A comment on restaurant service
I hope this is in the correct place; if not, please feel free to move. This is our 7th trip to the island and are in day 10 of a 15 day stay here and have notice a significant drop off in restaurant service. We eat out 2 of three meals each day and I'm not sure if it's because tourism is down and restaurants are cutting staff or if it's because it's not "officially" peak season. I was kinda thinking it was related to whether or not the service charge is added (servers have no incentive to provide good service), but found it really isn't. For example:
Pinchos - they add the service charge and the server was excellent. In fact, the only place we added to the service charge.
Old Cunuku House - they don't add the service charge, and we had the worst service so far on our trip.
Papillon - no service charge was added, and we had great service.
Matthews - they add the service charge and the service was horrible.
Overall this trip, the service is not as good as in the past; even at places where we had good service last year. Specifically, once the meal is delivered, the server never comes back until we're done eating. No "how is everything?", "can I get you another beer?" no nothing. I can't tell you how many times I've told a server (this trip) that I'll order my drink with my meal and they just drop the food and leave. They don't even give me a chance to order it. It's really kinda their loss, because the tip (whether automatic or not) is based on the check and booze really adds to the total. Maybe the server wages are so high they don't need anymore income (afraid they'll be in a higher tax bracket).
I really think this is gonna end up hurting the restaurants in Aruba. With the chaos in Venezuela (they can't afford to come to Aruba) and (according to Rona Coster) tourism from Mass and New Jersey (where I'm from) being down, it could really hurt.
We have always kept a spreadsheet of places we like, places we don't like and places to try. We are now adding a column with notes as to how the service was and whether or not to go back again.
Anyone else notice this?
If you are in a position to do something, you might want to think about it. Too bad a US citizen can't work in Aruba; I spent the first 15 years of my working life in restaurants and would make a hell of a consultant!
Contact me to rent our 2BR condo at Oceania