As countless 2019 recaps have made clear, Charleston restaurants have their share of problems, but customer loyalty isn’t one.
The Post and Courier Food section this year introduced its "You’ve Been Served" column, asking readers to judge who’s right in hospitality debates which surfaced in online reviews of local restaurants. Each week, readers were asked to look past the particulars of a situation and personality of a civilian critic in order to determine the boundaries of responsibility in a restaurant setting.
In all but a few instances, voters in the section’s Facebook group sided with the featured restaurant.
By a 183-89 margin, they agreed that a bartender should know how to make or look up any drink a customer requests. By a 216-6 margin, they sympathized with a drinker who felt misled by a bar's sidewalk sign. And all but three people who responded to a poll about a café patron’s Cuban coffee crisis said that restaurants should observe certain naming conventions on their menus.
Otherwise, though, they ruled that a restaurant owner’s decisions are sacrosanct. They overwhelmingly voted in favor of:
- Coffee shops forbidding laptops
- Restaurants failing to acknowledge a customer’s birthday
- Fish-and-chip shops not offering slaw
- Breakfast joints limiting their gluten-free offerings
- Southern restaurants not specifying the nature of country ham
- Italian restaurants withholding Parmesan cheese
- Bistros keeping their doors locked until the stated opening time
- Fine dining restaurants asking their male and female customers to share the same multi-stall bathroom
As the saying goes, if you don’t like the results, vote! "You’ve Been Served" will return next week with another universal hospitality dilemma. You can influence the outcome by responding to the poll at bit.ly/PCfoodFBgroup.