Every few days, I get an email from UrbanDaddy gently reminding me to do, eat, or drink something more fabulous than I am currently doing, eating or drinking.
It was thanks to UD that I learned Mexican haunt Fonda (of Park Slope fame) was opening a Manhattan location in the East Village this past Tuesday. My friends and I quickly made plans to meet there on Wednesday, which coincidentally was National Margarita Day!
The restaurant was far from full, but had a decent crowd for its 2nd night in business. The manager, Ciro, stopped by our table twice and the waitress, Rita, stopped by a record 29 times. It was excessive, and at times intrusive, but she was well-intentioned. (Reminder tip: always learn people’s names - it gets you better service.)
The food was excellent (shout out to Chef Roberto Santibañez) and reasonably priced with entrees around $18. The guacamole is a must ($10 bowl serves two). I highly recommend the pan seared sea bass over guajillo passion fruit sauce, potatoes, asparagus, roasted red peppers and red onion. Mmmm…but I digress.
My friends and I were enjoying our $8 sangrias (they are $5 if you purchase them at the bar, which was so close to our table I nearly rested my purse on it), when Rita approached us for the 23rd time in two hours to see “if we needed anything.”
Seizing the opportunity, I replied politely and insistently, “As a matter of fact, we would love a round of complimentary drinks.”
The key to getting what you want in the service industry is being assertive and polite. So after I made my request, I just smiled silently, maintaining eye contact and only adding, “We’ve been here a while,” implying it was time for a buy back.
A second later, Rita just nodded, scampered off and promptly returned with a round of complimentary drinks.
So there you have it, readers. If you want free drinks – just order them that way. Empowered customers always get what they want.