Mother’s Day at Black Finn aka A Tale of Two Finn’s

Here at Bethesda Actually we ended up chatting to a few different folks who were out and about for Mother’s Day. One interesting review that came our way was for Black Finn near Veteran’s Park in old Bethesda.

Some folks we know went there for lunch today and had one of those experiences that a restaurant like Finn’s can and should learn from.

First let me share the “upside” of their experience. The group really enjoyed the quality of the food at Finn’s – a couple of them ordered the Fish and Chips and found the fish to be top quality, nicely battered and lightly fried (two thumbs up!). Another guest ordered the Salmon and really enjoyed the Asian peanut sauce. The guests also liked the calamari appetizer, quiet atmosphere and delightful sweets.

All of that sounds very positive and if the owner of Finn’s was to read it one would suspect they would be quite pleased. However, the post for this entry is not called a “Tale of Two Finn’s” for nothing!

The group found the service to be very, very slow — so slow that it undermined the positives created by the terrific quality of the food. At lunch time there were about four groups in the main dining area on the lower level. As one of the party noted — this should have led to fairly rapid/ efficient service. Instead the meal took about 2 hours and 15 minutes (remember this is for lunch!!) and included long spells of waiting to order/ waiting for the food/ waiting for coffee (which was lukewarm ) etc.  Furthermore the staff did not apologize for the delay/ seek to remedy matters by removing the sweets from the bill etc. One of the group that discussed the matter with Bethesda Actually has significant wait staff experience and was stunned by the performance of the wait staff.

We wanted to bring you this info for a reason — we like Finn’s and want them to succeed. The food has, from our perspective and according to people we talk to, improved a lot since they first opened. Unfortunately poor staff performances can undermine such efforts — Finn’s needs to do better and also have a game plan in mind to mitigate problems when things go wrong — some suggestions: apologize, comp one of the sweets, pay for a round of drinks…..a bit of effort can go a long way.

What do you guys think? Have you eaten at Finn’s recently?


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