The Reef, here’s your tip: Rude service will come back to bite you in the big kahonas.
By April L. Davis
(soon-to-be Boise resident)
If you want to have a few drinks at The Reef, make sure to bring enough cash to tip your bartender for every drink or he will refuse to serve you.
The very first time, and LAST time, I had ever been to The Reef was for a party on August 25 to celebrate the marriage of a good friend of mine.
My husband and I live in Oregon and we frequently have “date-nights” away from our kids, where we visit nice, high-class restaurants and bars in down-town Portland. We will have to re-locate to Boise very soon, so my husband and I were excited to check-out some of the Boise hot-spots.
Upon arrival at The Reef, we loved the decor and atmosphere, it looked like a fun place, and it almost felt like we were right at home in down-town Portland.
We met up with our friends on the outdoor deck upstairs and ordered drinks at the bar. I made sure to tip the female, brown-haired bartender that poured our drinks, she seemed very nice. We then joined the wedding party of about 15 people at our “reserved” table.
My husband and I waited for about 20 minutes, with a menu wide-open, for someone to take our order. No one even came to our table for drink service.
So, my husband stopped a waitress as she passed by on her way pick up drinks at the bar for another table. He told her we wanted to order food.
“Our kitchen is closing, we stopped taking food orders ten minutes ago,” replied the waitress.
We were disappointed because our friends had told us The Reef serves good food. Although we were hungry, we decided to stick around since our purpose for being there was to visit with our friends and celebrate their marriage.
My husband went back up to the bar and ordered our second round of drinks from a male bartender (he was clean-shaved with short, spiky blond hair). My husband made sure to tip him.
A while later, I decided to buy one of their specialty two-person drinks for the new bride and groom to share. It was a $10 drink, so I grabbed a $20 bill from my husband and went up to the bar.
The bar was extremely busy, so I patiently waited for service. Finally, the same male bartender who had served my husband earlier took my order.
The bartender gave me back a $10 bill so I didn’t have any change for his tip. He went on to take a drink order from another customer, so I thought to myself, “I'll make sure we tip him double on the next round.”
I returned to the table and gave the bride and groom their drink. A few minutes later, my husband asked if I would get him a beer. So, I took the $10 bill the bartender had given me as change and I went back to order a beer.
The same male, blond-haired bartender who had been serving us was still busy, but I made a point to wait for him, so I could catch him up on the tip. I waited, and waited, and waited, for about 10 minutes. He looked at me several times and continued to take orders from other people and pour them drinks.
I finally leaned over the counter and politely said, “I know you’re really busy, but I have a quick, easy request for you; I only need one beer.”
He replied, “I’m done serving you, because you didn’t tip”, and then turned and walked away from me.
Normally, I wouldn’t blame an entire business establishment for one rude employee. So, I asked another employee, a very nice waitress, if I could see a manager.
The person who presented herself to me as the manager (she had blond hair, about shoulder-length) was even more rude to me than the bartender was. When I calmly tried to explain the situation to her, she refused to listen.
“He didn’t say that, that didn’t happen, I don’t believe you,” she said.
I said to her, “Ma’am, If you won’t listen to my complaint, then I need to speak to someone else. Who is your boss?”
At that point she proceeded to get in my face and told me, “I am the general manager, you can’t get any higher than me.”
Our entire party of 15 people left The Reef and none of us will ever return again - some of them used to be regular customers.
So, to The Reef management, I hope you take this review seriously because it’s a shame how easily a couple of rude employees can ruin your reputation and drive away regular, paying customers.
And for the clean-cut, blond-haired, young man refusing to serve customers because they don’t have enough change for one drink-tip, here’s your tip: you better hope I’m not the only one who has the guts to complain about you, or you won’t just be losing a few dollars, you’ll be losing your job.
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