New Yorkers are so lucky to have a great shoe shine and repair service that is local and in places that are easy to get to. Leather Spa can literally fix any damages/problems you have with your shoes, handbags, or leather belts, restoring them to their original gorgeous look. The other day, I found out that they even can lower the excessively high stilettos that I purchased after having too many mimosas on a Sunday afternoon. My girlfriends had convinced me that I looked fabulous in them and that the stilettos would go well with my jeans or leather pants. So, I went ahead and spent some $$$, only to end up wearing them once in 5 years. Bummer, I thought, because they’re super nice but the heel is a tad too high. Then I found Leather Spa: they came to the rescue, and guess what, I love my new, 1/4” lower stilettos 🙂

The problem
I took my fabulous stiletto boots to the closest Leather Spa. On my recent visits to the Leather Spa FiDi location, the line was insane. I discovered that the clerk taking orders also performs inspections, which must be done in order to get a price quote. Only after the inspection and a price quote can the order be placed. Despite the long line, the clerk didn’t even think of calling for help. Finally, another staff member showed up, but he didn’t open another cash register done with the average price of carpet cleaning in dublin to help the next guest; instead, he helped a shoe shine customer who had come in way after me and the three other waiting customers.

The Fix
The management should train their staff to keep an eye on the traffic. If there are more than 3 customers waiting in line, someone should call for assistance. It would also be a good idea to monitor what times of day are busiest and hire part-time help during those hours. At the very least, have the decency to serve the customers in the order in which they arrived—no matter what service they need.

On a recent Monday night, my husband and I took an old friend who was visiting from California to the bar/lounge at 11 Howard Hotel. The decor is great, and it has a nice bar menu, but the service was literally “in the toilet.” There was only one waitress on duty, and she was more interested in chatting with the cute bartenders than serving guests. The bar was not full, with perhaps only 6 occupied tables, meaning that service attendance should have been fine.

We experienced the opposite. When we walked in, the waitress came right over and took our order and everything seemed fine. We asked for water and everything went downhill from there, and forget about trying to get a second round of cocktails and some appetizers. We tried to hail the waitress a few times, but she kept looking away. It wasn’t until I stood up and walked towards her that she came toward me and asked, “How can I help you?” What?! How can you help? I thought you worked here! Naturally, I didn’t say this out loud, but it was rattling around in my head as I tried to order a second round of drinks in the middle of the bar/lounge.

The drinks came pretty quickly, as did the appetizers, and we chatted with our friend until it was time to go. Then, we tried to flag the waitress down for the check, but there was no reaction whatsoever. Yet again, one of us had to stand up and grab her, because she was too busy chatting with the cute bartenders!

We finally managed to pay, and we walked out talking about how f’d up the service was and wondering why the hell it was so difficult to get the check and pay!

The fix: Train your staff to keep an eye on the customers and not look down at their feet, mobile phones, or cute bartenders all the time. Make them walk around the room regularly and ask patrons questions, such as “Are you enjoying your drink/appetizer/food?”
A more aggressive method would be to ask the staff to leave their mobile devices in a locker room or wherever they store personal property during a shift.