Reader: Make a decision and get out of the way so I can get my ice cream

Categories: Cafe Society

Cafe critic Gretchen Kurtz stopped by Nuggs Ice Cream with her family one recent Friday night for a cool treat, and what she found there has led to a hot discussion on Cafe Society. Unlike other ice cream spots she's frequented around town that happily hand out samples, the Nuggs employee stopped at two -- despite the fact that the place was otherwise empty and the crew wasn't holding up the line. "What are you trying to do, fill up on tastes so you don't have to buy a cone?" he barked. The family left with $20 worth of ice cream and a bad taste -- although an assistant manager later told Kurtz that the employee was not following store policy.

You scream, I scream, plenty of people are screaming over this story...

See also: What's the scoop on the skimpy sampling at Nuggs?

Says Michael:

Obviously Gretchen is one of those people that won't just get the fuck out of the way and make a decision so I can order my ice cream.

Says Christine:
A business is only as good as the people who represent it. There are too many choices out there to go somewhere that doesn't have the proper customer service acumen. Why didn't the owner instill the importance of customer service in that employee?

Says lorenzo463:
That was a lame thing for an employee to say, and that's coming from a guy who never asks for samples, especially on a Friday night when there is a line out the door, because frankly there are worse things in the world than eating homemade ice cream containing coconut that wasn't quite as toasty as I'd hoped it would be.
What do you consider the right policy regarding free samples? For dealing with employees who don't follow store policy? And when our Cafe critic encounters what she considers bad service, should we report it?

Location Info

Nuggs Ice Cream Parlor

5135 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

I don't have a problem with sample limits.  I have a problem with the sarcastic and rude way the employee limited the customer's samples...implying that he was trying to get something for nothing.  It's rude and unprofessional.

GuestWho topcommenter

"the place was otherwise empty and the crew wasn't holding up the line"

"on a Friday night when there is a line out the door"


Hilarious people get so worked up over a 5 minute insignificant experience.  Wait until you hear my story about getting lunch meat at the deli today...maybe I'll write a book about it...or a movie...7 minutes at the deli counter...

Seriously...this nonsense belongs on SNL or Portlandia. 

RobertChase topcommenter

That employees' remark was way out of line.  What I would like to know is where I can get good chocolate almond ice cream -- Haagen-Dazs used to do the best I've ever had, but only sold it in its ice cream stores; the almonds were enrobed in Belgian dark chocolate.  I would settle for some decent chocolate.  I have not been impressed with what I've had so far in Denver -- I don't want milk chocolate; I want rich chocolate (more expensive ingredients, when retailers are charging an arm and a leg for a mediocre product). 


I've been to Nuggs about 6-7 times over the past two months and while yes it's not cheap I can say the service has been friendly, excellent and accommodating from everyone I've come into contact with at the store.  If Nuggs' service is offensive to Gretchen I look forward to her daily reports about the crappy service she receives because she seems easily put out. 


My wife works in the service industry, and she hates Yelp. Not because she gets bad reviews- she's been in the industry for years now and knows how to deal with a customer. She hates it because it encourages this idea that the way to deal with bad service is to go online and complain about it in a review that will never go away. Managers are happy to solve problems if they know about them, and it is their job to make sure that the staff is doing its job well, and to educate or fire the employee as appropriate. So if you have a problem, speak with the manager, and it will probably be taken care of without the one star review. Service jobs, like all jobs, have a learning curve. When I read the blog at issue, I immediately got the sense that the server was doing something that the owner or manager would not approve of, either because the server was having a bad day, or because the server just didn't know any better. Rather than running a story indicating that this was some sort of store policy (which the owner has since denied), it would have been far more productive to call the manager and say "hey, I'm a restaurant reviewer with Westword. When I went to your shop on this date, this happened," and then determine if it was a store policy or just an employee who either needs more training or who doesn't belong in the service industry.


@GuestWho The detail about the place not being crowded was first mentioned in this blog post- it was not in the blog post I responded to. And I stand by my comment, even if the place was empty. It's just as applicable to the bar or the deli (or Chipotle for that matter) as it is to the ice cream shop. If the place is slammed and the server can barely keep up with orders, it is not time for a conversation with the server or a high maintenance drink order. The polite thing to do is just order your ice cream, beer, sandwich, or burrito, pay, and let the person behind you go. 

GuestWho topcommenter

@RobertChase    You can't be serious...  Just get some good chocolate ice cream (blue bell or Haagen-Dazs if you prefer) and throw some slivered, crushed, or whole almonds in it already. Get chocolate covered almonds if you want. Funny this is something you could easily do yourself yet you whine and complain somebody isn't doing it for you.


@lorenzo463 The problem is, managers aren't professionals anymore.  They don't even come if you ask for them.  They don't care--that's why people turn to Yelp.  Businesses today don't care until it embarasses them.  Years ago, it was different.  Today, they don't pay managers well enough, so they're usually immature, hot-headed kids with no training on how to handle a dissatisfied customer.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@christinealling ... yet wage-slave lemmings like you will continue to spend your $$ ... at the CHEAPEST places you can find ... whilst whining about the QOS.


@RobertChase @GuestWho I love it when other people tell you what your standards should be.  He's obviously connected to the ice cream shop and is lashing out like a child by trying to insult and attack anyone who disagrees with him, which is what childish people do.

Now Trending

From the Vault