Sunday, 23 January 2011

That thing which they refer to as 'Customer Service'

So I went out for a meal with some friends recently to celebrate a birthday. Choosing not to go to our usual restaurants too close to home, we thought that it would be nice to try somewhere different. It was therefore decided that we would go and dine at a restaurant in Fulham Broadway which had a nice menu offering quite a variety of dishes. I won't name the restaurant, although I'm quite tempted to be honest, but I was extremely disappointed with the customer service. Hence why I have decided to share my experience with you!

To begin with, we arrived at the restaurant excited and ready to order our food having already looked at the menu online. I personally skipped lunch that day JUST so that I could fully enjoy my meal. We were seated on the table which we had reserved for the night and were provided with menus. Having already found exactly what I wanted to order, I uttered 'Number 42 - Chicken Shawarma please,' as soon as the manager asked for my order. Imagine he replied 'We don't have any more Shawarma.' You can imagine the kind of facial expression which I then gave him. I was absolutely disgusted. I could understand a restaurant running out of a particular dish after an incredibly long night but to be honest, there was only one other guest in there at the time and it did not look as though it had been incredibly busy to me. How is it that you have a birthday booking at your restaurant on a Friday night and you do not have one of the most requested main meals that there is? Ridiculous.

This was not the first thing that upset me about the restaurant either. The very first thing that made me question why we had chosen to dine at this particular restaurant was the unwelcoming attitude of the manager. The man should have been grinning teet' on our entrance because it is a very rare occasion that you will find me spending £10 on a Shawarma dish. At my preferred place of purchase I only pay around £6.50 - £7 for this. Anyhow, whilst informing us that we'd have to choose another dish to have, the other customers at the table adjacent to us were also having some sort of disagreement with him about something. I dreaded to think that it could be the food!However...

When I eventually received my food...Kiss My Teeth is all I can say. I didn't eat all day just so that I could enjoy my meal, and let us just say that I won't be in a rush to do that again due to what I ended up with. It wasn't only the food that was a let down though. It was the audacity of the manager that surprised me the most that night at the end of the so-called 'dinner.' He tried to charge us 'service charge!' *shocked face* I don't know if he thought we had 'I have money to burn because money grows on trees' plastered on our foreheads but this was not the situation.

There was me thinking that good customer service was...
  • '...all about bringing customers back.'
  • Listening to your customers
  • Having a knowledgeable, helpful and courteous workforce to help you to meet the needs of the customer etc
They certainly brought us back to their restaurant but it certainly was not for the food, it was only due to us forgetting something. Secondly if their idea of listening to customers was giving us the waiter that couldn't even speak English then they'll have no business in a few months. We asked her simple questions about some of the alternative meals on the menu and we were answered with a smile and laugh. Did we require a smile and a laugh though? She clearly had no idea what we were talking about and just pointed to the place on the menu describing the meal each time. (Like seh we cyaan read English ourselves!) Not only did she point at it, she managed to squeeze out key words like 'Onion,' and 'Errrrm.' How helpful!

As a result of this, we felt that it was perfectly justifiable to walk out of the restaurant leaving them with the exact money for the food and NO service change. They're lucky that they even got that!

I'm sure I don't need to continue with this saga but I was genuinely disgusted and disappointed with the unsatisfactory level of customer service at this restaurant. If there is one positive that I gained from this night, it is never to skip lunch and eat minimal amounts throughout the day just because I want to fully enjoy my dinner. It is very much not worth it. I guess we could call this a little reminder to consider every point necessary when deciding where to dine in the future, and if possible, go and have a look at the place beforehand. It may very well save you the bother which my friends and I encountered.

I'm signing out for now so...Peace,Love and Pars of course!