I was arrowed to plan a farewell lunch for a colleague who is leaving. Total 18 people attending. We decided to go Novena Sq Fish & Co. So I called to make a reservation for 18 people.
But when we reach there, we discovered that they didn't reserve a table for us. Hmmmm..... Something is seriously wrong. Why is it every time when I make a reservation
, something will go wrong? Next time you all better don't ask me reserve table. Sure cock up one.
So we stood at the door waiting for them to figure how join 9 tables in a straight row to form a table for 18. One of the staff, whom I guess is the manager, came and told me that they didn't receive any reservations and they don't take reservation for friday and weekends.
I was abit pissed off already. Firstly, you lost my reservation. Then you claim that you don't accept reservation on Friday and weekends. Then why is it when I call your branch, someone took down my details? Why didn't your staff inform me that you don't take reservation on Friday?
There are quite a number of customers at the restaurant. They only managed to find space to join 7 tables and squeeze 16 chairs. To the right is another table with customer still dinning. To the left is a walkway. When I told the manager that we wanted a table for 18, he said that there is no space, and offer another table for 4 a slight distance from the main table.
If sit away from us, then why we come together? Might as well we go out lunch ourselves. I told the manager that it is not acceptable. I thought he would add another table at the walkway or maybe form 2 rows of 5 tables or something. But instead, he moved 2 dining customer to another table. What the heck? If I'm the dining customer, I'll surely scold you upside down for disturbing my meal.
Sorry to the couple who were being moved halfway thru your meal. If I knew the manager would do such a stupid move, I wouldn't had insist that he fix the problem.
Anyway, we settled down, decided on what to order and ask the waitress to take our order. I was surprised that only 1 waitress came to take our orders while the rest were doing nothing and waiting for other customer to request for their service. We have 18 people. And 1 waitress to take all our orders? Where is the manager? Shouldn't you be getting more staff to come take our orders so that it can be processed faster?
Our set lunch comes with free drinks. I ordered coffee. As we were waiting for the food to be served, the waiter serve me my coffee. Eeeeerrrr..... I thought the coffee usually come after the meal? I know some places where they would ask the customer if they want the coffee to be served now or later. But I've never seen a restaurant that serve the coffee first without asking the customer. I told the waiter to send the coffee back.
It was quite messy when they serve the food. Whenever a dish come, the waiter will announce the name of the dish and we will be like "Its mine." or " Your order is it?"
Well, at least the food was alot better than the service. The fish nugget was great. I ordered New York Fish n Chips. Its actually fish n chips, but with cheese inside the fish. Love it. Anything with cheese sure goes into my 'good food' list. :)
And after all these service blunder, the manager didn't apologise to us or waive the service charge. I guess we will think twice before visiting them in big groups again.
I'm sure they have good service. Maybe they are just not good at handling big group of customer.
There are a couple of lessons which we can learn from it.
1) If you forgot about the reservation, just apologise. Even if your company has a 'no reservation on friday' policy, also don't bother telling your customer. Surely, one of your staff forgot or is unaware of this policy.
2) If there is no place to form a table for a big group, then try to break the group evenly. Having a table for 14 and another table for 4 is totally not acceptable. The table for 4 would feel completely left out.
3) Never ever move customer who are still dining. Never.
4) Get more staff to take orders for big group of customer. 1 staff will take forever to write orders for large group.
5) Try to note down which customer ordered what food so that you can serve the food to his table directly without asking.
6) Always ask if coffee is to be served now or later.
7) If your service is unsatisfactory, then waive the service charge. Or the least you can do is apologise for the blunder.