Bad service is profitable, that's why we see so much of it.
Whether it is that your eggs were cold when the waitress gave you your food, or that you spent five hours sitting on the tarmac with no explanation, bad service is rampant.
Here is why .... the restaurant makes more profit if they have fewer people working. Of course, that means that you, the customer, have to sit there longer or get cold food, but, hey what's it to them. Maybe you won't come back, but if it you are traveling, it's likely you won't be back in that location soon anyway, so who cares. They'll just serve the next sucker.
Let me give you a recent example. I flew into Las Vegas, and thought I would just rent a car to save waiting in line for 45 minutes for a cab. I pre-paid for the car using Travelocity, so I thought that they would have a car for me - that sort of being implied when you PAY FOR SOMETHING that you will get it.
I showed up at 9 pm and there was a 40 minute wait to even talk to a person at the counter. They were saying they were out of cars. No problem, I figured, I had paid for mine in advance. When I got to the counter (finally), I was informed that my car, a white Sonic, was being washed and to go wait in this parking space and they would bring it out in a few minutes. I waited there for 25 minutes. No car. (We're now over an hour wait.). I asked someone in a booth and he said they were washing it and even pointed to what he said was "my car", it would just be a few more minutes. After 20 minutes more standing in the parking space, I go back to the same person in the booth and tell him it is stupid for me to stand 45 minutes in a parking space, I'm going to sit down and they can bring the car over to the bench. After another 20 minutes, someone brings up a white car and I start to get in. They say that's not my car. That's when I started yelling that I wanted to talk to someone who worked there. A tall redheaded man who was washing cars came over and asked what the problem was. He explained that the car I had been waiting for nearly two hours for now had already been driven away by someone else. After about another 10 minutes, the manager shows up with a different car.
40+45+20 + 10 = 115 minutes
Does it strike anyone reasonable that I should wait nearly two hours for a car I had already paid for, 45 of it standing in a parking space? No. They completely screwed up and the only person who was not completely clueless was the guy washing cars.
I left my card. Did I get an apology? No. Nothing. And I'm sure their profits are higher because they don't have to have enough cars to supply everyone nor enough staff to provide service.
Here is where we, the buying public can make a difference. For your own peace of mind, I recommend that you never EVER go to Budget Rental Car at the Las Vegas airport. It will save you two hours of aggravation. I certainly will never use them again.
Also, if you are treated to this kind of abysmal customer service yourself, call them out. If bad service starts to actually hurt profits, companies will have an incentive to correct it.
I'm also emailing travelocity, where made the reservation. Again, maybe if they get enough complaints, something will happen.
If we keep accepting horrible service, then it will keep being profitable.