing another good response from a class act – Le Cinq at Four Seasons Paris!

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