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Hell’s Kitchen issues mea culpa for bad Valentine’s Day service

Hell's Kitchen owner Cynthia Gerdes had a really hellish Valentine's Day service. Now, they'e apologizing.

Hell's Kitchen owner Cynthia Gerdes had a really hellish Valentine's Day service. Now, they'e apologizing.

When a restaurant is firing on all cylinders, diners should have little cause to care what’s happening behind the kitchen doors.

According to Hell’s Kitchen, they had a hell of a night on Valentine’s Day. So the downtown Minneapolis restaurant admitted as much in a Facebook mea culpa.

The highlights (or better put, lowlights):

“. . . Our train veered off the tracks. . . guests were seated extremely late, our ticket times exceeded our worst nightmares, and even though we prepped huge amounts of food, we were shocked to still run out of the most popular menu items. In all our decades of taking care of customers, we've n-e-v-e-r seen anything like it.”

Admirably, the management has vowed to right these wrongs. Guests will be getting a personal apology, servers and other front-of-house staff will be compensated for lost tips, and kitchen staff was reminded that though it took some hard knocks, perspective is in order. “The sun did come up today,” the apology read.

A kitchen going down in flames can induce one of the most humiliating feelings a cook can have. And one of the most frustrating for the diner, especially when romance is supposed to be in the air.

This sort of public admission and apology isn’t one you’re likely to see every day. Read the full post here: 

"True Story #147: Tomahawk Steaks...NEVER again.

Here at Hell’s Kitchen, we’re never shy about sharing our successes, so we do feel obligated to tell you about our failures as well. Yesterday was the busiest day in our history. Things hummed along beautifully until dinnertime, when our train veered off the tracks. What started out as a gorgeous, candlelit Valentine’s evening quickly fell apart in many ways. First, we offered huge tomahawk steaks as a “one night only” special. This gorgeous, swoon-worthy steak is so thick that it not only takes extra time to cook, but also needs additional time to “rest” for the best flavor. Which of course lengthened the “ticket times” for that table, which then held up the next reservation for that table, which then backed up wait times and so on and so on. Several other issues compounded the problem to the extent that guests were seated extremely late, our ticket times exceeded our worst nightmares, and even though we prepped huge amounts of food, we were shocked to still run out of the most popular menu items. In all our decades of taking care of customers, we've n-e-v-e-r seen anything like it.

So if you were one of our guests last night, we’ll be looking up your reservation and sending you a note tomorrow; just know that along with a personal apology, we will make it right.

For our servers, bartenders and hosts who demonstrated tremendous grace under pressure, we will take care of you and make your “lost tips” whole.

For our wild-eyed kitchen staff who valiantly tried to keep up with the influx of tickets and pleas for food to come out faster, you too will be taken care of in appreciation for hanging in there through thick and thin.

Normally, our “house” hums like a well-oiled machine. Last night wasn’t one of those days; instead, please trust that we'll definitely learn from it. Again, if you were one of our disappointed guests, please accept our sincerest apologies. We don’t make excuses here at Hell’s Kitchen. Our record volume of business might explain some of our struggles, but it doesn’t excuse them. And on a weekend like we just experienced, we told our dismayed staff that it's important we keep our perspective. Nobody got hurt, nobody did anything wrong, and the sun did come up today. Here at Hell's Kitchen, nobody succeeds alone and nobody fails alone...we're all in this together, and we're also truly grateful for a staff that hung in there by their fingernails as well as you customers who were beyond kind once we explained that we were dancing as hard and as fast as we could.

Cyn, Steve, and Pat

PS Pat does want to hear directly from you if you have any further comments or questions; feel free to contact [email protected] any time for any reason."