The Madison Area Vegetarian Meetup Group Message Board › Restaurant Talk › Shish Cafe Feedback
This post is about our recent dinner at The Shish Cafe...
Link to event page for our dinner at The Shish Cafe
It's important to me that The Shish Cafe receives a fair evaluation for those who may form an opinion of the restaurant based on the feedback here. I cannot (and would not) edit people's remarks, but I would like to address some of the critical comments that were posted.
Regarding the timing of the food being served...
In the "What to expect" section of the email I sent to all attendees prior to the event, I stated, "While everyone arrives, you can order wine, beer, and soda from the cash bar. After we've had a chance to mingle for a while we'll sit down for the dinner." I also told this to people as they checked in. The food was served a little later than I expected, but it was never intended to be served right away. One reason it might have seemed to take a while is that nearly everyone arrived close to 6:30. That was the start time for the event, but typically many people are still showing up around 6:45. I have learned that having some food out when people arrive would be appreciated. However, The Shish Cafe shouldn't be blamed for the plan I made.
Regarding running out of food...
I clearly was not successful in informing everyone that the initial buffet did not include the eggplant munazala entree. It seemed that a number of people loaded up their plates with appetizers without realizing that more food was coming. This created a shortage of appetizers. The Shish Cafe initially prepared appetizers for 75 people (the size of our group), but when the appetizers ran out early they were caught off guard and made even more for us.
Regarding missing desserts/entrees...
In both the event description and the email I sent to attendees I specified the exact menu... hummus, baba ghanouj, grape leaves, salad, eggplant munazala, and falafel. Dessert was never included in this dinner. The comment that some people got an extra entree was prompted by mistaking a leftover appetizer for an extra entree. I verified this by checking photos from the event. Both buffets actually had leftover appetizers set out with the entree, but they were not in identical serving bowls.
Regarding the lack of parking...
In the email I sent to all attendees prior to the event, I stated, "The parking spaces in front of the restaurant will quickly fill up, but there's a large lot next to The Shish Cafe." (The complaint about parking is on the venue-specific feedback page that's displayed when the name of the restaurant is clicked on in the Location section at the top of the event page.)
I don't want to make it seem like there weren't legitimate reasons for people to have critical comments about this event. But I don't want The Shish Cafe to receive undeserved blame for the problems. Based on feedback for this event, I've made notes about things I can do to try to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future. Keep in mind that I'm not a professional event organizer. I'm just learning as I go along. Please bear with me. Thanks.
[Edited to fix a typo.]
Edited by Dave on Mar 23, 2010 11:57 PM
Dave, thanks for posting this level assessment of things. I think it is important that our praises and criticisms be thoughtful and fair. --Justin