After being disappointed with her usual go-to restaurant at Eat Joy, a University of Connecticut student got a free meal at Love Art Sushi, offered by the co-founder.
Camille Logiudice, a tenth-semester communication major, said that she visited Eat Joy on Sept. 26 — her once-a-week tradition. After ordering her usual, warm rice with corn, red cabbage and carrots with one spicy tuna, one or two kanikama, edamame beans, scallions, spicy mayo and creamy garlic sauce, the employee making her meal kept adding extra soy sauce to her meal, approximately 10 to 12 packets.
“I had a feeling she had ruined my bowl, and sure enough, when I sat down to eat at a table with my friend, the bowl was swimming in a good centimeter or two of soy sauce,” Logiudice said.
Logiudice said that she asked for the meal to be remade but, she said she was given resistance from the staff and was ultimately given some more rice and had some of the sauce drained. She said she was disappointed but tried to eat as much as she could because she could not believe what happened.
“I was so shocked by the interaction and what had happened that my immediate reaction was to cry,” Logiudice said. “I was definitely upset and hurt and disappointed by what had happened, but my first thoughts were, ‘What did I do? Did I do something wrong?’ which is ultimately why I cried. It was a lot to take in.”
In response to Logiudice’s experience at Eat Joy, Sophie Li, the employee at Eat Joy who made Logiudice’s meal, said that she added the extra sauce because Logiudice was a regular customer and Li remembered her order. Eat Joy usually charges extra for more sauce but Li said she did not want to charge Logiudice.
Li said that they care about their customers and she tried to remake the meal to the best of her abilities.
“I did [remake] the bowl for her.” Li said. “Before I changed the new bowl, I [poured] out the extra soy sauce then put everything to the new bowl. [I] also add more rice. I think it is much better.”
After posting about her experience on UConn’s “Buy and Sell” Facebook page, Logiudice was surprised to see that Love Art Sushi, a former Storrs Center restaurant that moved to Boston, had offered her a free meal.
Ron Liu, one of the co-founders of Love Art Sushi, said the Love Art Sushi offered the free meal after being tagged in multiple comments. He said he reached out to Logiudice because he wanted to stay connected to the UConn community.
“Even though we’re up here in Boston now, many of us are UConn alum and are in the business to spread good vibes and fellow Husky pride,” Liu said. “We just happen to have the opportunity to do that with food.”
Logiudice said that when she visited Love Art Sushi on Sept. 30, she was touched by Love Art Sushi’s friendliness and how they welcomed her. While at Love Art Sushi, Logiudice said that she and her father were treated with free bowls and drinks, as well as meeting some of the employees.
“Not only did Love Art Sushi treat me to a free meal, they also indulged my father which we were both so surprised by,” Logiudice said. “They were so hospitable and so kind and understanding about something that they had nothing to do with at all … It was really neat to be so welcomed into a place I had never been.”
Liu said that he understands the challenges of trying to keep customers happy but he hopes that all restaurants can take this experience as an opportunity to grow.
“The service industry can be tough, especially in the food business,” Liu said. “Everyone has bad days, heck, bad years but, at the end of the day, it’s an industry that brings people together and allows for growth no matter what position you’re in. Whether it’s a freshman’s first ever part-time job or an owner who’s been in the business for years, there’s always something new to learn day in and day out.”
Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.