2009-01-25

The Grit Nazi

I will not be spending another dollar The Grit. The policies and bad attitudes of the employees have become too much. If you try to think of any restaurant that extends any less hospitality to its customers or has stricter rules, you can only come up with the Soup Nazi from "Seinfeld."

For example, there is always the problem of paying the check. They do not want to split checks, and they do fairly warn you with a sign. Although I understand that it takes significant time to process extra transactions, this is what customers expect, especially with the prevalence of debit cards and the difficulty diners have collecting cash when they don't carry it.

The final straw occurred a few weeks ago when I was joining four friends for dinner. I was lagging behind, and when I got there I found that the host had asked my friends to wait for my arrival before seating them. Now, if a restaurant was busy I could understand this request if it affected the choice of seating. However, The Grit was half empty at this time, and the fifth person was accommodated simply by adding a chair to the end of a table that seated four.

So I've had enough of the surly townies at The Grit. It seems like explaining and enforcing their silly policies would be more hassle than simply accommodating customers, but they don't want to expend the mental effort to figure out how to split checks or add a chair to a table. Whoever runs The Grit these days has become so arrogant about its popularity and status that they think they can impose whatever rules they want. But if their restaurant is half empty on a Friday night, they've got room for improvement.

13 comments:

Bob Brussack said...

No grits for you.

Les Dilghow said...

Athens townies seem to think if you don't wear skinny jeans, ironic t-shirts and funky rimmed glasses you are not worthy. It's a tried act really. Dear Athens townies, get over yourselves. Thanks in advance

Robby Rattail said...

In defense of seemingly arbitrary restaurant rules-A treatise.

Rules like not splitting checks and not seating the party until all arrive are fairly common. In fact when a restaurant is quite busy it can be very helpful to the servers and help them to give good service to all of their tables. The problem arises when you are not busy. At that point it seems arbitrary, but the problem becomes at what point should the restaurant relax the policy because it is no longer serving its purpose and more importantly who gets to decide when that is appropriate? As a former waiter at many restaurants in Athens (not the Grit where I worked as a cook), I can attest to a general level of rudeness among most college students. The worst situation you can be in when you are a server is being put into the position of having to argue with you table. It pretty much guarantees that you will not be making any money for the time that you spent waiting on the table even if they thought you service was excellent otherwise. If the customers know up front that there is a no exceptions no check splitting policy and that the party won't be seated until all arrive then it saves the waiter/'tress from having to fight it out with her table when the time comes to pay, and it makes certain that you never get into an argument about whether you are busy/slow enough to bend the rules.
Most of these complaints can be settled by a little old fashion patience. Grab a beer while you wait for your friends to arrive. Let one person put the check on their debit card and pay them back the next time you see them, which in most instances will be relatively soon. Also The Grit, like most other restaurants with similar check splitting policies, will run multiple debit cards, they just require you to do the math yourself and let the server know how much you want to put on each card. It really is not that complicated.

Now the rudeness of hipsters is a totally different issue. But one rule of thumb when dealing with hipsters is to remember that they are sullen in general and may be merely depressed because it has been several hours since their last PBR and that their attitude may be totally unrelated to you.

Jon Bird said...

I love reading this blog. It was very funny. That's the issue, great food, horrible service.

They never cause me any problems, but I never wear tan slacks there.

ResidueOfDesign said...

Sounds to me like a bitter lawyer with entitlement issues who looks down on anyone who hasn't followed the same elitist path that he has. I'm glad you won't be there anymore--the last thing they need at The Grit is another stuck-up, fratty customer.

Adrian said...

Now I know that a history of working hourly jobs to get through school and being in the first generation to get a college degree (while never joining a fraternity) qualifies me as "elitist" and "fratty." Good to know.

Tim said...

I have eaten and The Grit several times over the past several years and each time I made a mental note to never go back. The food is marginal but the service is beyond irritating. So I guess I finally had something to write my mental note on because I won't go back either.
I am not a fratty either but am the father of a soon to be Manhattan lawyer so I guess I suffer from the same entitlement syndrome that Adrian apparently has FWIW.

Model Consumer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Les Dilghow said...

The fratty characterization kills me. After 10 years in Athens I have learned that to the townie hipster crowd; Fratty = one that has a job not in a restaraunt, club, or, vintage clothing shop, or record store.
The fratty crowd makes up about 2% of the ENTIRE Athens population. If you talk to a townie you's think it was 98%

Amy said...

What really chaps my ass at The Grit is that they charge extra for real maple syrup. And they have crappy Welch's jelly. I know they've claimed never to be a health food place, but you would think they have the clientele that would get behind using REAL syrup and better, preferably local, jams and jellies.

The service there is often rude and surly, but I have to say in all fairness that the one waiter who works there that I know personally is an absolute sweetheart.

I think Robby is right that a restaurant can have whatever rules it wishes. I think Adrian's right in that people who disagree with those rules can refuse to go there.

BBD said...

This is too funny. Spread the love over at The Book Of Athens

retuga03 said...

This is an awesome dialogue that should be on the table (no pun intended) more often. I love the Grit and its food and appreciate what it means to Athens culture, which does, in part, consist of surly townies who will have 2.5 kids and live in suburbia in ten years. Athens is kind of like Disney World: there's townie land, fraternity row, and there are lots of folks waiting in line at any given bar instead of It's a Small World. The Grit is kind of like a theme restaurant - if I want good food for maximum patience and condescension, I'll go there. If I want good food with little fuss, service with a smile (and bacon), I'll go to Waffle House. Can I have my tofu golden and eat it, too? Is it worth splitting a check to have really good cake at $3.95 a slice plus tax? I guess it depends on my mood.

jmSnowden said...

I don't know how anyone could confuse Adrian with an elitist.