March 12th 2008

On customer service and eating in Buenas Aires

Our experience with local customer service shows some trends. No one is in a hurry. Not at the bank, supermaket, wine store, bar or restaurant.  Customers as well as workers seem unaware that anything could move any faster..
As an employee you are entitled it seems to carry on your own business at anytime, even while at work. As an example, one waiter took our order, received a cell phone call, headed outside to comverse, lit a cigarette while having the talk and eventually came back to the restaurant and handed our order in.  Another time, he dashed to the kitchen and then minutes later he and all the cooks headed out the front door to have a smoke, chat and make several telephone calls.  Customers carry on their conversations regardless.

Yet when your food order comes it is so good, you stop caring.  Every coffee (always perfect) comes with a small cookie and a small glass of soda. Every meal comes with a fresh assortment of breads, buns, breadsticks and rusk.  Salads come on their own, oil and which kind of vinegar do you want?  The language of Kraft is banished.  The meat is always on its own, a massive thick slice, that regardless of the cut, you can cut with a regular knife, no steak knife. And when you taste there is no smoothering in BBQ, or any other type of sauce.  Some salt and pepper, but nothing interferes with the best tasting 100% organic beef in the world. Kobe is nothing compared to this.  Life as a carnivore has never been this good.

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