Marc gives his thoughts on this rather questionable Exeter eatery and why he thinks it’s doomed to fail…
There is a point when poor customer service becomes an insult.
That happened to me over the weekend when I visited a well known Exeter restaurant for lunch with my daughter.
As an experience it was MISERABLE!
In fairness, I had been warned by several people not to go there but it was the closest eatery to where my six-year-old had been taking part in a class, it was cold and I had forgotten her coat.
I knew we had backed the wrong horse the moment we walked through the door.
But I didn’t expect my list of complaints to be quite so long.
Here are the lowlights:
1) The only front-of-house member of staff on duty was pouring three pints of Cola when we arrived yet didn’t look up once to acknowledge us, or say anything, until he had finished his tricky task.
2) We asked for some crayons and paper so my daughter could draw while we waited for our food only to be given an almost empty sticker book which was impossible to scrawl on.
3) The chairs were battered and threadbare and looked like they might have been been rescued from the local tip.
4) The menu was covered in the remains of the last diner’s meal.
5) I asked for an apple juice for my daughter (stressing I didn’t want any of those e-number packed kids’ drinks) only to be served with… you guessed it!
6) The glass I was given with my water was so smudged I could only suspect it had been used in some sort of pass the parcel game in the kitchen.
7) And this took the biscuit… the toilet seat in the gents loo was leaning up against the wall, resulting in me having to help my little girl hover when she needed to spend a penny.
Taken in isolation, any of the above would be unacceptable but to experience them all in one sitting was, shall we say, unique.
Although the food was, surprisingly, okay everything else left (pardon the pun) a bitter taste in my mouth and I was reluctant to pay for it.
In his book, Setting The Table (recommended to me by @JohnHarvey) Danny Meyer says: “Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard.”
I felt cheated.
Suffice to say I won’t be going back and the chances are the restaurant won’t be there much longer anyway as a super-cool established chain is opening it’s doors just a stone’s throw away.
If that comes to pass, I won’t be celebrating but in business you increasingly reap what you sow.