Friday, September 18, 2009

Feedback Can Make A Difference

My family was invited a birthday party tonight at a local pizza place. When we got the invite, I called to check on the food ingredients to see if they were safe for my son who has a peanut allergy. I was told not to put my son at risk by coming to the restaurant. I was not satisfied with the attitude that I received so I left a comment on the comment page of the restaurant's website. You can read that story here: Told Not To Risk It

Several commenters requested that I let them know if I got a response from the restaurant.

I did not get a response.

As week went on, we struggled with how we were going to handle dinner. Should we eat and then show up at the restaurant for the birthday dessert, presents and playing at the playland?

I asked my husband to call the restaurant today. I was curious if he would get a different response than I did. He called the corporate office first. They transferred him to the local restaurant.

He was told their food was safe, they did not serve anything that contained peanuts and that they even got rid of the peanut butter cookies they used to have "for that very reason".

You would think that would have satisfied me. However, it didn't sit right with me to get 2 opposite responses from the same restaurant.

So, I called the restaurant.

I asked to talk to a manager. The man on the phone said he was a manager. I explained the situation- that both my husband and I had called asking about their ingredients and food allergies and had gotten two very different responses. The man put me on hold and then another manager picked up the phone. He was very polite. He told me that he had received an email about the situation. He said that I should not have been told what I was told. He said that his employees should have checked about the ingredients. He apologized. He asked me what my concerns were. He said that restaurant makes all of their sauces. They use fresh ingredients and there are not any cross contamination issues. I told him that I was concerned about getting such different responses when we called. He said that should not have happened and that he was taking care of it. He said he is responsible for making sure the employees know the ingredients. He apologized again and assured me the food should be safe. I appreciated his kind response.

The restaurant did not call me or email me in response to my comments on the website. I think they should have.

However, my feedback made a difference.

It seemed that both the employee my husband talked to and the one that first answered my call knew about the situation. The employees are more aware of what they are serving. That is a good thing. And, maybe, just maybe, they are taking pride in their ingredients like their website states.

Never hesitate to give feedback in a respectful way. It can make a difference.

Now I better get ready to enjoy a fun filled night eating pizza and watching the kids play.


AutumnFawn said...

Glad you get to enjoy!

Foursons said...

Good for you for speaking up. I happen to hate parties at those joints- they are loud, crowded, and over-stimulating but not everyone feels like that. Glad you got good changes in place!

He & Me + 3 said...

I am so glad you checked again and got an answer that helped. Hope you have a great time. I am doing a giveaway at the 5 moms blog today you can get there from my personal blog...stop over if you can. It will be going on tomorrow too.

Nicole said...

That's really great that your feedback made a difference. How frustrating, though, to have had two different answers. I hope you had a really fun night.

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

What a wonderful outcome. I am so glad you and your husband called back. I hope you have a wonderful time at the birthday party!!

Brandi said...

My hubby manages a restaurant and would have flipped a gasket if any of his managers/employees answered you in such a way. You really should have received a call from the corporate office with an apology. Very surprised that you didn't, but glad your question was finally answered and your son can enjoy the pizza party! :)

McCrakensx4 said...

Oh so glad that you were able to go and enjoy yourselves at the party! Thank goodness you received the info that you needed to make the right decision for your family!

Beth E. said...

That's wonderful! I'm so glad your family will get to celebrate with friends. I'm just sorry you had to call back before you got a response. It pays to be respectfully persistent! :-)

aerotatt said...

We are very glad you were able to make it. I'm glad they finally gave you the straight answer. We had a lot of fun and were excited that you got to enjoy it worry free.

Michael said...

I admire your determination to find a "real" answer; I've had similar experiences in dealing with restaurants where I just had the feeling that the restaurant employees "didn't have a clue" that this could be a matter of life or death. As the peanut allergy becomes more commonplace, hopefully "all" restaurants will take questions regarding their products more seriously. Also, hopefully a "cure" will occur so that we are not so dependant on the "potentially correct" answer of a restaurant employee.


AJ said...

Good! Thanks for letting us know.