Monday, 25 April 2016

A Disapointing Evening


Scenario. You are a cafe/bistro/restaurant/eatery. It's Saturday and you expect a busy evening. You foresee customers with parties of 4 or more to waltz into your establishment. You set your tables to accommodate said parties.

Question. A party of 3 walk in barely past 6pm (they wanted to avoid the crowd you were expecting). Your establishment is empty, they are the first to arrive. Do you give them a table (already set for 6 or more) or do you relegate them to a corner, the bar seating? Or worse, turn them away?

This happened to me one Saturday evening. I took my auntie and my brother to dinner and we were faced with the prospect of sitting uncomfortably at the bar. My brother was clearly unhappy with the seating arrangement, so I suggested that we go some place else. 

I felt bad for my auntie and my brother. It was a much anticipated dinner and I was upset. Sure, I could have made a reservation. But that is not the point. The point is, the restaurant was empty, it was early, so what is the issue?

We would have been done before the crowds arrived. Three customers is also business. In fact even a solitary customer is business. If the restaurant was full or already fully booked, of course I would have understood. I attribute this to the front of house lack of experience. 

So we walked to the back (in the rain) to Epicuro. The place was already in full swing and fortunately there was a table for us. This was what we had.

Spaghetti aglio olio for me. It was very good but the portion was too small.


Chicken Cacciatore for my auntie.


My brother chose the same.


The portion size seems to have shrunk compared to the last time I was there.

I also ordered one Hot Wings to share. It was excellent. Very tasty. I will have to order double portions next time.


For desserts, we adjourned to Every Sundae. There seems to be a revamp of the menu and new flavors. And the sundaes are now served on paper plates.

My brother had the salted egg yolk flavor. Sorry I can't remember the full name.


I tried a bit. No, not for me. I cannot accept salted egg yolk in ice cream >.<

My auntie and I chose The Dark Side. You can't go wrong with chocolate.


To add to my disappointment, my order arrived more than 20 minutes after my auntie's. We had to remind the staff 3 or 4 times before I was served. Tsk!

The table next to ours were in a happy mood. There were 6 of them sharing one tiny cup of gelato. Yes, 6 customers, one scoop of gelato. In contrast, you have 3 customers, with one full blown sundae each. Numbers may not translate to $$$$.

I was still carrying a heavy cloud over my head when I got home. Story to be continued....

28 comments:

  1. No other seating arrangements meh, they arranged all in 6 seats (or more)? Ehhh, tak boleh nie.. 3 also business, 2 is also business wor.. If husband+wife or bf+gf walk in, 2 also business ma, takkan no place (and must go sit at the bar)? So when your brother saw the seating arrangements, you all didn't ask meh, where to sit? You assumed only wor they will put you at the bar..Mana tau can sit at the 6 seater there leh? If I'm the waitress, and I see people leaving after they come in, I will stop them and faster usher them to the 6 seater table.. I'm sure got some tables for 4 kua.. No? All 6 (or more)? Sigh... *shake head*

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    1. I believe that the staff was inexperienced and when I asked if the tables were all fully booked, he gave me a reply that was not clear. Macam yes or no kind of thing. If the boss was there, I am sure it would be different.

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  2. What a luck for you that day. Need to mandi bunga lah! Even restaurant layan so buruk. If you had invited me along, I would scream and look for the boss right away. I was wondering whether the staff were foreigners as usual? Tsk Tsk!
    Once I got mad when I was at Gardens basement and ate at the Mango dessert cafe. It was near closing and they placed "Reserved" signs on almost all the tables so that we had to cram on the small tables near the door instead of the sofa with long tables. They spoilt my mood and made the sweet mangoes tasted bitter pula!! That was my imaginary mode! LOL

    Hey, I would love that innovative ice cream with salted egg yolks! Why you don't wanna explore?

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    1. hah..hah...I didn't want to do a soprano lah. But I did voice my concern later and I will tell you the story in my next post.

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  3. No point if you serve good food or desserts. If your service is lousy, that's it! :( Maybe they can only serve you Every Sunday and not on a Saturday...kekeke! :D Next time, try Second Sunday. Ok, jokes aside, you and your auntie ordered the same ice cream, what's so difficult about serving two portions of the same thing at once! >.<

    As to your experience in the first restaurant (I wonder which one is that), is it because all the tables were already booked (and you weren't aware of it and they didn't tell you so)? That could be reason why they couldn't give you a seat even though the restaurant seemed empty to you. Say you were there at 6pm, the reserved tables could be for 6.30pm, so they couldn't give away the table knowing that you would not be finished with dinner in half an hour. I had the same experience once when I tried to book a table. I was asked if I could come in at 5.30pm (and finish my dinner in an hour) since the tables were fully booked from 6.30pm onwards. Otherwise, only the alfresco dining area was available. So, I was acceptable of the situation since they clearly told me upfront. I think their front of house was inexperienced and didn't give you a clear picture of the situation.

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    1. My thoughts exactly, same order and it should have come at the same time.

      When I was shown to the bar, I did ask the staff if all the tables were fully booked. He gave me an inaudible answer. I asked again, same thing. I was sure it was not a full booking or else it would have been made clear to me. I believe the staff was inexperienced and did not want to have to clean up and reset the table. I didn't want to push it and just went elsewhere.

      Just a side story, I had an experience at Epicuro once where I went with my partner and they were closed for a private function. The organizer was there and guess what? Since we were early, he told us to take a table and informed the server to serve us. We were pleasantly surprised and very grateful for the gesture.

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  4. Oh dear.

    But you didn't let the incidents spoil your mood too much, right? :)

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    1. Well, it did spoil my mood hah..hah...but it turned out well as I shall tell you in my next post.

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  5. They should be more flexible with the table setting, they are doing business, how will they know, if 2 customers come, or 4 customers come, or like what they have setup, 6 or more... if they turn away customers or put like what they put you, in a not so comfortable place, they might loss the customers and if words spread out, not so good...

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    1. You are right. This restaurant is still new and they will improve in time. Hopefully they learnt something from this incident.

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  6. Hi Phong Hong, sometimes I do not understand why certain people can be in a hospitality business but do not carry out their business in a hospitality way....yet survived.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! I think this is due to lack pf experience. But I have not lost hope on them because they made it up to me. I will tell in my next post.

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  7. I guess that cafeteria staff are not experience in handling customers! Don't visit them for a while and no need to feel bad! Bring them to another good meal in another place.

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    1. Since I love the food and had a pleasant experience the day before,I did not give up on them. In fact, I posted my concern on FB and they handled it well. Will tell you more in my next post.

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  8. Boycott is the word.. one of my friends will say that when something distasteful happen in that shop, cafe, restaurant or whatever.. but say only la, after some time, forgot already and will go again to the same place.. hahaha... I don't know about KL cafe, over here, I don't book or reserve any table unless it is those chinese restaurants where it is really full during the weekends, other than that, no need booking one. Desserts on paper plates? Hmmmm.. not really pleasant cos it might melt and get soggy on the plate, unless we have to eat faster than normal, cannot chit chat so much while sipping the ice cream there, hor?

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    1. Well, I happen to love at first visit and taste hah..hah... So I still had hope and voiced my concern on FB. It was well handled by the management and I am putting that up in my next post.

      The paper plate was ok because the ice cream sits of something - waffle or cookies or some kind of pastry. But service that evening was not so good :(

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  9. Did they specifically say that there is no tables for you 3 and only the bar seats are available? I would have walked out too because I do not like bar seats. Salted egg yolk in ice cream would have too much of an eggy taste for me. I think they have lost your order when they served your aunt's ice cream because they saw two orders as one so when you asked about your order, they had to submit a new order chit so that was why it arrived so much later than your aunty's ice cream. Nowadays I am very scared of going to eat out in unfamiliar places or places that are too popular due to the poor or unknown service quality. Got to pay money and yet be unhappy - so not worth it.

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    1. Nope, we were shown straight to the bar and when I asked (twice) for a table, the reply was inaudible. If it was fully booked, the server would have said so. Anyway, all turned out well as you will see in my next post.

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  10. Apparently the staff who turned you away are not the owners. That is the difference between an employer and an employee. Different perspectives.

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  11. Some days, everything goes smoothly but there are days where things just doesn't. This is life. But the food look very tasty and I like the Dark Side Sundae.

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    1. How true! We just have to accept it in a positive spirit :) Yes, the sundae was good but the service wasn't :(

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  12. You mean there were no prior reservations, all those tables? Just that they were for a minimum of 4 and there were only 3 of you? I would just walk away and never ever come back. So terrible, not that they serve anything sensational - can easily get the same elsewhere or even nicer ones perhaps. Here, they would even let you sit at the XL tables for big groups if the smaller ones are all taken.

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    1. Yup, I think the server was trying to avoid having to clean up and set up after the 3 of us. The thing is, I was there the evening before and had a very pleasant experience. Had this been my first time there, I would not have returned. I recognized that the staff was inexperienced and that's why we were not given a table. I did voice my concern on FB and the management responded well. That will be in my next post.

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  13. Well, if they have the Reserved tag on the table then I would probably accept it without thinking too much. But if not then, WTF?! It is really stupid to relegate early customers to a corner when the entire restaurant is empty, that's a surefire way to piss customers off. Haih, nowadays economy bad, they should go out of their way to please more customers, not avoid tedious works. I hope they know what they are doing...

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    1. You are right, they should have given us a table. After I made some noise on FB hah..hah.., to their credit, they more than made up for it.

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  14. They arranged you guys to be seated at bar area and u still willing oh? So nice of you and if I were you, I will directly ask for a better seat >_<

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    1. Actually, I left because we did not like the bar seating.

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