Grace’s Table: The Tale of the Classless Restaurant

Pretty crazy restaurant story concerning Grace’s Table of White Plains, N.Y.

I’ll divide it into chunks.

• Chunk 1 •

My sister-in-law’s name is Leah. She posted this on Yelp! a few days back …

On January 13, I made a reservation for Grace’s Table for Valentine’s Day with a Groupon that was valid for Sunday thru Friday. Valentine’s Day is a notoriously difficult date to get a table, which is why I made the reservation early. THE GROUPON HAD NO RESTRICTIONS OTHER THAN AVAILABILITY, but just in case, in my reservation (done online) I indicated that I intended to use a Groupon and should they have an issue with that, to let me know. They accepted my reservation, which I was required to confirm.

Three weeks later, when it will be impossible to get a reservation anyplace else, someone called to tell me they would not honor the Groupon. I asked to speak to the manager/owner, a Mr. Trama, and was told to call back the following night. I dutifully did and Mr. Trama refused to speak to me and, through his employee, said he would not honor the Groupon even though it has NO EXCLUSIONS and he had already ACCEPTED MY RESERVATION. I contacted Groupon, who confirmed the owner was refusing to honor the Groupon; the reason they provided was that they decided to do a pre-fixe menu on Valentine’s Day and so won’t allow the Groupon.

Honestly, if they has planned to do prix-fixe menu, they should have put that exclusion in the Groupon, which simply says: “Valid only for option purchased. Reservation required; subject to availability. Dine-in only. Not valid for lunch Saturday or Sunday. Menu subject to change seasonally.”

To me, this is simply a menu change. Many other Groupons specifically exempt holidays and that is what they should have done. Alternatively, they should have declined my reservation when I made it (referencing the Groupon), rather than waiting two weeks. And finally, when a potential customer asks to speak to a manager about a decision he has made, he should speak to that person! So long short, I will never grace “Grace’s Table” with my presence and will encourage everyone I know to do the same. I have no interest in ever dining at a restaurant where the owner makes a decision to decline a previously accepted reservation but refuses to speak to the customer.

•••

• Chunk 2 •

The restaurant responded with this:

•••

• Chunk 3 •

She then received this …

• Chunk 4 •

The morals of the story:

1. I will never, ever, ever, ever eat at Grace’s Table. And you shouldn’t, either.

2. If you’re the owner of a restaurant, pick up the phone and give a customer her five minutes.

3. Don’t mess with my sister-in-law.

4. Cunt isn’t a very nice word.

9 thoughts on “Grace’s Table: The Tale of the Classless Restaurant”

  1. That’s brutal. I’d encourage her to send this to The Consumerist (http://consumerist.com/), which is a great consumer-rights site. (And whether she does or not, it’s usually a fun/interesting read and worth checking out regularly). Anyway, they’ll get the word out far and wide.

  2. I love how the management thought your sister-in-law’s reasoned, calm explanation was slander. Very professional: Instead of rectifying the problem (“Sorry about that, here’s 20 percent off your next meal:), threaten with legal action! That’s a fantastic way to build a business.

  3. Guess you can’t expect a restaurant manager to know that slander means something other than, “She said mean things & hurt my widdle feelings.” But how did Yelp allow that disgusting, shameful comment to be posted?! Do they have ANY comment filters?! Talk about slander!

  4. Wow, the fact that they accepted her reservation, knowing that she was using a groupon, that did not have restrictions, they are in the wrong. did it dawn on them that the day she chose “suddenly” became Valentines Day? The fact that the owner refused to take her call, shows that the staff has very poor customer service skills, something that is needed in the service industry. as for their message back to your SiL, i would have replied with “what action are you going to take”? she should have dared them to escalate it. if they took her to court, they would have had to explain how her review was slanderous, and give a good reason for canceling her reservation, “changing the menu” is not a good reason in a court setting. And she should sue the the place for “threatening” her.

    as for the Yelp message, she should send it to Yelp because i am sure it violates their TOS.

  5. That is pretty crazy. Looking at the Yelp page, it appears another reviewer started getting harrasing messages as well after posting a review. And others complained about the attitude of ownership. I would just avoid that place and get a refund on the Groupon.

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