Jul 10 2008

The Good, The Bad And The Last Minute Recovery

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 4:06 am

Before I forget the details, I wanted to let anyone who was planning on visiting a local restaurant called Patio about our experience there. We had gone with Natalya to have a nice meal (they were going for the Sushi, I was hoping to find some nice pasta). Upon arriving, we were told that ordering food was possible, but would involve a one hour wait, as they were very busy. We decided to stay and have a few drinks whilst we waited. We eventually managed to order the drinks, after being ignored by several waiters and waitresses. The drinks arrived within twenty minutes or so, and we had decided which delicacies we hoped to be delighted by, and so made our order. Over the next 45 minutes or so, various items were found to have disappeared from the menu, as the kitchen had run out of ingredients. This information came in dribs and drabs, but eventually we found a combination that did not seem to cause any problems. The girls’ starters and main course arrived, as did my garlic bread. After another hour or so, we asked the waiter where my lasagne was, as the kitchen was about to close… oh, no, that has run out, and the kitchen is already closed! We weren’t best pleased, and so asked to speak to the manager. Eventually a shift supervisor turned up, listened to our grievances and basically said nothing could be done… tough luck! We asked her to again speak to the manager, and she replied that the boss was very busy. No problem, we’ll wait, but please get her ASAP. Another twenty minutes had passed, so we phoned the telephone number listed on the back of the bill we had received. The boss herself answered, and was surprised to hear that customers were waiting to talk to her! It turns out the staff were probably worried about revealing unhappy customers were in her restaurant, and had hoped we would just pay the bill and leave. At this point the manager offered to re-open the kitchen and get some sort of food sorted, but we had had enough waiting around, and declined the offer. We inferred that the bill was perhaps an item we could come to an amicable agreement over (I may have mentioned I reviewed the local restaurants at this point, and Natalya may have accidentally inferred that my opinions held a little more clout that they do 😉 ). Without more than a couple of seconds passing, the manager offered to wipe the cost of all the food from our bill, just leaving us to pay for the drinks. In this city, I have never encountered such an offer where problems have occurred, so I was very glad to see that the principle of customer service appears to be slowly seeping into the right minds. Compare this to the fiasco of our last meal in one of the local Samovars, for example, and I can see why friends had recommended the Patio to us in the first place 🙂
Would we go back there again? Probably, though if there was any hint of another waiter who had only just started working there, or a kitchen running out of food, we may just stay for drinks instead…

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