Sunday, 01 April 2007

Rotten (Egg) Service...

Don’t you just hate bad service in restaurants? Maybe I am just 2 fussy!

Today we had a Sunday morning breakfast from hell at a particularly popular deli/bakery/restaurant in the new Chilli Lane centre in Sunninghill. The actual breakfast was not so bad (nothing fantastic) BUT the service made the journey to my stomach as bumpy as hell. In this particular case the woman that served us should have been staring blankly onto a chopping board in the kitchen - not dealing with customers! (Story 2 long to blog!)

Isn’t it simple really.... do they smile in an interview? If not... they AINT gonna make it in the service world! Smiling (naturally) is a non-negotiable requirement! Following on from that seemingly basic requirement, some intensive training would be required. I think people in the foodservice industry spend more money on the infrastructure (this being the case at this Deli) and a dismal % of the budget on the training. This begs the question, is an ALL ROUND positive experience for customers the objective when starting a business in this industry OR is money the object of desire? Of course you want to make money, but if your focus is mainly on the money not the customers won’t that show? People want authenticity nowadays.. they stop cheats from miles away!

In situations like the one this morning, I have this mental picture (can’t help it!) of some bloody brand smacking its hands together and licking it’s lips with glee as they see you approaching. They shove you in to the restaurant.. and once you are there….they go out of their way to be unimpressive and give you the minimum service requirement…. eyes AT ALL TIMES fixed firmly on your wallet! EISH !!! It almost seems they train staff to behave like that!! Getting up to leave was not an option this time as we were with other people (most people in SA would rather not ‘cause a fuss’) and they had not been there before… they will be voting with their feet though.

Its all in the detail really and how it comes together. One funny one…one of the kitchen staff came out into the restaurant to deliver some food and he had a T-shirt on that advertised the fact that he had been part of the correctional services and was now reformed…NOT SOMETHING that makes your food travel calmly into your stomach on its own.. not without a LARGE swig of coffee that is!

I think image is a large driver for S Africans to attend these kinds of trendy places. To be seen there (not the reason we went by the way!) Do you think that image overrides the personal requirement for an all round quality service in SA??? WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR VIEWS?! We have to get this right by 2010! Not long to go….

1 comment:

Zani said...

It is the same over here. There are places that people go to too be seen.

You can go to Nottinghill because it is 'trendy and the place to be on a Sunday' but the waiters can't even speak English and those that can don't smile. It is a process of getting customers 'in and out' and get the tables ready for the next lot. Some places have sighns on the tables warning you that there is a 1 hour time limit on the table.

But I must admit that these days all these trendy places are taken over by the 'yummy mummy' gang. The Victoria Beckham and Katie Price (Jordan) wanna be's!

Most of the time the food is just as shit as the service... and here you have to pay a 12% service charge even if they don't deserve it!! That is what gets my blood boiling.

You see that is why someone that wears they're hart on they're sleave (like me) sticks to the back and hit the shit out of a lump of bread dough when things get tough! :)