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The Well-Grounded Yuppie


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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Kyoto Sushi in Alexandria Virginia

Kyoto Sushi = Bad Customer Service

Okay, so this new Japanese place opened up in the local shopping center I always go to (in Alexandria VA). Today was its grand opening, and the name of the restaurant is called "Kyoto Sushi". I decided to check it out. The person that took my order is a late 40ish, early 50ish Asian man. He dressed like the manager/owner of the place. I asked for a bowl of Beef Fried Rice to go, and he said "10 minutes". I started to take out my wallet, but he ignored me. I thought "No big deal, this must be one of the places where you pay as you receive your food". I sat at the bar, messed around with my phone for about 10 minutes.

I was starting to get bored, so I looked around. I turned around, and saw the manager talk to an old gentleman who just arrived. The gentleman asked the manager something, which I didn't pay attention to, and the manager said something really fast that I didn't understand. The gentleman said something like "I'm sorry, I don't understand you", the manager got impatient, and the gentleman simply walked out of the store.

I was bored and hungry. I turned to the manager and asked "how's my food looking"? He rudely and loudly yelled at me "I told you, 20 minutes, don't rush me" in a fashion I barely understood. I understand that he's frustrated about the customer he just lost, but that's a little unprofessional of him to take it out on the next customer.

Now, I have 3 choices.
1. Take the high road, apologize, sit down, and make nothing of it
2. Take the mid road, simply walk out
3. Take the low road, give him a 3 minute speech on why customer service is important in your his of business.

I chose the mid road. I simply rolled my eyes and walked out, and went to McDonalds next door. I was thinking "I'd understand if that guy doesn't value me as a customer, but he's also a terrible business person". Maybe it's his first day and he doesn't know he's going to annoy so many customers. He should've made people prepay, so the annoyed customers like me couldn't just walk out. Even though it's a small amount of money, but his customer service and business decisions turned a few dollars profit from me to a dollar or two loss on cooking the food for nothing.

If any of my friends come to Alexandria Virginia or DC area to visit me, I would not be bringing them to Kyoto Sushi.

11 Comments:

Blogger Jasmine said...

Hi I'm Jasmine and I wanted to comment about your experience at the Kyoto Sushi restaurant in Alexanderia. Your very detailed and long review of the restaurant is misleading for the future costomers of Kyoto Sushi. First of all, Kyoto Sushi respects their costomers very much (I know this since go to Kyoto Sushi almost every weekend) and you can not blame them for being impatient on impacient costumers on Grand Opening day since they were ,as I saw, extremely busy. Also, did you not learn in your academic years that honesty is very important in socity? Well if you did you would not have posted your review of Kyoto sushi as you did since from what I hear you were the one who was impacient and rude at that time. You clearly saw how busy all the waiters were but you ignored that fact and complained the whole time you were there for food that you ordered.It wasn't only you who were waiting for food to come out but you were the only one who could not wait. Also, it was probably good idea to go to since Mcdonald can provide FAST FOODS since they are FAST FOOD RESTAURANT but not Kyoto since Kyoto sushi is a FAMILY RESTAURANT. Obviously food is not going to come out in few minutes since they actually have to COOK them. so.. my advice is please don't ruin your friends' dinner by taking them to McDonald when they come and visit you to Alexanderia. Instead let them go to Kyoto Sushi and enjoy thier dinner with perfect customer service and you can go to McDonalds and get your food in instance.

12/02/2006 2:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Zhao said...

Hmmm.....this Jasmine person talked about how busy they are and how "impacient (which isn't even spelled correctly) and rude" I was for asking a question of "how much longer will my food be", but failed to comment on the fact that the manager loudly yelled at me.

Jasmine created a Google blogger profile name, but doesn't have a blog. Is someone from the restaurant (Jasmine) trying to do some public relations to a fairly bad review, because she realizes I am ranked well for Kyoto Sushi Alexandria in both Google and Yahoo, and I get a fair amount of people searching for the restaurant landing on this page?

If that's the case, then blaming the blogger ("impacient and rude") for a bad review is never a good method of "brand management". Real companies (and some small businesses) own up to their own mistakes, and say "I messed up, it won't happen again", that's how successful PR is done.

Also, did you not learn in your academic years that honesty is very important in socity? Well if you did you would not have posted your review of Kyoto sushi as you did since from what I hear you were the one who was impacient and rude at that time.

Yeah, I don't know about that one, Jasmine. I was just one random customer who didn't say anything but ask one question, got a rude response, and left. I don't think I was ever talked about afterwards because I didn't really cause a scene, and I doubt you, or any of your staff would even know who I am. And I would be totally flattered if you can remember that instance 7 months later (between the time I posted this review and time you left the comment) and tell me "I was impatient and rude", but I'm guessing it would be empty flattery, because, again, I doubt anyone there remembers me.

And come on now, McDonalds next door can't be that much of a competitor, enough for you to say "my advice is please don't ruin your friends' dinner by taking them to McDonald when they come and visit you to Alexanderia (which is also spelled incorrectly)", that's just pure pettiness. But you're right, I wouldn't take them to McDonalds, because I like my friends and enjoy spending good times with them, and for the same reasons, I also wouldn't take them to Kyoto Sushi. There are many great family restaurants I can go instead, such as Tokyo Inn 10 minutes down the street in Springfield VA.

12/18/2006 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I eat there quite often myself, and I love it. I also have never had a bad experience there. I would give it another shot. I'm not saying that you did anything wrong, as I was not there, but your experience is unlike the 50 I have had there. I live across the street and go all the time. Good spicy tuna. :) Also, I am a Spanish teacher, so not everyone that likes Kyoto is an employee...

3/07/2008 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I eat there quite often myself, and I love it. I also have never had a bad experience there. I would give it another shot. I'm not saying that you did anything wrong, as I was not there, but your experience is unlike the 50 I have had there. I live across the street and go all the time. Good spicy tuna. :) Also, I am a Spanish teacher, so not everyone that likes Kyoto is an employee...

3/07/2008 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ate there once and I didnt like it much. I don't think I'd be going back, can you recommend any Korean places in the area?

3/09/2008 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is one of the best sushi restaurants in the area. I usually get mine to go and am never disappointed.

3/30/2008 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Manhattan said...

I wish the long comments were actually about the food. It's been a while since opening day, I would give it another shot even if things did not go well that first day. Since you never had a bite of food I don't think it's fair to bash the entire place based on his one exchange with you. I'm not saying to were wrong to be upset with his attitude, but it may not be a regular thing at Kyoto. I will give it a chance and post here

4/17/2008 3:54 PM  
Blogger Paul Zhao said...

Dr. Manhattan: I totally agree, that my review had nothing to do with the food, and honestly, I've never even tried their food.

The fact that I had a bad experience there due to horrible service makes me not want to try their food.

4/17/2008 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Manhattan said...

That's fair. I will probably try them this weekend. I plan on getting something to go and honestly if I run into the kind of service you describe I will just walk out as you did (Unless they make me pay upfront)

4/18/2008 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Manhattan said...

I visited Kyoto on Saturday (during lunch time) I ordered a few items from the Sushi A La Carte menu to go.

The employees I encountered were either very friendly or neutral. I did not see any males in their 40s-50s so I don't know if the person you mentioned is still working there or just had the day off. I paid up front and was told that it would be 5 to 10 minutes, which it was. Packed to go but still presented very nicely! Presentation is something I look for in Sushi places.

The sushi was very good. I got Sake Maki (Salmon) and Crazy Roll (Tuna, Salmon, Imitation Crab, Avacado and Masago). My favorite Sushi is Sake Maki or Tekka Maki (Tuna), a simple item (Small roll with fish in the center, then rice and Nori on the outside) which I like to order when I try a new place.

This place is very close to where I work so I will be visiting them often!

4/21/2008 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize I'm years late on commenting on this... My husband and I have been going to Kyoto since they opened and have yet to have a bad experience. The staff has always been friendly and the food has always been delicious. I particularly love the Trio Amigo Roll. It sucks that you had a bad first experience, but you should go back and give it a try.

2/10/2010 9:47 AM  

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