Monday, October 29, 2012

On The Road Again...Review: Johnny's of Grants Pass Oregon

By Steven Masone

    All the many years as a food, performing arts and music reviewer, I can count on my hands and feet the bad reviews I have given. Great food and great service is a rare commodity in today's hectic and challenging restaurant business. Since the Delta News & Review has expanded to the Northwest, I have had great experiences in Southern Oregon. It is hard for restaurateurs to find, train, trust and retain good professional staff. Today, I invited my daughter to a restaurant in Grants Pass, Oregon  for lunch where last year I stopped and was very pleased with the food. 

    As we walked in, my daughter immediately noticed the floor was not swept and once that first impression is off base, the rest of experience usually follows. However the food was good and so was the service. So I have decided to go back another time before I review the establishment as I asked and found out the owners were absent. 'THE MICE WILL PLAY...WHEN THE CATS AWAY!"

  Later I decided to finally try Johnny's at 304 NE Agness Ave, Grants Pass. I have been sampling several places for a possible filming project for a pilot reality food show a friend is involved with and I am scouting  for a segment.  I just wanted to start "The Hunt" for the best burger and dog joints in Southern Oregon and stopped at Johnny's. The menu looked great! But looks can be deceiving!

 When my foot long dog I ordered was served to me, I joked about the bun not being a foot long. Well, it went down hill from there. The lady serving me gave me a dirty look and didn't even lighten up when I laughed and said, "I'm just joking."  I dropped a tip in her tip jar and began to fix my dog with all the trimmings when I saw the wiener was discolored from getting old, and I lost my sense of humor also. The bun was hard on the ends and tasted stale. As I came in around 4: 30 pm, I figured she wasn't set up for a dinner rush yet and my dog might have been sitting longer than I like. I usually sample first and then come back for a dish that a place is known for, and is their best specialty. So I decided to just pick her brain for some background on the history of Johnny's.

   Normally I will give someone the benefit of the doubt that they might be having a hard day, but when she seemed to get upset at my asking if she was one of the owners, she fumed, "I am the owner! And I don't have time to talk"...followed by another rude comment, I had had it with her nasty attitude. My bad...I thought ..."Johnny" might be one of the owners name, and I was also fishing to see if she might have just been a worker who could care less about customer service and repeat business. If that was the case, I would let the owners know. I always appreciated my customers complaints.

    Word of mouth is the most  important way to increase restaurant sales. If you present a wonderful dining experience, patrons will naturally refer your restaurant to others. But word of mouth works both ways. Bad reviews often travel faster than positive ones. That's why its essential to be consistent in providing excellent customer service, quality food and an inviting atmosphere. Every customer should be treated with respect and hospitality. The customer is always right even if they are wrong. A disgruntled customer will reach at least one hundred people with their bad experience just by word of mouth. To find an owner in this economy not valuing every customer speaks volumes. 

This statement is found on Johnny's website...
"13 times since 2007 Johnny's has been reviewed by professional foodies, wanna bees, other restaurant owners and just normal, hardworking folks.  13 consecutive reviews spanning almost 4 calendar years and every review rated us A or A+.  The harder we work the luckier we get." 

Well 13 must be your unlucky number. Good food without good service is bad enough, but you also need to work harder on your bad attitude, it is showing in your food. Delta News & Review gives Johnny's an F.

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