Bin 4

Bin 4 Burgers – Turning Customer Service Frown Upside Down

I live in the small city of Victoria, B.C., and one of the great things of living here is the restaurant culture. When I ever ask someone, “what’s a great place to eat?” rarely, if ever, does anyone suggest a chain. We do have your Kegs, Moxy’s and Milestones but they aren’t top of mind. Variety is a nice thing. In that tradition, a new burger place just opened up: Bin 4 Burger Lounge. I’m nothing if not curious so I decided to go for a visit.

On a busy night, my girlfriend and I were seated right away in the middle booth (of three) at the back. The table behind us was seated and the table in front of us was quickly seated after us. So we waited. And we waited. A waitress walked passed us to serve the table behind us with no notice of us. The table in front of us was delivered water. Us? Nothing. 5-10-15-20 minutes pass. Finally, the owner (I knew he was because he wasn’t really following any dress code) came by to ask if we wanted anything to drink. Um, yeah. He quickly apologized, said something about “miscommunication” and took our drink order…he was now our server. The rest of the evening went as it should of in the first place – food, attentiveness, engagement.

Having written this blog for the last 2 years plus, I get a little giddy when I know I’m getting either really good or bad service. It’s like I’m thankful a business has given me something to write about. So in this case, after 5 minutes of being forgotten, I focused on the watch and was curious as to how bad it could get. Well, 20 minutes is pretty bad. So once that was over, my curiosity is to see how the business will turn it around. The owner did. It’s too bad it was the owner that had to step up rather than the staff but I’ll be honest, as a customer, I don’t care who it is as long as I leave happy. And you know what, I did. Dan, one of the owners, introduced himself at the end of the evening and apologized for what had come before. Bad things happen. Miscommunication happens. But what a customer wants is for the bad service to be acknowledge and then see how it’s rectified.

THE CONCLUSION: 2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance. It started bad and ended swell. This was not a date I wanted to be one but I stuck it out and was pleasantly surprised. I’m curious to see how a second date with Bin 4 Burgers goes. To be continued…

Full disclosure: One of my close friends, Tamara, did the branding and interior design. She’s pretty kickass. Her website: Inhabit Designs.

Service Rating System:

Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.”
Booty Call – If I don’t have anything else better going on, I’ll stop by.
2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance.
Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major.


  • renaat marchand

    Bin there twice now and love the food and very friendly service. My son just arrived from Ottawa, starving student was very happy. Fries are good to.
    I have to say as artists we discussed the logo and colours and to us it doesn’t relate to a food place, more like a boutique or plant business logo.
    Design is clean and efficient. For them it’s just a start.
    We were happy!

    • Great to hear Renaat. I’m a little biased (note connection to designer) but I was a fan of the interior. I’d agree the food was great and the service was better once we were acknowledged…but of course that was the owner. I’m willing to give the place a second try but I’d like to know how the servers rate.

  • Adrian Charlie

    Great story Russel, I know exactly what you mean regarding your remark about good/bad customer service. If I receive great service I’ll tell the world, If I recevie bad service, I’ll tell the world. Great to see the owner recognized what happened and showed that he cares.

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