Sunday, May 02, 2010

Time's up people

Eating out is something we don't do a lot (unless you count visits to Burger king which is a reasonably regular event in our family). Last night we dined at a Petone restaurant with two couples David works with. It was something of a celebration. About 15 months ago they joined together in business and have done very well in the interim. One couple came over from the Wairarapa for the occasion.

We had a couple of bottles of wine, starters, mains, dessert and coffees. We were seated in a separate area with dimmed lighting. The service was ... unusual. Somewhat brusque.

At around 10.50, when we were the only group left in the annexed area, amiably chatting and laughing but winding up, the lights were abruptly turned up as a clear signal our time was up. Come in group of six.

It wasn't anything I had ever experienced before. It certainly wasn't conducive to securing repeat business, surely the lifeblood of a restaurant, because I won't be returning or recommending the restaurant despite the food being rather good. These days good food is par for the course. Hospitality is, however, even more important. Or am I being an over-demanding customer?


Oswald Bastable said...

I have had that before, but usually at about 2am when everyone else was long gone.

In the better restaurants, the OWNER comes out and joins in...

Lucia Maria said...

I don't think you are being over-demanding at all. That's shockingly rude to do that sort of thing to customers. It would have been far better for a waiter or waitress to discretely ask if you'd like the bill given to your your table. Same signal, but far more polite.

gravedodger said...

As you have chosen not to name names and that is your right, I would estimate your contribution to the nights take would be in the region of $350 plus and whatever it was you have every reason to be aggrieved. If as you say the room was separate why oh why didn't the manager just send every one no longer required home and allow you to continue. What a disappointment and if it was my establishment and this was the scenario (assuming the person in charge was not an owner) I would wish to know about it as whatever the quality of the experience repeat business aint going to happen.
I live in a resort town with many many once in a life time visitors and one particular restaurant owner worked on the theory repeat business didn't matter, alas he didn't get a lot of initial business either as most accommodation operators never recommended his very well located place out of embarrassment as much as anything. Happily he has gone away,rude little prick.