Did I ever tell you about the time I went to lunch at the restaurant voted best of New Orleans’ 2016? Honestly we were ignorant of Cochon’s celebrity status when we happened across it enroute to the Essence Festival… I wish we were still!
Cochon is a cute, trendy little corner bistro whose menu drew us in right away, I decided right then that we would return for lunch. On return we were excited about being sat right away, less exciting was the hipster waiter who was clearly less than amused to wait on us. He tried on friendly for size while answering our menu questions but realized it just didn’t fit when we asked if he could bring bread to the table….. smug would be putting it mildly.
We shrugged it off, it was a busy weekend so…. whatever! Drinks always lighten the mood and ours were damn tasty, our waiter sucks but the ‘porch swings’ were a hit! We placed our order with little help from the hipster but again… the drinks …
So, when I felt wings a fluttering under the table and jumped from my seat with Holy Ghost gusto…….there was a huge Cockroach beating a hasty retreat; our waiters’ , hell, the entire establishments nonplussed reaction was disheartening and … honestly, suspect!
Suspect because no one moved, no one responded, no one reacted; I was seated at a table so close to the food prep station that to miss the commotion would be a dereliction of duty of both the front and back of the house.
My waiter, in the immediate moments following the molestation of my ankle by the hissing cockroach, DID NOTHING!! He scampered away as quickly as his freeloading friend la CockaRoacha.
At no point did our waiter offer up empathy nor sympathy for what was happening to a guest at their establishment. I sat there for several seconds expecting a member of management to provide me with the usual song and dance that comes subsequent to ‘episodes in horror’ such as this. My background in corporate salon management taught me to perform that song and dance with Motown efficiency…this team could use some Berry Gordy training because they dropped the Mic on this … big time.. and not in a good way!
Unfortunately an apology never escaped the lips of my waiter… WHY? Are roaches such a regular occurrence in this place that they don’t register a reaction or was I a deplorable… as an African-American female…. the wrong demographic??
I hate feeling this way but as once blighted areas become gentrified, the tension is palpable in certain newly minted establishments, mostly without merit or provocation….black folks like to eat out and shop too… Figure it out!
It took an eternity for management to acknowledge the incident even as they witnessed it happening and immediately removed the traveler’s carcass from the dining room floor.
When the ‘official’ apology finally did come, it came in the form of ‘I’ve been here for three years and this has never happened before’ not ‘I’m sorry this happened to you, what can we do?’ Sadly, as a consolation prize, the manager offered up the food we’d ordered to take home since it was in the window waiting…. well what the hell else could they do with it? Smh, I declined that offer… too little too late; I believe there was a second roach siting while I was using the facilities. Thanks, but no thanks!
Listen, shit like this happens in businesses all the time; it’s not the offense that rankles ….mostly, it’s the lack of acknowledgment and reconciliation. A simple human exchange, not gratuitous, but a display of genuine humility that demonstrates a remorse for your experience and restores the trust that makes me, the patron, feel good about spending my two very limited resources in your business; TIME & MONEY!!!
Cochon; 930 Tchoupitoulas St B, New Orleans, LA 70130
Owned by Stephen Stryjewski (Link Restaurant Group)