You may recall an earlier blog post about poor service at a branch of Bella Italia that I experienced. I did fill in the web feedback form, and Tragus the company that owns Bella Italia did respond with a really nice letter and some vouchers for use at any of the restaurants that Tragus own.
We had already decided that we wouldn’t go back to Bella Italia and so on a recent shopping trip to Cribbs Causeway we chose Café Rouge.
We arrived before 1pm and the place was very busy, but there were still some free tables. Cafe Rouge is one of the many eating places available in the food area at Cribbs. When Cribbs opened it was full of fast food places with lots of tables. A few years ago, the food area was redeveloped and fast food establishments, well not replaced, were supplemented with a range of restaurants including Carluccio’s, Cafe Rouge and others. This made it a much more attractive environment for eating out than before. Having said that remember it is a shopping mall, and so not quite a real alternative to a “normal” restaurant.
We were greeted well and shown to a table. We sat down and waited a short while before some menus were dropped off on our table. They were literally dropped on the table and before we could even say thank you and possibly order some drinks the waiter disappeared into the throng of the other tables. We were a little surprised, a little put out, but well they were busy… We didn’t worry so much, he would be back in a couple of minutes.
Ten minutes later we needed to get up and find a waiter. Despite trying to catch the attention of the waiting staff, we had to go and find one to take our order.
Now our order wasn’t too complicated, two dishes, one was the Paysanne Salad, the other was the Goat’s Cheese Salad. So we didn’t expect any problems.
We did feel we had been waiting for a while, and after twenty minutes, we noticed that the next door table had not only ordered well after we had, but now had their food, we got up again to ask where are food was.
After another ten minutes, I was getting quite annoyed, so for the third time we got up and asked to speak to the manager. Now she did listen, immediately offered us our meal for free, which we accepted. Within a couple of minutes our food arrived.
I do find it ironic that having received vouchers as compensation for poor service that when using them at a different restaurant expecting good service, it was actually worse! At least we didn’t need to use the vouchers.