Since my competitor, Smash Toledo, recently posted a video interview with Tony House of Burger Bar 419, I feel obligated to contribute a reaction.
The issue with solely positive reviews is that a number of variables are not considered, such as customer service, wait time, wine selection, and so forth. There isn’t a standard, because everything can be classified under the monikers delicious and amazing.
I’ve been to the Burger Bar 419 in South Toledo four times. The first time I ordered pork belly, which arrived soft like tofu; after a complaint, they came back crunchier. The second time a friend and I waited over 30 minutes for our burgers with no customers ahead of us; in fact, nobody in the restaurant at all.
The third time I sat down with Tony House himself for an interview; the service seemed quick and courteous. The fourth time the service was a letdown; again, over thirty minutes to receive my order, despite the fact that it was not considerably busy.
As a customer, consider the cooking time for a single classic burger. On a flaming hot grill, an eight ounce patty should probably cook 4-5 minutes each side, accounting for a ten minute total cook time. Why would a single order take longer than thirty minutes to get to the table?
What about, say, medium rare steak: as little as 8 total minutes to cook, exchanging hands with the waiter, the waiter ringing up the order, and what’s left is how busy the restaurant is on a given night. I am picky. Unless the restaurant is swamped, I want my steak in less than thirty minutes. Should a burger take any longer?
Whether the burger tastes delicious is irrelevant. Yes, it tastes like a McDonald’s quarter pounder, but what frustrates me is the service time. And no, you don’t hear about this potential hiccup if you visit Smash Toledo’s web site. Only positive feedback, please.