Monday, March 25, 2013

Honey Pig

I've thought long and hard about how I wanted to approach my review of Honey Pig. In the world of restaurant reviews, people have differing opinions on how one should approach negative restaurant situations. I know many people out there that believe you should simply pass on even mentioning a restaurant if you leave unhappy. Other people seem to find something wrong at seemingly every restaurant they visit and so it seems more like nitpicking and less like honest criticism. And there are others like me who believe in balance. If all I ever I did was tell you how great every restaurant I visit is, what good are my reviews? At that point, it's all just the same old crap on repeat and my blog is a big waste of space. I like to think that my blog is only a little waste of space.

Obviously, I've decided to air my grievances. Not to exact any type of revenge or anything like that. I'm just a big proponent of balance. I heap plenty of praise on restaurants throughout the area in hopes that people who come across my posts will take what I have to say and be a little more inclined to visit a new restaurant. On the same token, if I've experienced a particularly bad encounter I think people ought to know about it so they can take that information and do what they want with it.

So, with the gigantic intro out of the way, I now present to you my visit to Honey Pig.

After I left the restaurant the night of our visit, I was scanning Twitter just trying to pass the time. It just so happened that someone was tweeting the fact that Honey Pig had a Groupon or LivingSocial offer available. I replied to that tweet that I could never recommend a visit to Honey Pig and that their management was a joke. I didn't realize Honey Pig had a twitter account, but my tweet found its way to them. They asked that I e-mail them with my grievances and so I did. Below is the exact e-mail sent to their team:
I was given this e-mail on Twitter after having a brief discussion there about the service I received yesterday. 
Last night around 6 PM I visited your Ellicott City Location for the first time. Our dinner and service were both excellent. While we were eating we began discussing future visits and who we could bring along with us.And then the the check came. When it came I got my phone out to show the server the LivingSocial deal I had purchased months prior. I paid $15 to get $30 of value. She looked at the deal and pointed out that it was only good Sunday-Thursday. First, let me state that I know it was my fault for overlooking that fact. However, it had been months since I purchased the deal and I simply forgot about the finer details. I apologized for attempting to use it on a Friday, but that it was an honest mistake and asked if an exception could be made. I explained that I drove 45 minutes to eat at HoneyPig and that with only one week left to use the LivingSocial deal it would be impossible for me to come back and redeem the deal I had already paid for. She said no and walked away from the table. After thinking for a few minutes and realizing it was my fault for trying to use the deal on a Friday, I asked if I could get the $15 I already paid off of my bill rather than the $30 value. I felt like that was a good compromise, but still I was told no. So, I asked to speak with a manager. And this is where the majority of my frustration was borne. The server I was speaking with turned and called over someone else. I explained the situation and she replied with "let me speak with the manager". This confused me because I had just asked to speak with the manager. If she wasn't the manager I don't know why she was sent to my table pretending to be one. The second server went up to the register and spoke with another woman. After about five minutes the second server returned and said no exception could be made. I asked again if I could speak with the manager. She said no and walked away. I waited another minute and caught her attention as she was coming back across the dining room. I explained to her that I enjoyed the food and was preparing to come back for future visits, but the fact that they were unwilling to work with me and wouldn't send a manager over solidified my decision not to return in the future. She said fine and walked away. 
To summarize, I had a nice dinner last night. I wanted to come back and try the food again. I realize I was trying to use a livingsocial deal on an improper day, but the fact that they weren't interested in working with me to find a compromise and their dismissive attitude towards me (despite the fact that I never raised my voice once) left me very frustrated. Because of this, it would be very hard for me to ever recommend this restaurant to my friends and readers.
The response I received to my e-mail was only slightly less useless than the responses I got in person while at the restaurant. After being asked to write them an e-mail, and then taking my good old time on a Saturday morning to write them a detailed response, I was expecting a half way decent reply. I was starting to come around to the fact that it may have just been an off night for the people at their location, and that their management, wherever they existed, actually cared about customer service. And then I got response that boiled down to a Thank you for your e-mail. We're sorry about your experience and we'll address this when it's not the busy weekend hours.

So, what do I expect those of you who read this to do with this information? Well, whatever you like. There's a very good chance that your visit will be nothing but good times. As I mentioned in the e-mail the food was good and the restaurant experience itself was very fun. However, if you happen to have something disagreeable take place during your visit be aware that you will most likely be summarily dismissed and that they will do next to nothing to make sure you leave there feeling like they cared about your business.

Honey Pig on Urbanspoon


  1. You're an idiot and your final thought on judging this restaurant is misguided. You made a mistake, deal with it and move on. When you said you were discussing 'future visits', why didn't you just say 'ok- I'll use the groupon later' and move on?

    My point: you didn't read the fine print and you messed up your experience @ Honey Pig by being dumb. You caused the problem, the restaurant didn't do anything wrong, regardless of their attitude towards you. You were being a nuisance to people trying to do their jobs, now you have the audacity to come online and complain about it to the world? Dumb.

    1. I have moved on. If you'll notice, the date on this review was March 25, 2013. I've moved on and had tons of excellent experiences at restaurants throughout the Baltimore area...none of which involved dealing with less than accommodating staffs like those at Honey Pig.

      As to your question "When you said you were discussing 'future visits', why didn't you just say 'ok- I'll use the groupon later' and move on?" I answered that in the post above. You might have missed it in between typing idiot and dumb.

      If you happen to see this response, and get a chance to see the answer to your question, please take an additional second to find the sentences in which I accepted responsibility for misreading the deal. I admitted my mistake in person at the restaurant AND in my e-mail AND in this post.

      Yes, I had the audacity to come online and complain to the world. But at least I did so while putting my name to it. It could have been worse. I could have pointed fingers anonymously.

  2. so, in summery, you tried to use a coupon that wasn't valid, argued about it and felt entitled to a discount for some reason, then got butthurt when everybody there told you no.

    Grow up. You had a good meal, pay for it, STFU.

    -Dave Wilson
    *i'm not creating a stupid profile for this.

    1. In summAry, yes, I attempted to use a coupon that wasn't valid on the day I was dining there.

      No, I didn't argue. I explained the situation to the staff. Whether it was management or wait staff is still yet to be determined as they had proven themselves dishonest which was the main impetus behind this post ever existing. I can deal with being told no especially when my mistake started the fiasco. What I won't deal with is dishonesty. Hence, the post.

      I haven't been butthurt since a sled riding accident in 1993.

      Grow up? I'm grown.

      I had a good meal? You bet.

      Pay for it? I did.

      STFU? Would have loved to but the lying thing kinda bothered me.

      Douglas Smiley
      *I already had a stupid profile created so I could write on this stupid blog.