Help me understand two of my recent restaurant experiences.  Last Friday I ordered grilled chicken for lunch at a local restaurant only to be informed that no chicken was left. It was listed on a blackboard as the daily special, it was 11:00 AM, the restaurant had just opened, and I really wanted grilled chicken! Then on Sunday evening we went with friends to a local eatery which has bread in its name only to find out that most of the bread listed on its board was not available. Despite being a “bread company” and having ovens to bake bread, several patrons were told that sandwiches were available without bread. I watched  three customers order in vain for unavailable bread.

I understand that restaurants run out of an ingredients but at 11:00 am? How about a bakery not have bread? At the first restaurant the server seemed to be a little put out that I tried to order chicken when it was obvious (to her) that there was none. The cashier at the second restaurant seemed slightly embarrassed to have to tell customers repeatedly that there was no bread. A sandwich without bread is a sad thing. A bakery without bread is a disaster.

I was left to ponder both situations Sunday evening and I remain puzzled at both events. Why advertise what you do not have and have no intention of providing? Why not tell eager customers up front that some things are not available? Why be in business if you don’t won’t to prepare and sell what people want to eat?  Why…why…why? I won’t be back in either place for a while. I can’t stand the thought of menu/ordering/requesting rejection.

While I’m disappointed by both experiences, they have been a good reminder to deliver on my promises, practice what I preach, and be consistent in all I do. Though neither restaurant could deliver, they certainly served up some food for thought.