Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sotto Varalli - Unaccommodating

One shouldn't expect any different. After all, the Birthday email coupon did clearly state that the holder of said certificate will receive one entree free when another is purchased, up to $25. Why then should a couple think the restaurant would discount their bill in some form or fashion when no entree was purchased? For starters, because the couple enjoyed multiple appetizers, each priced in the low-to-mid teens, a bottle of wine and a couple salads. The pre-tip bill topped $100 even without a proper entree. Secondly, and more importantly, the last thing a business should be trying to do right now, in this economy, is turn off customers. Yes, the bill was going to be paid regardless, with or without discount, but the likelihood of a return visit was greatly diminished after the hard line stance taken by Sotto Varalli last week.

Would it have been better, in the long run, for Sotto Varalli to knock, say, $10 off the bill as a sign of goodwill and a thank you for dropping $100 in the restaurant that night. The coupon brought them in, for a birthday dinner, but several of the appetizers sounded more, well, appetizing to the couple that night.

I say Sotto could have extended an olive branch to the couple. Instead, they probably lost a couple of loyal patrons, not because the pair feel as though they deserved the $25 off but because the "no" was so curt and unaccommodating.

No doubt this couple will be selecting Bliss, across the street, or Osteria a few blocks north for future Broad Street-area dinners.

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