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To ask whats theme worst service you've ever experienced in a restaurant or cafe?

(249 Posts)
JellyDiamonds Sun 26-Jul-15 21:05:11

I wonder if it can beat what happened to us this afternoons?

Went out for Sunday lunch at a mid price range gastro pub type place. We used to be regualrs there and its always been excellent, however today it seemed to fall apart. Lots of new staff who I'd never seen before. We arrived, were seated with menus and drinks were orders taken. The drinks arrived quickly but my coke was flat and I had to send it back, a fresh drink was then brought to me but no apology was given and it seemed to get worse from there.

We sat and waited for our orders to be taken (menus obviously laid out in front of us), and we waited and waited and waited. In the mean time a family on a nearby table were starting to get really stroppy with the waiting staff because they'd also been sat there a long time and no one had taken their orders. We continued to wait, countless staff passed us and I'm not sure how they couldn't have noticed we were ready to order, but they ignored us. I could also see and hear a couple standing by the till arguing with the manager about poor service.

Eventually after waiting for over 30 mins a waitress appeared and admittedly did apolgise for the wait and took our order. Food arrived pretty promptly and my roast potatoes were burned, but worst of all was my cauliflower cheese. It was basically just lukewarm cauliflower with cold cheese sauce poured over the top, it obviously hadnt been put in the oven to brown off as it should be. It was revolting and made me feel physically sick, in fact it's quite possibly put me off cauliflower cheese for life. I didn't mention it to the waiting staff because I could see and hear other customers laying into them and didn't want to make a fuss. The waiting staff were all obviously inexperienced, I watched a young lad almost drop a bowl of soup over a childs head because he wasn't balancing them on his arms properly (I used to wait on and there is an art to carrying lots of plates, but you need to be taught it before actually waiting on). All the while manager just stood there, not directing the staff or stepping in to help.

So anyway it was shite and I'm actually quite shocked at the service ive received. I've always been lucky in restaurants and have always had pretty good service so this was an eye opener.

Can you beat it?

Dionysuss Sun 26-Jul-15 21:10:15

For BiLs birthday one year the whole family went to a chinese restaurant. As we were given our desserts, the waiting staff put on their coats and sat watching us eat so they could go home.

InMySpareTime Sun 26-Jul-15 21:10:31

Booked a table at a restaurant, but when we showed up we had to wait 30 minutes to sit at the table (previous diners being slow to finish), then a further hour before someone took our order, then 2.5 hours until the food arrived. DCs were 8 and 10, and understandably getting extremely hungry and fidgety by the time we ate food was ok, but not worth the wait. We've never been back there.

FuzzyWizard Sun 26-Jul-15 21:13:02

Worst sevice ever was in France.
We arrived, asked in somewhat halting French for a table for six. Waited claimed not to be able to understand and then feigned an inability to speak English resulting in much gesturing and more halting French.

Then looked us dead in the eye and said "smoking or non-smoking?" In perfect English. hmm

He was rude when taking the order and then deliberately got our order wrong. We were too embarrassed at our poor French to kick up a fuss... Ate what we could and left. I was only 20 or so at the time. If it happened now I would have walked out within 5 minutes.

TurnOverTheTv Sun 26-Jul-15 21:18:58

Why on earth would you wait an hour for an order to be taken? Or 2.5 for the actual food? It just seems bonkers to me, I'd have just walked out!

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sun 26-Jul-15 21:21:46

Not in a restaurant or cafe but in the olden days when I was about 20. I called into a very well knownhair dressers who I won't embarrass by naming and enquired about getting my hair done. I was called a divvy by the hairdresser because I did not understand something. I just said. Thanks bye. I should have fuckin chinned get there and then. The cheeky bitch or maybe a better idea would hVd been to speak to her manager but I guess I didn't want her to lose her job, that's my trouble I was too nice you see. I wouldn't think twice now. If it were now. I'd think she doesn't want to lose her job. Tough fucking shit. She should learn to speak to people properly, anyway I went to a run of the mill salon and they were fantastic.
I mean mistakes and errors are one thing. Abuse to potential customers is very much another.

londonrach Sun 26-Jul-15 21:26:31

Potato gate saturday..... Local cafe...ordered jacket potato (which had previously). Drink our drinks. 40 minutes later waiter turned up. Note 40 not 10 minutes and cafe had at most 10 tables. We run out of potatoes. (12.30pm on a Saturday and their main menu). Choose something else he said. I suggested i popped to local supermarket and get potatoes (seriously their potatoes were amazing). No we had to choose something else. We struggled with that as i have ibs as cant take bread. Decided on a plateau... Seriously it was awful, no taste and poor quality and limited. Needless to say we havent returned. Mind you i could always tell you about our ask experience. The female member of staff was so busy chatting to the male staff we never got a drink in the whole meal and for that matter the bill. (I had bottle of water in my bag luckily. We asked when the attempt at a pizza was delivered for drinks but not one arrived..). I ended up going to bar and payng for pizzas and leaving....

steff13 Sun 26-Jul-15 21:29:55

We once waited for 20 minutes for someone to take our order, but no one did, even though the place was nearly empty. We got up and walked out.

It was revolting and made me feel physically sick, in fact it's quite possibly put me off cauliflower cheese for life.

Really? That feels a bit dramatic.

alphabettyspaghetty Sun 26-Jul-15 21:35:15

Worse was an Italian restaurant which served everything burnt then when we complained he didn't even apologise. The icing on the cake was I was sat behind a open hatch where the coffee machine was and the guy who I'd complained too was smacking the coffee grinder against a pot spraying it over me and then mistakenly poured hot water over my back. I've still got the scars. My parents flipped (was younger at the time) and we saw a solicitor to sue.

Best service we've ever had was when we were on our way back through rural France and came across this little relais about 9pm at night. Went in and this guy said yes yes come in and turned all the lights on and the stoves on. Then cooked exactly what we wanted even replacing something my sister didn't like with something else. He sat with us towards the end of the meal and we had a very good laugh with him. It was amazing.

Wellwhaddyaknow Sun 26-Jul-15 21:39:51

I was once served a Sunday dinner with a Yorkshire pudding that was so burnt, it was actually smouldering as the waitress brought it out. She looked at me like I was something on the bottom of her shoe when I asked her to exchange it but grudgingly brought me one that was not actually alight.

Woobeedoo Sun 26-Jul-15 21:42:00

We once had service so shockingly poor at a restaurant (lots of time spent waiting for things to happen whilst witnessing staff lolling about, saw the guy in charge of the coffee machine tell a waiter he couldn't recall which coffee was decaf as it "doesn't matter anyway").

At the end of an uninspiring lunch we left a 1p tip as according to the OH, no tip means you might not have change or just be a non-tipper, but 1p is a thought-out tip, clearly spelling out "you're service was sh1te and this is all you were worth".

StealthPolarBear Sun 26-Jul-15 21:43:36

Pmsl at the smouldering Yorkshire pudding!

Theycallmemellowjello Sun 26-Jul-15 21:45:54

saw the guy in charge of the coffee machine tell a waiter he couldn't recall which coffee was decaf as it "doesn't matter anyway"

Oh god, I'm always paranoid when I order decaf coffee after an evening meal -- this will fuel my paranoia!

CigarsofthePharoahs Sun 26-Jul-15 21:47:24

Worst?
Wagamama. Already annoys me as every other restaurant can bring all the food out at the same time, but not them, oh no. Never mind I was waiting nearly 10 minutes between dhs food and mine...
Dh wanted desert. We ordered dessert. It did not come.
A group sat next to us. They ordered, ate, ordered dessert and ate that too.
We were still waiting. We asked and were told: -
We're short staffed and there's no one on the bar, so dessert will be slow.
Um, OK? No, not OK. I was all for upping and going, but dh wanted his bloody pudding. 90 minutes it took and did we get an apology? No. I wanted to walk out, but dh wouldn't. I didn't let him leave a tip and I have not been back.
#2 In Italy.
They charged us for things we did not eat and then said they didn't take cards despite the obvious credit card reader on a shelf behind the till.

emotionsecho Sun 26-Jul-15 21:48:09

alphabetty we had a similar experience to your second paragraph, it was lunchtime and we watched as the cafe owner went round the little village disturbing everyone from their siesta in order to get all the ingredients for our lunch, it was one of the best meals and experiences ever!

LondonLady29 Sun 26-Jul-15 21:50:11

I was once in Patisserie Valerie with my family for coffee and cake. I don't know what was going on but it was as if the staff were on strike. We ordered cakes and the waiter was sullen and didn't speak then brought two of four cakes. After about a 10 min wait for the other two (which just needed to be lifted out of the fridge) we asked twice and were ignored. Then a waiter brought one out and put it on a side but wouldn't bring it over. My brother asked them again for it and they refused so he walked over and picked it out himself and the whole time the waiters just watched. It was weird to say the least. I seriously regret paying now as the whole experience quite upset my parents.

backtowork2015 Sun 26-Jul-15 21:50:11

at family bday meal we'd had to pre order the meals and they were wrong....doesn't sound so bad....but then the table collapsed and dropped 11 meals and 2 bottles of wine in my lap and bag, bloody brilliant!! seriously fawlty towers!!! the staff sped over and did nothing to help support the table, just stood there proclaiming it had never happened before and had we tampered with the table legs!!! oh yeah! as if I wanted all this food on my party outfit??!!

daisychain01 Sun 26-Jul-15 21:51:14

jelly I do believe you re. the revolting cauliflower cheese.

I just read out your description to my DP and asked "what does that remind you of?" And he said OMG it was just like that pub we went to about 4 years ago It could even have been the same recipe vile pigswill it was that memorable. How can anyone call themselves a chef dishing up caulie cheese that hasn't seen the inside of an oven?! And using packet cheese sauce envy

The service there was crap, too. The waitress asked how were your meals but in a way that said she really didn't want to be there.

ollieplimsoles Sun 26-Jul-15 21:54:22

Worst service was at an extremely naice and very expensive pretentious restaurant.

The staff were the rudest I have ever encountered, they obviously thought they were something a bit special and we didnt look like we could afford to eat there.

The food was SHIT, really awful. The soup was cold and they brought out cheap white supermarket bread. The mains were all cold too and mine was really tasteless. My grandad had taken the whole family out and we had racked up a bill of nearly £300 by the time we had finished... But we had complained so much they knocked loads of things off the bill. Horrible meal.

Saying that- I used to work at a well know family restaurant chain and it really was the most awful place to work, some customers were really rude and just took the piss so much because they knew if they kicked off they would get things for free...

Metacentric Sun 26-Jul-15 21:55:04

People who own restaurants whinge that they go out of business.

Unfortunately, the service in most restaurants is shit. They pay unskilled people who would rather be doing something, anything, else minimum wage, and wonder why people don't come back. Most chain restaurants seem to be more concerned about potential fraud by their staff than actually serving customers, hence the elaborate and usually very slow computer systems used to pass orders to the kitchen. Most independent restaurants are run by people with a business death wish: unlike most "reality" programmes, which are made up, those Kitchen Nightmare shows don't even scratch the surface of how deluded most restaurant owners are.

CamelHump Sun 26-Jul-15 21:55:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RedXan Sun 26-Jul-15 21:56:24

The other week we went to a well known family friendly chain restaurant as it was my dd's 5th birthday. They had a large party of at least 30 in at the same time as well as other smaller groups. But there was no mention of this being an issue as we were seated with menu's and ordered drinks. Drinks arrived 20 mins later but waitress zoomed off before we could order food. 15 more minutes later she returned to take our order (after avoiding my gaze a few times as I tried to politely beckon her over). Over an hour passed before our food arrived (Luke warm) which as a well known chain is a very long time compared to the usual wait. Waited another 15 minutes for mor drinks. Then once we were very clearly finished, waitress walked past us about 5 times before the manager saw my irritation and came to clear the table (20 minutes after we had finished).
He asked if we wanted dessert and I explained politely that I was afraid of ordering any due to the wait, that we had already missed our booking at the bowling alley next door due to double the wait times we usual experience in the same restaurant.

The manager was very apologetic to be fair, gave us ice cream on the house and organised a cake and happy birthday sing song for my daughter right then and there. He also returned afterwards to say he'd booked another bowling lane for us and insisted on giving us £20 cash toward bowling. Which I suspect came from the tip they'd received from the large party as they had just left.

So whilst it was very shitty service. The manager really went out of his way in the end which was lovely.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 26-Jul-15 21:57:32

I ordered a wrap once in a no longer trading pub belonging to a chain.

waited ages at the bar to order ages for the food and when it turned up ir was inedible.

someone's idea of tuna mayo was mayonnaise with about four flakes of tuna in. I literally had a mayonnaise wrap.

to make matters worse I had to wait over an hour fir the supervisor to get off their lunch break so I could get a refund hmm

no money and no food.

wilddogbert Sun 26-Jul-15 21:57:43

DH and I went to a pub/restaurant with our DCs then 8 and 4 and PILs one Sunday.
We booked a table but when we got there they had given it to someone else. They said it would be a 10 minute wait which turned to 20 minutes. We asked to see a manager and suddenly 2 tables became available around the corner.

Then when we eventually sat down they had no kids menus available so we had to wait another 10 minutes.
Then before we could order food they changed wait staff and suddenly no-one was waiting our table. So DH went to the bar and complained and they sent someone over.

There were only peas available for veg and we had no apology.

Eventually we got our food, mine had a plaster stuck under a piece of meat. I complained and they took it away and then brought it back 4 seconds later having obviously just picked the plaster off the plate I asked for a new meal please and they sighed and rolled their eyes.

They eventually brought me a new plate. Then when we got the bill they over charged us, we gave it back to them and they overcharged us again.

We have never been back there as you can imagine

LondonLady29 Sun 26-Jul-15 21:57:51

Oh and the girl on the fish counter in my local waitrose is the rudest little madam I've ever come across! Ignoring customers whilst slowly filleting fish allowing a big queue to build up. The first time she did this I thought she hadn't seen the four or five people waiting there so I said "Excuse me, please can we buy some fish?" And she looked at me like I was a piece of dirt and said "I'm filleting fish." Then continued. When she eventually came over to serve I said "I'm sorry, I thought you hadn't seen us because you didn't acknowledge us and we had been standing there for a while." Another time I asked for some herb butter with my fish which is displayed on the counter. She said: "I'm only allowed to give you that in a cook bag." And gave me my fish to shoo me away. I said: "What do you mean I buy this every week?" She said she wasn't allowed to sell it unless the fish was in a cook bag. I said "OK I'll have it in a cook bag then!" So she swapped the plastic bag for a paper one and dropped the knob of butter in. Her colleagues sell ththe butter normally and the different bags were the same price! Honestly she's such hard work I might complain.

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