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RESTAURANT SERVICE WAS LOUSY

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I read with interest the Oct. 18 article about the owners of the Eat-a-Burger restaurant downtown. They blame prejudice for the problems they are experiencing. Allow me to offer another perspective.

The first and only time I patronized that particular establishment was about five months ago, when I went through the drive-up to get a chicken breast sandwich for myself and a hamburger for my husband, who was working nearby.When I got to my husband's work, we opened the wrapped sandwiches to find that they were practically inedible. The fries and drinks were OK, but the sandwiches were both cold, somewhat uncooked and had an odd taste. The lemon chicken had no lemon flavor on it, just pepper. We each had a couple of bites, then decided to call and complain about the food, expecting they would (as most places would) offer to either give us some freshly cooked sandwiches (our first preference) or else refund our money.

But the man I talked to was extremely rude over the phone and insisted on knowing what was wrong with the food and said, "You can't just eat it then say something was wrong with it and get your money back."

Undeterred by this exchange, I then drove back to the restaurant with the receipt and partly eaten sandwiches. When I got there, the people I talked to were very confrontational. At this point, I never had asked for a refund and would have paid for the drinks and fries no matter what. I tried to explain that all I wanted was two new sandwiches that were fresh and well-cooked, but the woman grumbled and muttered but finally grabbed some money out of the cash register and practically threw it at me and shouted, "Don't ever come back here." Needless to say, I haven't.

It seems to me the barrier the owners are trying to overcome is not a language problem. It has nothing to do with racism or prejudice. It is a simple matter of customer service and common courtesy, lessons they apparently have yet to learn.

I have nothing personally against the owners; in fact, I did not even know their names until I read the article. I thought the story was informative and well-written, but I wish your reporter could have told a little bit more of the other side of the story.

Instead of pointing the blame elsewhere, the owners owe their customers an apology and a promise to provide better, more polite service. I empathize with their parking problems, but I think that maybe if they were a little less rude themselves, they would enjoy their work more and have a more satisfied clientele.

Penny Richards

West Valley City