Sunday, July 25, 2010

That Chocolate Sprinkle Is Moving: Oh God, It's Not An Ice Cream Shop, And That's Not A Sprinkle!

A reader forwarded me the following email chain, with the simple question: "If this had happened while you were working, what would you have told me?" To which I replied, "I would have apologized and sent a manager to talk to you, on the hope that they would comp. your meal."

Below are the emails, with names changed to protect the innocent.

FrequentFalafelEater, to BigFalafelInfo

I am a frequent BigFalafel customer, but I'd like to report a problem at the Upper West Side location. While I was eating there today, July 25, 2010, at about noon, several of the customers spotted a large cockroach on the ceiling. The roach then ran around the walls of the restaurant in plain sight of everyone, including several employees. When I reported the cockroach to the employees, they laughed and said they'd handle it later. 15 minutes later, the roach was still running around in the restaurant and the employees had done nothing. Before I report this obvious health code violation, I thought I would alert you so that you can improve employee training on dealing with pests in the restaurant.


BigFalafel, to FFE

Dear FrequentFalafelEater,

Thank you for your email, My name is MisterManager and I'm the director of operations of BigFalafel.

First, I would like you to know that since this morning I was on the phone with both my employees and our pest control company trying to resolve this situation asap. My pest control company that has been servicing us as well as other tenants in the building (the travel agency, ect...) has brought to my attention that due to a major extermination of the residential building's basement and garage many of the retail tenants have spotted water bugs in their establishments, it is very important to note that the water bug did not come from within our store.

That being said, I'm absolutely shocked of how my employees took action when it accrued and I'm on my way to the uws location as I'm writing this email.

FFE, I wish I can convince you that this is not a typical BigFalafel situation and would like to mail you a gift card so you can give us a second chance.
I promise we won't disappoint you.

If you're interested please reply with your address, I really look forward to your response.


Sent from my iPhone

FFE, to MisterManager

Dear MisterManager,

Thanks very much for your response. I'm glad the cockroach situation is being dealt with. My address is:

[omitted for reader privacy, lest you want to stalk him]

I love BigFalafel, so I was especially disappointed with my experience today. I'll give the restaurant another chance though; it sounds like you're on top things.


MisterManager, to FFE


I am very happy to hear that. You should expect your gift card by the end of this week.

Thank you,

Sent from my iPhone

The story is gross. But I think the director of operations handled the situation well. My reader says his faith in this falafel organization has been shaken to its leguminous core, but he is willing to give another shot. In this case, however, I have to imagine that 2 strikes and he's out faster than you can say "RAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And now I present you with the cutest video clip about living bug free ever created by the human species.


  1. Ugh....I don't know if I would try the restaurant again as there are other felafel places ("wildlife" totally makes me nauseous)-but the manager handled it well by giving a gift card. I love the roach man graphic. Puppy video is cute-no pug puppy in it thought :-)

    Would you go back if you were a customer there?

  2. I think I would go back. The manager's excuse seems plausible, and since this is a pretty expansive chain, I have to believe they've got their proverbial shit together.

    Although a pug puppy would have been awesome, I stand by my claim that this is the cutest video about bug free living EVER. The other k9 advantix commercial is a close 2nd: