I've been a Zia "frequenter" since they opened, and while it took me a while to warm up to the "system"...I can now say that it doesn't bother me the least bit and they've gone through many steps to improve it to where I can say it probably works better than it would if it were a more traditional "system." Zia is almost always busy, yet I've rarely every had to wait for a table. Their staff is now at the point where after you've sat down you don't have to get up for extra drinks/food. Everyone can now take your extra drink/food orders after the initial purchase (my order was actually taken BY THE OWNER while I was in line last time...so I didn't even have to go through the initial line...where in Charleston do you see the actual owner busting his ass busing tables and taking orders?!). And as a sign of good business and ownership, they have retained a majority of their same employees since they opened. Poorly run restaurants have high turnover rates. I'd rather go to Zia and know exactly what kind of service experience I'm going to get (which is extremely satisfactory) than suffer through a bad service experience that I get at about 70% of the restaurants in Charleston. Kudos to Zia for bucking the normal Front of House "system" and being successful at it.
went a couple weeks ago and tried as much as I could on the menu and everything was great. I also haven't talked to anyone yet that hasn't had a positive experience there and I'm deeply involved in the local food community. can't believe people are complaining about the prices. you pay almost double at basil for the same or less quality food. it was quite refreshing to go on a date night, have a couple drinks a piece, apps, and entrees and get out for less than $100.
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